The spectrum spans from safe pop bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Rilo Kiley to demonstrably scary reclusive geniuses like Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, but weirdness most often trumps more normal pop modes. Tilly & the Wall play upbeat girl rock and feature a tap-dancing percussionist. The Books make records like assemblage pioneer Joseph Cornell makes art, creating detailed literary sound collages. Brother-and-sister duos are oddly huge (i.e. The Fiery Furnaces and The Magic Numbers), and truly avant-garde bands like Animal Collective, The Unicorns, and Grizzly Bear seem to owe debts to The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, but also love fuzzy song structures and epic multi-instrumental builds. A new attraction to ’70s metal music seems to be brewing in bands like Black Mountain. And the separation between indie and just smart pop is fine: Broken Social Scene is in the flock, but Bloc Party falls just slightly outside. Superficially similar, the distinction is nonetheless clear.