Some highlights (and a lowlight) from the Friday night showcases:
The Ting Tings -- Armed with a hard, sassy fusion of hooks, grooves, and indie abandon, this U.K. drum-and-guitar duo makes melody-drenched club rock that's impossible to resist.
The Watson Twins -- Judging from their lackluster set of standard-issue country-rock, the lovely look-a-likes are not only best known as backup singers (they supported Jenny Lewis on "Rabbit Fur Coat") but also best-suited for support duties, as well.
Laura Marling -- Keep this quirky teenager on your radar: the British songbird writes odd, gripping pop tunes that are deceptively delicate and never predictable.
Swati -- Kaki King meets Jimi Hendrix in Swati, a girl who knows how to make her pretty 12-string guitar scream.
David Dondero -- Conor Oberst lifted Dondero's quivering singing style and then assuaged his guilt by signing the North Carolina musician to a deal with Team Love Records. A captivating singer-songwriter.
Sia -- It's no small trick making soul music sound fresh and modern. Sia pulled it off with whimsy and style.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.