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Jessica Long & the New Kind, Brandon Kirkley & the Firecrackers, Old Avenue 

When: Wed., Jan. 16, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $7

It's a shame that Jessica Long & the New Kind largely flies under the radar locally; the Durham quintet seems poised for a big breakthrough with its polished pop-rock. The band propels dynamic tunes such as "Simple" and "1234" with enormous hooks. Long's enchanting voice commandeers the spotlight, whether the New Kind are playing arena-sized rockers, slightly folky acoustic jangles, charming ukulele-driven ditties or graceful piano ballads. Between Long's vocal talent and her band's versatility and flash, it's a combination that should have labels lurking soon. Old Avenue and Brandon Kirkley & the Firecrackers open. —Spencer Griffith

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