The Aviation Orange

The Aviation OrangeTHE AVIATION ORANGE (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie Pop: Rising up out of the same angular, New Wave womb as any number of recent Brooklyn-based bands, this fivesome distinguishes itself from the pack by way of dueling boy/girl vocals and a nod toward John Hughes’ ’80s soundtracks. Don’t be surprised if the band’s name is likely a reference to Sparks, the fizzy, Orange-hued alcoholic drink that would seem the elixir of choice when listening to this high-flying, sugary stuff.

Dig: Interpol doing Duran Duran covers, The Killers minus the pompousness. (Jason Gargano)

Below Zero Lounge 9:30 p.m. Check them out on Myspace

The Eagle to Squirrel Variety Hour

Eagle to SquirrelTHE EAGLE TO SQUIRREL VARIETY HOUR (Cincinnati) Electronic/Experimental/Hip Hop: Veering wildly from poetry slam to Hip Hop jam to Electronic blip fest to Dance beat craziness to Jazz disrhythmia, The Eagle to Squirrel Variety Hour offers up something for everyone. Gape slackjawed at the band’s Klezmer tribute to Pulp Fiction and Dick Dale on “Miserlou.” Be amazed that anyone but you knows dialogue from Buckaroo Banzai. Check out the bachelor-pad-in-space homage to Alien. Weird doesn’t get any better than Eagle to Squirrel.

Dig: They Might Be Giants collaborating with Gorillaz on a tribute to every cool movie ever made. (BB)

Subway Bar & Grill 10 p.m. Friday Check them out on Myspace

The Pinstripes

The PinstripesTHE PINSTRIPES (Cincinnati) Ska/Reggae: Winners of the 2007 CEA for Best World Band, the Pinstripes don’t merely play Ska and Reggae, they inhabit the sound like it’s a ramshackle house that’s keeping them alive. Tight but never slick, fun but never goofy, intense but never serious, The Pinstripes (a hard-touring band with a hard-won following) combine Ska, Reggae, Dub and Soul to create something that is genuinely lacking in a great deal of contemporary music: Joy. The band’s latest album, Midwest Soundclash, just dropped this month.

Dig: The Specials time travel back to ’60s Jamaica and become Studio One superstars. (BB)

Lodge Bar 11 p.m. Friday Check them out on Myspace

The Jack Fords

The Jack FordsTHE JACK FORDS (Cleveland) Americana/Folk Rock: The Jack Fords assembled in 2005, released their debut album Bent Outta Shape — a live set, no less — in 2006 and were anointed Best Rock Band in Cleveland by the Free Times readers in 2007. In a perfect world, that timeline would have continued with a Rolling Stone cover in 2008 and arena-sized platinum paydays this year, but that’s not how it works and they know it. The Jack Fords don’t mind the hard work, because they know it’ll only take one taste to get you hooked. And the only 12 steps you’ll take are to the merch table to get a CD and a T-shirt.

Dig: The Black Crowes as upper Midwestern Rock hounds and with their Faces fetish intact. (Brian Baker)

Arnold’s Bar and Grill 11 p.m. Friday Check them out on Myspace

The States

The StatesTHE STATES (Brooklyn, N.Y.) Indie/Rock: There probably aren’t a ton of bands that form at Harvard and then pursue a career in the Indie Rock world after graduation. But that’s exactly what singer/guitarist Chris Snyder ended up doing with The States. Immediately after school was done, The States relocated to the hipster haven of Brooklyn and haven’t looked back. The band has a high-ceilinged, dramatic sound that has been compared to the likes of Radiohead and Muse, while lyrically the band has explored social and political issues from a more character-based viewpoint rather than a didactic one. The States were winners in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the International Songwriting Contest, and the group’s music has been featured on VH-1, MTV and ESPN. The band’s new EP, We Are The Erasers (out just in time for MidPoint), was produced by Chris Grainger, who has worked with Wilco, Sixpence None The Richer and Switchfoot. Smart guys rock!

Dig: U2’s first three albums, We Are Scientists, Keane. (MB)

Lodge Bar 10 p.m. Thursday Check them out on Myspace