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It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest gives New York’s lauded music scene a run for its cool-kid credentials. Like over-hyped Seattle, Portland is a hotbed of musical talent where everyone’s got that lo-fi-but-epic dream-pop thing mastered—M. Ward and the Decemberists come to mind. Portlanders Point Juncture, WA embody their city’s sound as well as (but, sadly, no better than) their contemporaries. On Heart To Elk, the quartet’s sophomore release, soft horns, synth-soaked melodies, and reverbed riffage play off one another like a mixture of Sufjan Stevens, Deerhunter, and the Dandy Warhols. Unlike some bands given to plinking vibraphones and cooing lyrics, Point Juncture got together to play house parties. Thus, they seem able to avoid predictable preciousness, choosing instead to mix it up with insistent drums and charging guitar that keep audiences moving.

POINT JUNCTURE, WA PERFORM WITH THE THERMALS AND THE SHAKY HANDS AT THE BLACK CAT, 1811 14TH ST. NW. $13. (202) 667-4490.