No Use for a Name, Polyphonic Spree, Cowboy Junkies -- ASD's Live Music Picks for Tuesday, July 17

No Use for a Name, 9 at Bottom of the Hill. $12.
“There are few bands who, after 20 years of service to the rock, can boast the sort of workman-like approach to their craft as No Use for a Name. Through a generation, singer/guitarist Tony Sly weathered lineup changes nearly on par with Menudo, drilled through eight studio albums, logged a zillion, give or take, miles on tour and an enjoyed an unflagging devotion to Fat Wreck Chords. All the while his output's stayed, more less, unflaggingly constant: Skate-punk and hardcore tempos, a pair of Marshall-stack guitars and enough pop-punk melodies to help define the genre's mid-'90s explosion of popularity." -- Aversion

Polyphonic Spree, 8 at Great American Music Hall. $22.
“A group as physically and thematically huge as the Spree can't help but be sonically imposing, and Army delivers typically confetti-strewn numbers like "Running Away" and "Get Up And Go." Such hugeness can be either exhilarating or tiresome, depending on the listener's capacity for joyful crescendos and enthusiastic shouting. But the album's most intriguing moments come when the church-choir antics are scaled back in favor of some introspection (well, as much introspection as a 24-plus-member orchestral outfit can manage). Songs like the politically charged title track confirm that there's more to the Spree than sugar-addled prancing; after all, even the sunniest optimism can't exist without an awareness of the forces that threaten it." -- A.V. Club

Cowboy Junkies, 7:30 at Mountain Winery. $32/39.50/49.50
“If anyone has the right to make an album about family, it’s the Cowboy Junkies. Driven by the brother/sister combo of lead songwriter/guitarist Michael Timmons and vocalist Margo Timmons, the band also boasts a third Timmons, brother Peter, on drums. Since debuting in 1986, and capturing the public eye in 1988 with their languid cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”, the Junkies’ sound has grown increasingly thorny. It’s an evolution that serves them well here, because, as most people can attest, family is complicated." -- PopMatters

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