The Morning Benders
Bottom of the Hill
The Morning Benders perform with Miniature Tigers and A B & the Sea on Thursday, Dec. 31, at 10 p.m., $20; 621-4455 or www.bottomofthehill.com.
Following last year's much-loved Talking Through Tin Cans, Berkeley pop hopefuls the Morning Benders have just wrapped Big Echo, their second album. Due in March on Rough Trade, it was produced with Grizzly Bear's visionary Chris Taylor. An acoustic MySpace demo for "Hand Me Downs" sounds a bit Shins-ish, but the best way to preview the material is to catch this New Year's Eve set. Make sure also to witness Miniature Tigers, whose debut album, Tell It to the Volcano, is the catchiest, cleverest guitar-pop this side of Telekinesis.