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And although it’s down one original member, Death still rocks as hard as they used to.

With its tongue-in-cheek name and whimsical performances, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah had indie rock fans’ hearts from its first chorus of, well, clapping.

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But he sure was Italian, which I guess counts as swarthy.

Swarthiness apparently makes Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos the new standard bearer of masculinity among violinists, here to wrest the instrument from the clutches of today’s mostly “pale, female, and sylph-like” soloists, along with a few introverted, elf-like girlie-men.

Thanks to the tastemaking capacity of My Space and Live Journal, the band’s 2005 self-titled debut album generated some serious blog buzz, making the Philly/Brooklyn-based fivepiece a college radio favorite without a record label.

But while its eruption onto the scene can be traced to interwebs magic, singer Alec Ounsworth’s enticingly off-kilter, David Byrne-esque vocals, paired with the band’s indiscriminate use of instrumentation—harps, brass, xylophones, megaphones—made CYHSY one of most lauded indie acts of the mid-2000s.

(“Blonde too, in many cases.”) Kavakos might not see himself that way—in fact, nowadays, he sees himself as much a conductor as a soloist, and will perform both duties with the National Symphony Orchestra—but whatever he does, he obviously has a lot of ethnic and heteronormative stereotypes to live up to when he takes the stage.

boldly forgoes TV on the Radio’s trademark swirls of feedback and noise in favor of a pop sharpness, helping accentuate the vulnerability of lead singer Tunde Adebimpe’s voice and lyrics.Chenier pens some songs himself, but he and the group have also transformed cuts by PJ Harvey, Hank Williams, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, and Curtis Mayfield.Naturally, he and the band add the bouncy accordion tones, rubboard scraping, and percussive beats to dance tunes from his dad including “Hot Tamale Baby” and “Can’t Sit Down.” , goes like this: In 1971, four brothers formed Death, arguably the very first punk band in the world.If that piece is any indication, Saariaho’s music can be hard to wrap one’s head around.She’s particularly fond of incessant droning and weird percussion—gongs, tubular bells, thundersticks—and critics tend to attach words like “existential” to her work, which isn’t promising if you’re a fan of more fun composers like, say, Mozart.Twenty years ago, the Rentals, fronted by former Weezer bassist Matt Sharp, scored a modern rock hit with the buoyant singalong “Friends Of P.” The Rentals failed to find continued mainstream success in the same way Rivers Cuomo and Weezer did, but the band developed a cult following as its Moog-heavy power-pop confections aged.

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