Neko Case (Sept 20 at the Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe St.) – Vancouver likes to claim Neko Case as one of our own, due to the Tacoma-raised singer/songwriter’s lengthy stay here back in the ’90s (she attended art school and played drums in all-girl punk-pop trio Maow). Case, who now lives back in the U.S., is on tour for her latest album, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. Vancouver’s Wake Owl opens. Doors: 7 p.m. Tickets: $28.50 – $35.50 at ticketmaster.ca, reserved seating.
Islands (Sept 21 at the Media Club, 695 Cambie St.) - Now based in L.A., Islands first formed in Montreal in 2005. The indie-rock band is on tour for its latest, Ski Mask, the follow-up to last year’s somber A Sleep and a Forgetting. Up-and-coming Vancouver band Bear Mountain opens. Show: 8:30. Tickets: $15 at ticketweb.ca.
The National (Sept 22 at the PNE Amphitheatre, 2901 E. Hastings) – Known for their sartorial splendour and a lead singer with an arresting baritone, Brooklyn’s The National has become an established indie-rock band since releasing its first album 14 years ago. The moody alt-rockers return with a new album, Trouble Will Find Me. Frightened Rabbit opens. Doors: 5 p.m. Tickets: $40 at ticketleader.ca. All-ages, general admission.
Young Galaxy (Sept 26 at Electric Owl, 926 Main St) – Originally formed in Vancouver, Young Galaxy is a dynamic female-fronted electro-pop act. The Montreal-based group’s latest, Ultramarine, is on the shortlist for the Polaris Music Prize (the Canadian equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize in the U.K.), and sounds like it just stepped off a plane that left the tarmac in 1983. Show: 9:30. Tickets: $15 at ticketweb.ca.
Jake Bugg (Sept. 27 at the Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville St.) – Jake Bugg is breaking out – big-time. The London singer/songwriter’s “Lightning Bolt” is a certifiable hit, with over six million hits on YouTube. It’s a great, catchy folk-rock song, influenced by Billy Bragg. Opener honeyhoney is an L.A.-based duo made up of Suzanne Santo (vocals/banjo/violin) and Ben Jaffe (vocals/guitar) that looks like it was cut from the same cloth as The Civil Wars. All-ages. Show: 8 p.m. Tickets: $15 at northerntickets.com.
Little Boots (Sept. 28 at Fortune Sound Club, 147 E. Pender St.) – UK electro-pop recording artist Little Boots (Victoria Hesketh) returns to Vancouver with a new album, Nocturnes, her first full-length since her 2009 debut Hands. Electronic recording artist MNDR (Amanda Warner) opens. Show: 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 at ticketweb.ca.