Tuesday To-Do: Secondhand Serenade | Rock Candy

Tuesday To-Do: Secondhand Serenade

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SECONDHAND SERENADE
8 p.m., Juanita's. $16 adv., $20 d.o.s.

Would you call me a cynic if I admitted that the first time I heard Secondhand Serenade, I immediately imagined some covert-ops mix-maker adding its weepy white-boy anthems to a torture playlist? If our government — probably rightly — thinks that Metallica and Dr. Dre represent the decadence of the West (both have been played, repetitiously and deafeningly, at U.S. military prisons around the world), then Secondhand Serenade's a good candidate as a stand-in for our self-indulgence. Like his emo brethren Five for Fighting and Dashboard Confessional, Secondhand Serenade is a band name for essentially a solo artist. Representing Menlo Park, Calif., singer/songwriter John Vesely picked the name, according to his official bio, because all of his songs are directed to his wife, which makes other listeners secondary. So that means lyrics like “my eyes are screaming for the sight of you/And tonight I'm dreaming of all the things that we've been through” delivered in epic arrangements made for faux-climaxes on “The Hills.” The kids can't get enough. He's had a video on TRL, a mention in Rolling Stone and has been MySpace's top indie artist in the past. Thriving Ivory, Cory Lamb and I Hate Kate open.

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