Some bands are lovable because they sound so dumb: Take the Pipettes or Metallica, for instance. Local jangle freak-pop band 20 Minute Loop is just the opposite, with a distinct sound that says, "These people are perfectly nice, but they are smarter than you and know it. Fear them slightly. They can do math." It's the sound of many other musical aggregations, like early R.E.M. or the Pixies or Sonic Youth. Sudden tempo changes, a total lack of normal chord structure, and difficult vocal harmonies are typical 20 Minute Loop touches, but the overall effect is far from challenging. In fact, it's charming and pretty it's pop, after all. Interestingly, the group's three full-length CDs hardly do justice to its live show, which is even better and smarter.
Fri., Nov. 9, 9:30 p.m., 2007