Even for what is ostensibly a music blog in a city without voting power, it’s difficult to avoid the headline-grabbing democratic circus that is the US election on the eve of its climax. But its two ringleaders, Clinton the Second and Trump Jnr are like adopted lead-singers, with their crowd-pleasing choruses and rhetorical harmonies. Everyone and his dog has weighed in to commentate on the divisive face-off, but one stands out for us: Madonna’s plea for “Facts!” Well, Madonna, here are some facts to cling on to. It’s our weekly music picks blog at BagThing, spanning Manchester’s diverse musical offerings.

First to the polls is the head-to-head between head-banging grunge throwbacks Crosa Rosa (Castle Hotel) and US country folky John Paul White (Deaf Institute).

Far from building walls, avant-garde jazz trio The Necks are welcomed to Band on the Wall on Tuesday 8th. Margaret Glaspy‘s best PJ Harvey impression pitches lo-fi indie ditties to a Night & Day Cafe electorate. And culinary educators Happy Meals pop to Soup Kitchen with a boxful of Francophone e-numbers.

The exit poll is strong for a Wednesday 9th spent in a Manchester music venue. Mercury-friendly melodic jazzmen GoGo Penguin make a sizeable return to the city at the Ritz; a potential influence of theirs, the house-flecked jazz of St Germain, are down the road at Albert Hall; and acoustic guitar cradler Will Varley enchants an audience at Gorilla.

From a territorial protectionist muscularity to airborne neoliberal globalisation as a loosely played metaphor between venue names, Eagle Inn is the location to catch the paradoxically monikered Avec Sans on Thursday 10th. Think Drive soundtrack if you’ve not heard them previously. Spoken word / jazz hybrid beast Robocobra Quartet channels Black Francis vocal twang with darkroom saxes. They’re developing sound and image at the Castle Hotel. Or for straight-up riot grrl punk rock, follow the screaming guitars and sloganeering to Night & Day Cafe for Las Kellies.

Fresh from proselytising with Wild Beasts and MONEY on a tour that called into the Ritz, Ardyn‘s likeable clean-cut indie sprightliness return for a headlining brood at the Castle Hotel on Friday 11th. Neko Neko‘s long-awaited album launches with a free party at Eastern Bloc Records from 6pm the same evening. The hip hop oriented electronica sampler heads a bill including DJs from Danny Drive Thru to Dan Nation.

Saturday 12th is psychday across Manchester, with countercultural assailants galore. Flamingods threaten natural security by aligning the stars at the White Hotel, while electro-acoustic polyphone Paddy Steer drums against the conventional machine at Sandbar.

It’s singer-songwriter Sunday on the 13th. Unlcuky for some who prefer sugarfree pop in which case tossing a coin between Jack Savoretti (Albert Hall) and Foy Vance (Academy 2) would be a lesser of two evils vote, much like our favourite global superpower squabblers.

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