Brooklyn duo Devon Church and Aleska Palladino met each other in the smoking car of a train while both were backpacking across Canada. Palladino is the daughter of a New York opera singer; her own vocal talent may not be utilized in the execution of arias, but she has every bit of the necessary range to pull them off. Church once spent a year teaching English in Taiwan and India, and his ability to layer spacious guitars with exotic uses of electronic sounds proves that he is not afraid to travel into new sonic landscapes as well. Exitmusic’s full-length debut, “Passages,” has already garnered superb reviews. If this is “dream pop,” then Palladino and Church are sleeping in a sprawling, opulent bed.
Exitmusic plays Friday, June 15 at 9 p.m. at Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. $8-$10. 454-2966, bugjar.com. — BY DAVID YOCKEL, JR.
CHRISTIAN ROCK: Rock The Lakes
Rock The Lakes kicks off its summer tour in Rochester with some of Christian music’s finest artists scheduled to perform over two days. This festival updates the tradition of the Billy Graham crusades and a message from Franklin Graham will be presented each evening. Concertgoers will experience everything from Christian indie rock to holy hip-hop. Saturday’s line-up: Newsboys, The Almost, Trip Lee, Flame, Lacey from Flyleaf. Sunday’s line-up: Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Canton Jones, Lacey from Flyleaf, L’Angelus. Praise the Lord and turn up the volume.
Rock The Lakes takes place Saturday, June 16-Sunday, June 17 at 4 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium, 460 Oak St. Free. rockthelakes.org. — BY ROMAN DIVEZUR
JAZZ: Mambo Kings
Thursday will see the final concert of the season in the Hochstein “Spotlight on Faculty” series, and it promises to be a hot night of Latin jazz. Mambo Kings has been presenting music that is a fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythm and contemporary jazz since 1995. Many of the group’s compositions are original to Richard DeLaney, who also plays piano and teaches at Hochstein School of Music and Dance. Having heard the Kings myself, I dare you to try to sit still through the whole performance. The rhythms will carry you away. An artists’ reception follows the performance.
Mambo Kings play Thursday, June 14 at 7 p.m. at Hochstein School of Music & Dance, 50 N. Plymouth Ave. $5-$10. 454-4596, hochstein.org. — PALOMA A. CAPANNA
COUNTRY: Sean Patrick McGraw
He grew up in Rochester, but Nashville’s home now. And it’s the home of his music. Sean Patrick McGraw’s sound is a little closer to the bone and a little closer to the ground without grandstanding or kowtowing to country tradition. The man has spread himself out, as a support act for Toby Keith, by penning tunes for TV (“True Blood”), appearing on TV (“Jimmy Kimmel Live”), as well as throwing together material for other artists like Montgomery Gentry. McGraw serves up just the right amount of twang in a genre that’s letting it go.
Sean Patrick McGraw plays Friday, June 15, 6-11 p.m. at Simone Square at Park Point. Free. parkpointrochester.com. — BY FRANK DE BLASE
PROG ROCK: Dream Theater
Despite a revolving supporting cast, prog-rock heroes Dream Theater’s retains two of its core members — John Petrucci and John Myung (founding drummer Mike Portnoy departed a few years back). Since its birth in 1985, the group has mixed orchestral majesty with metal riffs. It’s going to sound huge in the armory.
Dream Theater performs Friday, June 15, 8 p.m. at Main Street Armory, 900 E. Main St. $39.50-$45. rochestermainstreetarmory.com. — BY FRANK DE BLASE
ALT-COUNTRY: Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros
Songwriters like Walt Wilkins have fine bands like The Mystiqueros behind them to help the medicine go down. Now, some of you that are fans of this tenacious Texas troubadour’s tunes a la carte can tolerate the heartache and honesty. Perhaps you temper it with a shot. But his songs’ tug and mule-kick remain; “Trains I Missed” comes to mind. The rest of you greenhorns can two-step to the band with one hand around something with a longneck and one arm around something with long legs. Does Abilene have sawdust?
Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros perform Friday, June 15, 9:30 p.m. at Abilene, 153 Liberty Pole Way. $10. abilenebarandlounge.com. — BY FRANK DE BLASE
INDIE POP: North Highlands
Brooklyn’s North Highlands crafts dreamy indie pop that rivals its home borough’s better-known act, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This five-piece isn’t as reverb friendly as its contemporaries, but its 2011 release, “Wild One,” does showcase the band’s knack for infectious songwriting and sing-along melodies. Lead vocalist Brenda Malvani anchors the band’s sound with her distinct intonation, which rises and crashes perfectly with the rest of the music. Four other bands also play that night, including local outfits The Demos (which will be returning from a showcase at Toronto’s North By Northeast Festival), White Picket Fence, and Branch Davidians, as well as Secret Cove.
North Highlands performs Saturday, June 16, 9 p.m. at the Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave. $7-$9. 454-2966, bugjar.com. — BY ANDY KLINGENBERGER