Sounds like: Early Green Day without the fat basslines or affected accents; the Cars without synthesizers; Cheap Trick without all the heavy sociopolitical commentary; a dude version of the Donnas.
For fans of: Pizzeria Pretzel Combos, The Drew Carey Show, singing along.
Latest release: 2008’s These Are the Good Times People, of which the lead single, “Mixed Up S.O.B.,” avoided any possibility of radio play by requiring its catchy chorus to be extensively bleeped.
Why you care: Because of band leader Chris Ballew’s very interesting solo projects. While departed fellow guitarist-singer Dave Dederer started a band with Guns N’ Roses’ 11th-most important member, Duff McKagan, Bellew, under the name the Giraffes, went on to record lo-fi solo albums in his basement about the stuffed animals of his childhood that are intensely weird and undeniably ingenious. Also, he’s got a toddler-oriented project called Caspar Babypants that’s much better than similarly situated indie rock-for-kiddies projects. And, last, because the Presidents of the United States of America are going to give the crowd everything it wants—specifically, the band’s massively popular 1995 self-titled debut, which it will perform in full, including “Lump” exactly as fans remember it, plus one extra round on the chorus.
SEE IT: The Presidents of the United States of America play Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., on Friday, Feb. 15. 9 pm. $20 advance, $22 day of show. All ages.