Come see The Rants open for former Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis, who they say is a whiner.

Wait, just kidding. Local twister-pop favorites The Rants, make music that”s so deceptively candy-sweet and exuberant, they could never say such a thing.

The Ann Arbor quartet”s snarky version of the American rock “n” roll dream salutes “50s rock, winks at “60s pop and then gives the both of them the finger and decides to do their own thing. Pay attention, class: If Sly and the Family Stone were white and spent all their time hanging out at the roller rink listening to Beck”s Midnite Vultures and Devo, sucking down homemade acid tabs and caffeine, what would that add up to? Correct that would be The Rants.

They”re like the 1983 Adidas socks you bought on ebay: Cheap, warm and damned good looking. Oh, and almost but not quite retro.

Their nod to kitsch is a musical version of pop art. Lyrics like “muscle cars and cheap sunglasses/bobby socks and fake mustaches,” roll off their tongues in the same deadpan-yet-celebratory spirit that inspired Andy Warhol to paint 32 nearly identical cans of Campbell”s soup. Did Warhol really like those Campbell”s soup designs, or was he just being sarcastic? Do The Rants really like doo-wop melodies and the Talking Heads, or are they just being clever?

Who cares? As Andy himself said, “I don”t know where the artificial stops and the real begins.” And with lyrics that take the listener on a journey through god knows where, like “headed out west, tried to rearrange/sold my best cowboy shirt for a burrito and some change/living with hookers, thugs and toilet seats/drank so much whiskey, thought that it was drinkin” me,” it”s a lot more fun not knowing.

So, everybody”s going to be there this Friday, and we”ve got our mom”s station wagon and a fake ID. Grab your best friend and snazziest pair of shoes and go! The Rants” music won”t prevent you from becoming a scourge and a menace to society, but they will slap you silly if you don”t dance. Are you out, or are you in?

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