No album title has summed up the divide between critics and fans as perfectly as brokeNCYDE's 2009 release I'm Not a Fan, but the Kids Like It! Universally scorned by reviewers, this Albuquerque-based "crunkcore" (one-finger synth lines + booty-clap beats + Auto-Tune + death-metal screams) quartet (quintet if you count their pig-suited dancer/mascot) saw its "Freaxxx" video go viral in 2008, forwarded in a million e-mails with subjects like "You won't believe this shit!" and "Worst music EVER!" Now brokeNCYDE command a fiercely loyal audience of teens, all the while making listeners of legal drinking age see red. If pop music is about rebelling against, and even repelling, older generations, these kids have mastered it.
— Phil Freeman
BrokeNCYDE, with Jeffree Starr, Blood on the Dance Floor, and Stereos. 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 9. Peabody's. Tickets: $12 advance, $14 day of show; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
The Golden Filter
Artists always like to think that their music is "golden," but this New York duo lives up to its claims. Formed two years ago, the Golden Filter have steadily released singles and remixes that have buzzed throughout the electronic-music underground. The band's new album, Voluspa, features shimmering string arrangements, abdomen-shaking electronic beats, and soaring new age-inspired vocals. "Hide Me" may rely a bit too much on retro synths, but "Moonlight Fantasy" and "Look Me in the Eye" are satisfying, recalling William Orbit's textured work with Madonna. There are ethereal qualities to the music that would make a perfect soundtrack to one of Cirque du Soleil's extravaganzas. — Jeff Niesel
The Golden Filter, with the Hundred in the Hands and Pictora. 9 p.m. Thursday, June 10. Grog Shop. Tickets: $8; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Their first hiatus in the early '00s was short. Their second, in the mid '00s, was longer. And we're guessing Phish lost quite a few of their followers during the breaks. But we're also guessing that their biggest tour since reforming last year is a cause for celebration among the group's most faithful fans. They also released Joy, their first album in five years, in 2009. But like spiritual forefathers the Grateful Dead, there's not a whole lot to Phish's studio discography. Ask anyone who cares more about the band than personal hygiene and they'll tell you the real magic happens onstage. And for sure, guitarist Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon, and keyboardist Page McConnell can work their way in and out of a groove more adeptly than any of their jam-circuit contemporaries. But Phish transcended that scene some time ago, didn't they? With a multimillion-dollar business responsible for extensive merchandising, downloadable live albums, and keeping a legacy alive, they're a culture. Even if it has gotten a bit smaller and less enthusiastic over the years. — Michael Gallucci
Phish. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Blossom Music Center. Tickets: $50; 800-745-3000 or livenation.com.
"Atlanta is strange," says Constellations frontman Elijah Jones. "We're all basically pushed together" — the hip-hop kids, the punks, the indie rockers. And naturally a hybrid emerges. The Constellations' debut album, Southern Gothic, is stylistically inclusive but creatively focused. The sweetly melancholic "December" is baroque- and Bowie-tinged folk rock; the strutting "We're Here to Save the Day" sounds like a holy juncture of Sesame Street, Chic, and Goodie Mob (Cee-Lo guests on a song here). While many groups, regardless of genre, tend to know one trick, the Constellations come off like a joyous whorl of contemporary, Atlanta-centric diversity and organic, old-school funky vibes. — Mark Keresman
The Constellations, with Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves. 9 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $12. Call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
While it's safe to say that Nobunny is Justin Champlin, the inverse is probably not true. Champlin's persona is a lot closer to Donnie Darko than Easter, a hare-like evocation of Lux Interior in torn pantyhose and ripped panties, topped off with a ratty half-mask that looks like a demented Muppet Jim Henson might have conceived on his deathbed. Nobunny (which also includes guitarist Elvis Christ, bassist Touchy Tony, and drummer Danaheim) bounce along like a low-fi gene splice of the Ramones, the Cramps, and the Modern Lovers — a pop-punk garage gumbo that is as attractive as it is disturbing. Seemingly influenced by Patty Hearst, Divine, Charles Manson, and The Banana Splits' Bingo, Nobunny pretty much sum up their aesthetic in the line "Let's get creepy and do it with the masks on." That's either a ringing endorsement or a five-alarm warning. Decide for yourself. — Brian Baker
Nobunny, with the Spits, the Wooly Bullies, and Midnight Creeps. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 13. Now That's Class. Tickets: $5; call 216-221-8576 or go to myspace.com/nowthatsclass.
Off With Their Heads
Off With Their Heads bring balance to pop-punk. Pick any of the Minneapolis group's songs, and you'll hear an even mix of smile-inducing pop and rugged, snotty nihilism. The band combines gruff and bass-heavy drunken abandon with sugar-sweet melodies. It's a simple enough mix, but their songs are an intriguing blend of contradictions. The band's instrumental attack is brash but blissfully energetic, and frontman Ryan Young sounds pissed, snarky, and surprisingly well-versed at writing catchy tunes. It's nothing really new for the genre, but Off With Their Heads are close to mastering it, while their peers are still trying to figure out which three chords to use. — Matt Whelihan
Off With Their Heads, with Dear Landlord, Reverend Deadeye, the Fucking Cops, and Setbacks. 11 p.m. Tuesday, June 15. Now That's Class. Tickets: $5; call 216-221-8576 or go to myspace.com/nowthatsclass.