POWER POP, CONDENSED: Whether you call their style of music pop-punk, power pop or, um, punker pow, there’s no denying that Motion City Soundtrack has a way of getting its bright, bouncy noise into your head. The Minneapolis band is slated to play the Hard Rock Café on the Strip on Aug. 21 ($20), in the midst of a sort of house-cleaning tour: In anticipation of their fifth album, due next year, MCS is playing all four of their previous records, start to finish, over the course of two nights. Sadly, Las Vegas only gets a one-night-stand where the band will presumably whittle those four albums down to a lean and mean couple of hours.
THE IMPERIALS STRIKE BACK: On Aug. 20, the great R&B ensemble Little Anthony and the Imperials play the Las Vegas Hilton ($43-$65). Active since 1958, the band is unique in several regards. It boasts many of its original members, including “Little” Anthony Gourdine (his falsetto vocal is as individual as a fingerprint). They continue to make new music, bucking the “nostalgia act” label; even Daft Punk liked their post-doo-wop work enough to sample it. But perhaps New York Times writer Stephen Holden best summed up their lingering appeal in April: “To time travel with the musicians who made the hits that are inextricable from our memories is a shared journey … an opportunity to look back and laugh at our tears.”
NOW ON SALE: Lemme tell you a few things about Duran Duran—which is playing The Joint on Sept. 30 ($90 and up). Although I’m not a huge fan of those old New Romantics, I’ve ended up seeing DD in concert several times, and their live set only gets better with age. They’re generous with their hits and their looks have held up; really, they’re what the Killers will be in 20 years. You should go.