What's up with indie rock

Stoner space-rock band Wooden Shjips will play the Ottobar Nov. 16. Their music is an appealing mix of Suicide's stripped-down swagger and Dinosaur Jr.'s thick bands of psychedelic guitars. They play with Philly's Purling Hiss and our very own Arbouretum for a night that promises to be pleasantly heavy on fuzz.

Also at the Ottobar, on Oct. 27, is Kurt Vile. The Philadelphian heartland rocker released Wakin on a Daze, one of the year's standout albums, back in April. The album is truly a grower; while at first seeming plain, the band's muted psychedelia opens itself up to beautiful subtleties after repeated listens.

In sadder news, after seven years of face-melting riffs, Witch Hat is hanging up its, er, hat. The band plays its last show on Friday at Floristree, which also doubles as a cassette-release show for their swan song, Pig Film.

Soft Cat is already back in the studio with the venerable producer Craig Bowen, hot on the heels of this year's beautiful Lost No Labor. The group is steering away from the lush folk sounds of their first two LPs, and adding more contemporary classical influences with results sounding, at times, like the chamber-music outfit Rachel's.

Indie-rockers Me and This Army announced their new Zoo EP, recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks studio, with a free download of the first single, the very catchy and propulsive "What It Is." The song's slick and infectious chorus bodes well for the rest of the release.

Don't miss out on U+Nfest Oct. 17-19 at the Metro Gallery. Highlights from the three-day festival, put on by Unregistered Nurse booking, include Ed Schrader and his post-punk Music Beat, Roomrunner's feedback yelps, and the noise-pop stylings of Crimson Wave.

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