November Birthdays

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What's the use of going to work or bettering yourself when you could just stay in, huddle with the one you love and keep the cold and the outside world at bay? But then again, maybe you're better off on your own, because that love of yours might very well be seeing another girl — and a damn ugly one at that. Not to mention that the stifling mediocrity of virtually everybody you know is causing you to lose faith in humanity. So maybe you should just shut them all out now and focus on your solitude in a pre-emptive emotional health-saving strike. Such is a glimpse of the life manifesto Ypsilanti's Lightning Love seems to be extolling on its debut album, November Birthdays.

But despite the subject matter, this is not heavy, plodding maudlin indie rock. Using catchy simply melodies, sparse, twee (in the best sense of the word) instrumentation and the simple distinctive vocals of the darling Leah Diehl, Lightning Love makes subjects like the realization that your friends might very well have grown tired of your drunken antics, (you know — like when you climbed up the shaft and pissed in the elevator of an old parking garage), seem like the bouncy, sing-along subjects they were always meant to be. With a refrain of "If you know where my friends are hanging out/ If you know why they haven't been around/ If you see them please tell them to come talk to me," Lightning Love shines light on the balance between the spectacle of extroversion and second guessing and worry of shyness. Their live shows around the Detroit area have left fans eager for some recorded material beyond the bare bones demos on their My Space page. And November Birthdays truly delivers.

Friday, Jan. 23, at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-8555. With GLMS and Starling Electric.

Laura Witkowski reviews music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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