The Indie Rock Triathlon of Awesome

At one time or another, virtually every college student has been frustrated by a friend or acquaintance who lords over everyone else by naming all the “indie” bands that he or she listens to/has seen/has made out with.

But what does the term even mean? Rock and roll made by people with inward-facing bellybuttons? Whatever the definition, this weekend presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see three marathon nights of legendary so-called “indie” bands in the greater Boston/Cambridge area.

What’s even better is that all three of these bands are accessible enough for pretty much anybody to show up (even you, Maroon 5 lover!) and get blown away, no prior knowledge necessary. And heck, two of them cost less than ten bucks! Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to become rock champions.

Let nothing stop you on this journey through aural paradise. Snobbery is in the ear of the beholder.

Xiu Xiu

Saturday, March 19

The Cambridge YWCA

8 p.m. Doors, 17+ with ID

$9, Tickets available at the door

More info at

An indie snob would probably begin a description of California-based indie quartet Xiu Xiu by rattling off phrases like “constructive dissonance” or “post-punk a la Joy Division” or “they got their name from a Chinese art film.” But none of that is really important.

Do you like music that’s intensely cathartic, graphically personal, and full of sweet, sweet melody? If so, download “I Luv the Valley, Oh!” from Xiu Xiu’s 2004 album Fabulous Muscles, clear out your Friday night schedule, and come to the Cambridge YWCA in Central Square at 8 p.m.

The show’s run by a cheekily-named organization called “The Critique of Pure Reason,” and in typically Kantian fashion they aren’t selling any advance tickets, so you’d better show up right around 8. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, because the YWCA is about as big as your kindergarten gymnasium, and it’s rare that you get to be so intimate in such a setting.


Sunday, March 20

The Roxy