Band: Beaten Awake
Sounds like: "A mix of pop sensibility and early rock-and-roll melody, fused at times with an etherealism fringing on ambient."
Fun fact: "Features members of Harriet the Spy, the Party of Helicopters, Man I Fell in Love With, and the Six Parts Seven."
Playing: Friday, Jan 20, at the Outpost, Kent
Why you should see them: "Because it's gonna be totally awesome -- we swear." -- Ryan Brannon, bass and drums
Band: Mike St. Jude & the Valentines
Sounds like: "The Basement Tapes and Bee Thousand as performed by the Kinks, accompanied by the Byrds' Clarence White on lead guitar."
Fun fact: "Lead guitarist Steve 'Stelianos' Simantiris also plays a mean bouzouki, which in actual fact is a very fun sort of Greek mandolin."
Playing: Saturday, January 21, at the Grog Shop
Why you should see them: "Plenty of hooks to appeal to all your senses. Plus, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it, which is actually a very hip thing to do at a rock-and-roll show." -- Frank Miller, drums
Band: Matt Harmon
Hometown: University Heights
Sounds like: "Cleveland's answer to Paul Simon. Bluegrass-influenced acoustic guitar, playing behind a stream of cleverly chosen words."
Fun fact: "Matt Harmon is the rhythm guitarist in the JiMiller Band. Jim Miller has been a fixture in the Cleveland jam-band scene for over 20 years."
Playing: Thursday, January 19, at the Barking Spider
Why you should see him: "Matt is an above-average songwriter. His lyrics are peppered with humor, wisdom, imagination, political commentary, and space travel. Anyone who appreciates good songs that are easy on the ears will enjoy this performance. Oh, and it's free!" -- Matt Harmon, guitar and vocals
Band: Mabus Christ
Sounds like: "Marilyn Manson mixed with Rage Against the Machine, minus the makeup and rap vocals. There's also an old-school punk-and-metal vibe going on."
Fun fact: "Ryan, the guitarist, broke his low D string during the first song of a show we did at the Hi-Fi. He played the entire show like nothing happened and still kicked ass."
Playing: Friday, January 20, at the Phantasy
Why you should see them: "We're apparently the 'second loudest band in Cleveland,' we have nonstop energy onstage, and we cover Nine Inch Nails' 'Burn' from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack." -- David, vocals