The abundance of similarly named bands has our heads spinning. We help you sort them out.

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Deer Tick
Shane McCauley
Deer Tick
Who: This five-piece from Providence, R.I., began as a solo project by singer-guitarist John McCauley. Their music — country-rock with a dollop of indie-folk — sounds like the commotion of tailgating tunes you’d hear in a parking lot before a Monsters of Folk concert.

The Essentials: The Brian Williams–approved (yes, that Brian Williams) “Dirty Dishes” (off 2007’s War Elephant); the 2010 single “20 Miles,” which we presume Williams also digs.

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Deerhunter
Deerhunter
Who: A quartet from Atlanta started by singer-guitarist Bradford Cox. Both Deerhunter and Cox’s solo project, the Atlas Sound, occasionally sound like the hum of a parking lot before an Animal Collective show. Think ambient rock with a smidge of roots-revival.

The Essentials: “Revival” and “Memory Boy,” both from 2010’s Halcyon Digest, are stacked high with guitars — but not as high as Cox’s voice, which always hovers like a cloud.



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aw_07152011-it-name-game4.jpg Friendly Fires, “Helpless” Pala (XL Recordings, $10)
Lyrically Speaking

“That fix won’t 
keep the fool from coming 
back for more.”