Critic's Choice

Alaska!

If you're one of the dozen or so people who saw the Frances McDormand vehicle Laurel Canyon, you may have noticed some familiar faces from the indie-rock scene on the big screen. McDormand's sexy, middle-aged record producer takes a much younger lover -- the lead singer of a rock band, which was portrayed by members of Lou Barlow's Folk Implosion. Among the players were Imaad Wasif (Lowercase) and Russ Pollard, both longtime collaborators of Barlow's (Pollard was also a member of Barlow's sweetly tortured Sebadoh). While the band didn't get too much screen time in the film, the original music it contributed is strikingly good. In 2000, bassist Pollard and guitarist Wasif formed Alaska! Now a trio -- Leslie Ishino of the Red Aunts rounds out the ranks on drums -- the act specializes in gorgeous, punky folk-rock with rangy guitars, chiming chords and lovely harmonies. In February 2003, Alaska (currently in between labels) released its debut disc, Emotions, on B-Girl Records and went into a self-imposed writing hibernation. The sleeping bear has awakened, and the threesome is on tour across the States to showcase its pedigreed indie chops. Local mad scientists Blusom, who mix ambient electronica with straight-up pop, open up this chilled-out show at the Larimer Lounge on Friday, February 20.
 
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