SATURDAY 1/19

BLOOPER, SLEUTH, COOL GHOULS, WEIRD BUG

You will often see the same collection of words when you're reading about Blooper: sweet and fuzzy, '60s-indebted, doe-eyed pop that you (presumably) grow out of when you become a cynical adult. Since I eat that shit up, it's only natural that I'm taken with the band. But what separates them from the hordes of other modern musicians with these similar influences? Besides the Seattle homerism of rooting for a local group, there's a pan-national underdog spirit about them, with their scruffy, pining, and heartfelt songs swathed in layers of self-doubt, insecurity, and exuberance. Listening to Blooper is the aural equivalent of those moments when you discover that young love is the best thing and the worst thing that can ever happen to you. Even their name is perfect: A blooper can be an endearing mess-up, or in baseball a bloop single that barely clears a leaping infielder's extended glove, speaking to the qualities that both mask the band's musical chops and make them so charming. Tonight they celebrate the release of a new 7-inch on the Minnesota-based Manic Pop! Records, meaning that in 2013, it's high time for Blooper to start reaching for the fences and let the rest of the world fall in love.

Joining the bill are Cool Ghouls, who have a refried garage sound that we've come to expect from their home city of San Francisco, but with brassy and twangy paeans to the Bear Republic; it wouldn't be surprising if they're actually a friendly ghost band of former gold prospectors. Vancouver, BC's Sleuth strike a radiant balance among a host of reference points. Dreamy instrumentation, lyrics of youthful gallantry, unquantifiable tweeness, and a vocalist with a gleefully ostentatious name ("The Lion in Love") who sings like a young Laetitia Sadier. Once you stop parsing the material and let the songs bowl you over, you'll find that Sleuth are good at covering their tracks and are on the way to something unique altogether. With Weird Bug. Heartland, 8 pm, $5–$7 donation. recommended