969 Charles St.
Free; 10 p.m.
In the two years since The Commonwealth played its last show, Daniel Duncan became a father, changed his writing process and formed an entirely new band. The outcome is a new EP, How to Play Pretend, in the vein of Brian Eno, Yo La Tengo and T. Rex. “I got so mad that pop music nowadays is just this craft that’s in the airwaves. Back in the day, pop music was really, really good,” he says. “With the old Commonwealth, I found myself playing weird for weird’s sake. That’s one thing I was trying to get away from big time.”
He recruited well: Split Bow violinist Rachel Blanton, Natural Geographic drummer Sean Johnson, Ut Gret cellist James Vaughn, and Chris and Corey Phelps of Nerves Jr. Bellarmine University student Jimmy Burns recorded Pretend live with scant overdubs at his Speak Up Studios, and Duncan couldn’t be happier. “I’ve never been so happy with a recording in my life. Burns knew what he was doing.” The EP sells for $5 at Friday’s show. Nerves Jr. opens around 10 p.m. as part of Nachbar’s Black Out night, when its 16 taps serve only dark beers. —Mat Herron