Nerd-rock disciples take note: the awkward rockers in New York’s The Subjects derived their name from an argument the band had over grammar. I imagine for the few of us who’ve actually been in a syntax-based dispute, this tidbit makes The Subjects automatically likeable. The band’s music isn’t too bad, either: snappy, off-kilter pop, balancing songs that tear through choruses with quirky riffs, followed with toned-down folk with hippie-influenced harmonies. The group’s last record was a little diddy called “With the Ease, Grace, Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings” (I’m sure there was a bitter debate over excluding the Oxford comma in the title), and if it was a little less lo-fi or minimal, there would’ve surely been a bit more buzz surrounding it. There’s not a lot of star potential in The Subjects, but the music screams the work of easygoing personalities, the kind of guys who are content to craft intelligent, modest rock that’s incrementally more appealing with each listen. (Andy Seifert)
October 8 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, (773)276-3600, at 9:30pm. $3-$8.