Tuesday, July 2 at Saint Vitus Bar and Thursday, July 4 at Kent 285, Deafheaven, Marriages, Nothing, $10
Deafheaven play a very pretty form of death metal. Such a thing should not exist, and yet it does. Now, Sunbather stomps hard enough to campaign a very epic Dungeons & Dragons quest, but there's also tranquil passages of delicately reverbed guitar that will lull you into a narcoleptic trance just in time to get whiplashed from riffage. And even said riffage has much more melodic texture to it than this subgenre usually allows, as Deafheaven are wonderfully confusing band.
Thursday, July 4-Saturday, July 6 at Maxwell's, The Feelies, $25
New Jersey underground legends The Feelies started just as punk hit, ended around when alt-rock became a big business, and then got back together in 2008. Throughout their career, they've excelled at crafting anthems for nervous people who can't express their emotions normally, so they wait until they build and build, becoming ever more jittery until it all comes shaking out. They're playing three nights at Maxwell's, the legendary Hoboken music venue that incubated The Feelies and hundreds of other "college rock" legends. Maxwell's will be closing soon, which is a national tragedy. If thinking about that makes you feel a sense of grief you can't quite articulate, well, here's a fitting soundtrack.
Saturday, July 6 and Monday, July 8 at Central Park Summerstage, She & Him, Camera Obscura, $40
Now that New Girl has made Zooey Deschanel haters back off a few steps, it's time to admit that She & Him aren't just a cutesy slice of retro pastiche, but a skillful songwriting team that knows how to making sweeping, lovelorn folk ballads that are much more sonically complex than they appear at first glance, and are just too darn lovely to get dismissed just because you got sick of seeing the lead singer in every other art house movie last decade. Opening this show is Camera Obscura, who are also aces when it comes to widescreen, orchestral pop melodrama.