In a mere two years and with a pair of great records, Alan Palomo has found himself at the forefront of a new genre alternately known as "glo-fi" or "chillwave," an electronic pop dance party soundtrack that mashes up the chill of synth-pop, the thrill of new rave electronica, the still of ambient, and the kill of contemporary indie pop. As Neon Indian, Texas-based Palomo has contributed two defining documents to the canon, 2009's Psychic Chasms and the just-released Era Extraña, works born in Palomo's laptop and brought to life onstage by an actual band. In an impossibly brief time, Neon Indian have made a huge impact at major music festivals like South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, and Moogfest, touring with Massive Attack and Phoenix, and collaborating with the Flaming Lips. Their new headlining tour is shaping up to be one of the season's most buzzed-about events. You don't want to miss their show here this weekend. — Brian Baker
With Com Truise and Purity Ring. 8 p.m. Saturday, October 15. Grog Shop. Tickets: $14, $12 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or visit grogshop.gs.
Butch Walker & the Black Widows
Butch Walker first showcased his pop smarts as leader of the '90s alt-rockers Marvelous 3, penning the semi-hit "Freak of the Week." He launched his solo career in 2002 and has since released six albums exploring a nexus of glam, power pop, and college rock. He has a gift for big guitar hooks and indelible sing-along choruses, which has helped in his commercially more successful sideline of producing songs for Avril Lavigne, Pink, and Katy Perry. Walker has also remained true to the punchy crunch of bands like Cheap Trick with a string of eclectic releases, including the glam-themic debauchery of The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker & the Let's-Go-Out-Tonites and the exultant heartland rock balladry of Sycamore Meadows. Walker is an underappreciated talent whose music recreates a time when radio still spoke to a generation through car speakers in the language of truly classic rock. — Chris Parker
With Shovels & Rope. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, October 15. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $18; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
Devin Townsend Project
At the golden age of 39, Canadian Devin Townsend has amassed one of the oddest, most extreme, and ridiculously entertaining guitar-hero catalogs on the planet. He's a six-string wizard of the metal variety (his sound is affectionately termed "Hevy Devy"), cutting his teeth with axe barbarians like Stevie Vai. For more than a decade he mixed extreme industrial metal with ludicrous lyrics and Spinal Tap-style satire in Strapping Young Lad. His music and mood never got too serious — until now. The Devin Townsend Project is an epic concept-album series written after Townsend gave up drugs and booze. He cut off his long hair and is focusing on exploring the outer limits of metal and mainstream soundscapes. The first two Project albums came out in 2009; two more were released this summer. The records are filled with long, proggy musical experiments featuring flutes, forest sounds, death growls, and of course, violent guitars. It's another oddball evolution for the Frank Zappa of metal. — Keith Gribbins
With the Ocean. 7:30 p.m. Monday, October 17. Peabody's. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or visit peabodys.com.
After her terrific 1996 debut, Revival, Gillian Welch released a series of albums at steady two-year intervals until 2003, when she hit the brakes following the underdeveloped Soul Journey. She returned strong this year, first by playing Natalie Merchant to Colin Meloy's Michael Stipe on the Decemberists' The King Is Dead, then with her own album, The Harrow & the Harvest, recorded with her longtime partner — and one of the most underrated guitarists in the business — David Rawlings. And while the new record doesn't really hit its stride until near the end, there's a steadfast world-weary resignation to songs like "The Way It Will Be," "The Way It Goes," and "The Way the Whole Thing Ends" (yes, there's a thematic thing going on here). Naturally, Welch's old-timey folk adapts perfectly to the stage, where she and Rawlings flip through her durable catalog of songs like the trail-tramping troubadours they are. — Gallucci
8 p.m. Tuesday, October 18. Kent Stage. Tickets: $33.50, $30.50 in advance; call 330-677-5005 or visit kentstage.org.
Duran Duran's latest album, All You Need Is Now, is their best in years. But let's face it: Fans aren't flocking to the '80s hitmakers' shows to hear a bunch of new songs. They're going to hear "Hungry Like the Wolf," "The Reflex," "The Wild Boys," and, with any luck, "Union of the Snake." Four of the five original members — Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, and Roger Taylor — are still around, and with help from master producer Mark Ronson, they sound completely reenergized on All You Need Is Now, kicking through the walls of 30-year nostalgia to get to synth-driven pop music that's just as much now as it is then. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it trick that's kept Duran Duran in the game for all these years. That they still look good doing it is also a testament to these old pros. But it all comes back to the music, and if you didn't know better, you'd swear that the glistening, glammy workouts on All You Need Is Now were leftovers from the Notorious (if not the Rio) days. — Michael Gallucci
8 p.m. Wednesday, October 19. State Theatre. Tickets: $45-$150; call 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.org.