Meet us in the middle

Hey Rosetta! hails from St. John's, Newfoundland, the most easterly point of Canada. Hot Hot Heat are based in Vancouver, British Columbia-- the opposite end of the country. Beyond geography, there is a lot that separates these two bands, but this Saturday they meet in the middle of North America to play the Pike Room of the Crofoot in Pontiac.

The scene is somewhat reminiscent of the Dan Mangan/The Wooden Birds bill last month: darlings of the Canadian indie scene gaining exposure in the U.S. thanks to vets with an established American audience. Formed in 2005, Hey Rosetta! released their first album, Plan Your Escape, in 2007 to much acclaim, followed by the stunningly beautiful, award-winning and 2009 Polaris Music Prize short-listed Into Your Lungs. Like Mangan, they deserve to be discovered here.

Hot Hot Heat has paid their dues and won a few awards themselves over 11 years of recording and touring. Hits from 2002's Make Up the Breakdown ("Bandages"), 2005's Elevator ("Middle of Nowhere," "Goodnight Goodnight") and Happiness Ltd.-- which will have been released exactly two years from Saturday's concert date-- have received regular airplay on Detroit/Windsor radio stations like 89X and 93.9 The River. Lead singer Steve Bays might describe the inspiration for their latest album, Future Breeds, as “Basically, if it sounded like something we’d done before, then it was like we were cheating," but their brash sound is as popular as ever. (Photo by Darren Ankeman)