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CHOICE CONCERTS: 10/31-11/6 

The Soft Moon, Tragically Hip, Fun, Maria Gillard, and more

ACOUSTIC/FOLK | Maria Gillard

Local songstress Maria Gillard isn't a jazz artist per se, yet she dances around its fire close enough to burn. Hailing from the Finger Lakes region, Gillard has been on the scene for 25 years. She mixes jazz, folk, and the melodious expressions that fall in between. She has just released a new CD, "Mending," featuring all original compositions that beautifully illustrate the woman's gentle swing and lyrical charm. It isn't easy putting a guitar between you and the mirror, and then turning the reflection around for the world to see...unless you're Maria Gillard. Gillard performs Sunday, November 4, 4 p.m., at Lovin' Cup, 300 Park Point Dr., free, — BY FRANK DE BLASE


If you haven't heard Fun.'s singles "We Are Young" and "Some Nights" then you live under a rock. No sooner had The Format disbanded in 2008, than front man Nate Reuss was on to the fun with Fun. Where the Format as a little shoe-gazy in its indie leanings, Fun. incorporates huge scoops of pop swirl. The band still adheres to the accessibility and vulnerability associated within the indie mold, but it does so while busting out full-on sugar pop thrills. Fun. performs Sunday, November 4, 8 p.m., at Gordon Field House, RIT Campus, $16-$30, — BY FRANK DE BLASE

ROCK | Tragically Hip

I've seen the multi-Juno-Award-winning Tragically Hip twice before in Rochester, and have to say this is one of the best-sounding "big rock" bands to grace local stages. The Canadian super group has a new platter in tow, "Now For Plan A," it's 13th in a long line of releases dating back to 1987 (though the band began in 1983). The Tragically Hip is quasi-conceptual lyrically but not so much instrumentally. That would make the group prog rock, and that wouldn't necessarily work here...although singer Gordon Downie could sing anything and give it wings. Tragically Hip performs Tuesday, November 6, 9 p.m., at the Auditorium Theater, 875 E. Main St., $39.50-$69.50, — BY FRANK DE BLASE

Electronic | Dillon Francis, Clockwork, Baauer

Dillon Francis produces an upbeat dance beat, which it makes it all the more surprising when he gets to the drop and goes all dubby. Francis is making a stop in Rochester to promote his Wet and Reckless tour, and it will be interesting to see if he displays all the personality in person that he does in his promotional materials. But if the music is any indication it should be electrifying. Clockwork will be on hand from the NYC to give you a bass-heavy house blast you won't soon forget. His remixes are tight examples of just how finger-snapping waves of electronic noise can be, and he's been doing remixes for the likes of Lil' Jon and Steve Aoki. Dillon Francis performs Tuesday, November 6, 8 p.m., at Pearl Night Club, 349 East Ave., $15, 325-5660. — BY SUZAN PERO

PUNK | MxPx, Unwritten Law

Bremerton, Washington pop-punk mainstays MxPx have been at the game for so long, Clinton-era fans who grew up with their infectious brand of pretense-free punk now have kids of their own. Managing to keep things fresh without completely reinventing the wheel, the band released its ninth studio album this year, as well as celebrated its 20th year together. Once again hitting the road, the band has persevered through numerous professional and personals travails, as 20 years as an entity is wont to do. That the group is still together and rocking out is a testament to the members' tried and true punk rock that appeals to the kids. MxPx shares the stage with Unwritten Law, Versus the World, and FLF. MxPx and Unwritten Law perform Sunday, November 4, 7 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St., $15-$18, — BY DAVE LABARGE

JAZZ | Deanna Witkowski Trio

Back when Deanna Witkowski attended high school in Webster, she was studying classical piano and just beginning to discover jazz. A couple of decades later she is a successful jazz pianist living in New York City, and traveling to play and teach in Brazil and, most recently, India. In a few months she will release her fifth album, "The Chopin Project," fusing jazz and classical music. Witkowski is also a wonderful singer, and fluent in Portuguese. When she plays at the Bop Shop Monday with her excellent trio (Jeff Campbell on bass and Rich Thompson on drums) she's bound to play selections from every part of her multi-faceted career. Deanna Witkowski Trio performs Monday, November 5, 8 p.m., at Bop Shop Records, 1460 Monroe Ave., $10, 271-3354, — BY RON NETSKY

COUNTRY | The Sweetback Sisters

If your heart is aching for music of days gone by, you may want to check out The Sweetback Sisters. The Brooklyn sextet's tribute to vintage country embraces styles including honky tonk and western swing, making the band sound like it predates FM radio. Co-lead singers Zara and Emily aren't really sisters, but their sweet vocal harmonies make them major players in this juke-joint opera. The Sweetback Sisters released its debut EP "Bang!" in 2007 and was invited to perform on NPR's "A Prairie Home Companion." These days the group needs a new tour van, and its Kickstarter project offers rewards, including hand-knit socks and home-cooked chicken dinners in exchange for donations. — The Sweetback Sisters perform Thursday, November 1, 8:30 p.m., at Abilene Bar & Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, $10-$13, 232-3230, BY ROMAN DIVEZUR

POST PUNK | The Soft Moon

This San Francisco-based trio began as the intensely introspective solo project of Luis Vasquez in 2009. Vasquez has since recruited a full cast of musicians, but remains the driving creative force behind the band's self-described "post-apocalyptic" aesthetic. The Soft Moon catalog has definite roots in the 80's industrial goth scene (i.e. Joy Division), but beneath this dark, sometimes melodramatic, canopy there are moments of imposing clarity. Incorporating flashes of early post-punk and the enveloping moodiness of classic darkwave, the group's sound is eerily epic. Live performances, accompanied by "immersive video visuals," offer a complete sensory experience that is at once emotionally expansive and intriguingly insular. The Soft Moon performs Thursday, November 1, 8 p.m., at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave., $8-$12, 454-2966, — BY DAVID YOCKEL, JR.

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