Monday, May 7, Spiritualized, Nikki Lane at Terminal 5, $35
Jason Pierce of Spiritualized is one of the great gospel songwriters of the last few decades. A strange thing to say about a pale, shaggy, effects-pedal abuser, but it's true. On every album he pushes his psych-storms of guitars, strings and feedback higher and higher, trying to find something more than just music, more than just melodic bliss. He is always trying to transcend, to become something greater. A generous man, he wants to take you along with him. And if he can't get there, he'll make sure to fill up the room with enough mind-bursting skronk that at least makes everyone swear they saw the face of the divine, if only for a second.
Tuesday, May 8-Wednesday, May 9, The Beach Boys at Beacon Theater, $59-$250
We all saw that faraway, terrified look in Brian Wilson's eyes when the reunited Beach Boys played the Grammys a few months ago, but we just don't have it in us to make fun of a living legend who's had such a hard life. We should be so lucky to be able to hear that beautiful voice in any circumstance. We'll take any opportunity, though, to make fun of bandmate Mike Love, the man who turned the Beach Boys into a toothless oldies act for the last several decades. But if the thought of seeing Wilson and company brings a little bit of pure childhood wonder to the Beacon is something you can't say no to, we understand.
Tuesday, May 8, Chairlift, Laurel Halo, The Ice Choir at Webster Hall, $18
Real talk: if Columbia Records can't turn Chairlift's "I Belong in Your Arms" into the alt-pop Summer Jam of 2012, then Columbia Records deserves to go out of business. A soul hug of a song, "Belong" is the heart-rush highlight of the New York group's sophomore album Something, a winning set of songs that finds the once overly aloof group tone down their studied cool in favor of a collection of heartfelt and sharply cut songs that revealed that these cool cats are really a bunch of softies. It's a good look for them.
Saturday, May 12, Tragedy, The Boston Strangler, Perdition, Sickoids at Le Poisson Rouge, $10
We know what you're thinking, but Tragedy is a crusty hardcore punk band, not a metal band. Good guess though. They're one of those high velocity bands that seem very impassioned about issues that the growling singer can't elucidate with his barks, but the death-before-surrender and fist pumping beats give you the gist of it.