Fischer's Fab 5

Power-pop (or pop-punk, if you prefer) is the domain of young, energetic types -- these bands often begin when the members are in their teens. As the members age, so often their music takes on added layers, both in content and style.

The coming days offer an opportunity to hear two such bands at different stages of development, starting with the callow Phone Calls from Home Friday, July 5, at The Basement. Touring in support of Live.Love., the band is a celebration of youth.

Openers include Hollywood Red, PJ North, Fresh Wreckage, The Grey Matter and Seeking Motivation. Tickets are $8/$12.

Acquiring some depth with years is The Maine (actually from Arizona), whose fourth record, the brand-new Forever Halloween, is chock full of punchy melodies but bears some additional musical and lyrical heft. The Maine plays the Newport Music Hall (this show was originally scheduled at the A&R Music Bar) Wednesday, July 10. A Rocket to the Moon, This Century and Brighten open. Tickets are $20.



Groove masters O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) got their start while students at Ohio State University, but they're no longer a "local" band, courtesy of a foundation of heavy touring and building a fanbase among the jam-band set, then crossover success on the strength of tunes such as Love and Memories and Shattered.

The band's five members each bring a different musical history and taste in music to the band, resulting in an amalgam of rock, reggae, ska and folk blessed with a keen melodic sense and presented with musical dexterity.

With support from Andrew McMahon and Allen Stone, O.A.R. brings its Sounds of Summer tour home for a Saturday, July 6, gig at Lifestyle Communities Pavilion.

Tickets are $36/$38. Visit


L.A.'s Fitz & the Tantrums offers up a slate of tunes full of classic pop melodies housed in offbeat yet appealing structures.

Inspired by Stax and Motown, frontman Michael Fitzpatrick assembled a group of friends and friends of friends into one of the more cool and original lineups -- how many bands boast horns but no dedicated guitarist? The music boasts a '70s funk-pop soul, coated with a thin veneer of modern-pop attitude.

Touring in support of a new record, More Than Just a Dream, Fitz & the Tantrums plays Lifestyle Communities Pavilion with openers Saints of Valory and Ivy Levan Tuesday, July 9. Tickets are $25/$27. Visit


Stevie Wonder. Mich-ael Jackson. Bruno Mars.

Too soon?

Guy is money, with a gift for a classic pop/R&B melody cached in style and production value that epitomizes its era. Of course, Unorthodox Jukebox is just Mars' second record, so we'll reserve judgment for now, but the idea that he's on the family tree of some of the greats isn't that far-fetched, in The Beat's humble opinion.

The shimmering British pop siren Ellie Goulding joins Mars on tour this summer, including a stop at the Schottenstein Center Wednesday, July 10. Tickets are $49.50-$89.50. Visit


A wind-swept and dusty-road Texas songwriter in the truest sense, Eric Taylor is a classic storyteller, spinning his stories with a warm, husky baritone and deft guitar work.

If you've not sifted through the legacy of Texas songwriters, you may yet know Taylor from his songs recorded by, among others, Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett.

Spend an evening with Taylor himself Thursday, July 11, at the Red Door Tavern. Tickets are $15.