Critic's Choice

The Dismemberment Plan, with Planes Mistaken for Stars and Tanger, Thursday, March 2, at the Raven, hails from Washington, D.C. -- land of a thousand emo-punks -- and moves in circles with the likes of Burning Airlines and Juno. Since forming seven years ago, the band has proved to underground audiences that it is as capable of initiating dance parties as pulling on listeners' heartstrings. Emergency & I, the band's latest full-length on DeSoto Records (operated by the same folks who brought us the excellent but now sadly defunct trio Jawbox) pairs hyperkinetic, sometimes hilarious, always exacting pop with intense and textured sing-along anthems; clever, sinewy guitars are ever-present, and there's even the occasional trumpet. Emergency is the album that Weezer might have written had that band not devoted so much energy to fitting Potsy into its music videos. Songwriter/vocalist Travis Morrison, however, appears to be an artist who's not easily distracted from his craft, to the benefit of his listeners. A well-executed plan, indeed. -- Laura Bond


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