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This genre-defying five-piece formed at Goshen College in Indiana in 1999, and since that time has done everything in its power to prove the uselessness of musical categorization. A peerless approach to instrumental rock has earned Lotus a reputation as one of the country's most intriguing live acts. Its style layers elements of jazz and funk over a solid foundation of highly danceable electronica, and, in recent years, the band has also drawn comparisons to progressive and post-rock powerhouses such as Broken Social Scene and Tortoise. To add yet another flavor to its playful palette, these five Hoosiers decided to make a hip-hop album last year. "Monks," which has received rave reviews, features guest appearances by such MCs as Mr. Lif, Gift of Gab, Lyrics Born, and Doodlebug.

Lotus performs Wednesday, January 29, 7 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall, 204 N. Water St. $22-$25.