POP: THE FIVE BEST GIGS

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The Independent Culture
Low Thur & Fri

Touring their seventh studio album, The Great Destroyer, this Minnesotan lo-fi ensemble flex their muscles a little with co-producer Dave Fridmann to add a darker texture to their already wondrous soundscapes. Junction, Cambridge, Thur; Royal Festival Hall, London SE1, Fri

The Research today, Mon, Wed & Thur

Gathering a healthy amount of word-of-mouth support, this babyfaced trio from Wakefield spill out quirky but catchy lo-fi pop with the aid of a bass guitar, child-size drumkit and a nine quid Casio keyboard. Uni, Plymouth, today; Uni, Cardiff, Mon; Victoria Inn, Derby, Wed; The Spitz, London E1, Thur

Goldie Lookin Chain Wed & Fri

Newport's fun-loving hip-hop monster is back on the road after a series of sold-out shows last year, and a very healthy response to their cheekily tilted debut album, Greatest Hits, which is crammed with wit and offbeat social commentary. Academy, Birmingham,Wed; Guildhall, Southampton, Fri

Even in Blackouts tomorrow to Tue

Lookout! Records signings, EIB play punk with acoustic guitars and were put together by John Jughead from Screeching Weasels and also feature members of The Queers. The Windmill, Brixton, London SW2, tomorrow; Victoria Inn, Derby, Mon; Junktion 7, Nottingham, Tue

The Bravery today, Mon & Tue

Just about the biggest hyped band of 2005 so far, New York's The Bravery already have a lot to live up to and these highly anticipated shows should determine if they're merely an 1980s rehash job or the new Cure.

Zodiac, Oxford, today; Fleece, Bristol, Mon; Astoria, London WC2, Tue

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