A couple of years ago, during a two-week break from the indie rock band Expecting Rain, singer and guitarist Nick Tolar wrote the songs that ended up on Herzog's debut last year. Search centered on a recent breakup. "It's about a transitional phase," says Tolar. "When you're not sure what to do and you think about leaving town." London-based Transparent Records released the album last summer, but the local label Exit Stencil is now reissuing it with an extra track, "Head for the Hills."
The jagged songs on Search recall Modest Mouse and Guided by Voices. "It's pretty much a self-indulgent record," says Tolar. "I just did whatever I wanted to do. It was good to get that out of my system." Tolar says Herzog's follow-up album, which is due by the end of the summer, will be more of a collaboration with bandmates. "It's a little more stripped-down," he says. "I did a lot of overdubs on the first one, but this one will be more like what we sound live." Herzog play the Happy Dog at 9 p.m. Thursday. Filmstrip and Company also play. Tickets are $5.
Veteran hard rockers Breaker played a wall-shaking warm-up show at the Beachland Tavern last month before heading to Germany for the Keep It True Festival. The band has just returned from overseas and opens for Loudness at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Beachland Ballroom. Dirty Passion and War Machine are also on the bill. Tickets are $15, available at beachlandballroom.com.
After six years, the funky world-music group Mifune is calling it quits. They'll play one final show at the Barking Spider on Saturday. It's free, but donations are requested. Showtime is 8 p.m. Go to barkingspider.com for more.
Indie rockers Restless Habs celebrate the release of their noisy new EP, Cross Your Heart and Swear to Die, with a show at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Happy Dog. Founding Fathers and Swarm of Bats share the bill. Tickets are $5.
Folkies Pete McDonald & the Black Oaks headline the Conservation Rocks! benefit at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Beachland Ballroom. The Swamp Rattlers, Fat City, and Drake Hollow will also perform. Proceeds go to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Tickets are $12, $10 in advance, available at beachlandballroom.com.
Akron hardcore band Don Austin are reuniting for their first shows in five years at 9 p.m. Friday at Now That's Class and at 10 p.m. Saturday at Annabell's Lounge in Akron. Tickets to Friday's concert are $5; Saturday's show is free. You can find more info at myspace.com/donaustinhardcore.