Motion City Soundtrack, Duncan Sheik, Megadeth and the Arianna String Quartet highlight this week's Fab Five.

Minneapolis' Motion City Soundtrack knows a good power chord when it plays it.

A Critic Crony who never misses a MCS show called the power-pop quintet "the fourth-best band to come out of Minneapolis, after The Replacements, Prince and Bob Mould. Which still makes you one of the better losers."

The "losers" moniker is especially apt, as the band sings of post-teen angst and love's vicissitudes, yet somehow makes it so much fun.

As the band has matured, the fun hasn't dissipated (which is a plus in our book). Witness the band's latest, Go.

MCS leads a fist-pumping show, with Now, Now and Jukebox the Ghost Friday, Nov. 16, at the Newport Music Hall. Tickets are $20/$22. Visit

When The Beat saw singer/guitarist Brian Ashley Jones a few years back, he was backed by an upright bass player who, we learned upon Jones' introduction, was Tisha Simeral, a Reynoldsburg native.

A one-time teacher at Capital University and Fort Hayes Career Center, Simeral is now based in Nashville, where she is a much-sought-after bassist.

The team of Jones and Simeral returns to Columbus for a Friday, Nov. 16, show at the Columbus Performing Arts Center. For his part, Jones is a marvelous player and boasts a resonant voice.

They open for Canadian singer-songwriter John Wort Hannam in a gig sponsored by Six String concerts. Tickets are $20/$23. Visit

Decide for yourself whether the hook for you is hearing one of the world's foremost string quartets perform live or that the program includes a modern piece by a fascinating and honored young composer.

Either way, the Jefferson Signature Series concert featuring the Arianna String Quartet, Sunday, Nov. 18, at the Columbus Museum of Art, has you covered.

The award-winning quartet's program includes works by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, as well as Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout, by Gabriela Lena Frank, whose compositions are inspired by her research into her own multicultural heritage – her father is an American of Lithuanian/Jewish descent who was serving with the Peace Corps in Peru when he met her mother, a woman of Peruvian/ Chinese ancestry.

Tickets are $25/$20/$10. Call 614-292-2693.

Tunesmith Duncan Sheik did well for himself in the '90s as a smart pop artist (remember Barely Breathing?) – sort of a bridge between Toad the Wet Sprocket and Sufjan Stevens.

Recently he made a name for himself as co-writer of the songs for the Tony Award-winning musical, Spring Awakening.

Sheik's return to pop music includes a record called Covers 80s, in which he reimagines the tunes of some Euro-pop stars, including The Smiths, New Order and The Cure.

Sheik headlines the Sunset Sessions Tour, which also includes a shimmering young quartet from Austin, Texas, called Courrier. Think Coldplay, but forged in the fires of the American southwest.

The tour stops at The Basement Sunday, Nov. 18. Tickets are $17/$20. Visit

Technically proficient and sonically massive, Megadeth rightly holds forth as one of the "Big Four" of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax.

Frontman Dave Mustane has never met a tour he didn't like, and these days most often opts to team up with young up-and-comers – in this case, SoCal trio Kyng.

The tour visits Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Tuesday, Nov. 20. Tickets are $36. Visit