CRYSTAL CASTLES, SUUNS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Toronto's Crystal Castles is the premier electro-noise-pop duo on the planet, and they raised the bar even higher with 2010's Crystal Castles II. You'll recognize their single "Not in Love"; it's the song with Robert Smith that sounds better than anything the Cure has done in the last decade. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
YANN TIERSEN, BREATHE OWL BREATHE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The classically influenced moodscapes of French musician Yann Tiersen approach Franco-folk and avant-garde rock, but he's best known for the whimsical soundtrack to AmÉlie. Tiersen made an appealing and approachably brainy pop record with last year's Dust Lane, with catchy but compositionally complex songs—like "Fuck Me"—that could catch the ears of Andrew Bird and Broken Social Scene fans. Tiersen is joined by the mighty triumvirate of Michigan's Breathe Owl Breathe, who make engagingly daffy hippie music—shown to best effect on last year's winning Magic Central, an album that makes Breathe Owl Breathe's modus operandi (living in a cabin; skinny-dipping; making drugged-out jangle-folk tunes) sound completely irresistible. NED LANNAMANN
PEGASUS DREAM, HOUSEFIRE, VANIMAL, DOUBLEPLUSGOOD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Last fall, enterprising young electro band Pegasus Dream experienced a setback when one of their prized instruments—a keyboard that cost nearly a grand—was stolen from their vehicle. Thanks to a successful internet fundraising campaign, they drummed up enough funds not only to replace it, but also to pay for a getaway to the coast, where they dedicated themselves to exploring new material—including collaborations with visual artists. Portland transplants since 2009, the trio create dreamy dance music that draws on the lyrical posturing of Of Montreal and upbeat synth sounds of Starfucker. Tonight marks the re-release of their full length Painting Pantheons on local label Sohitek Records, plus the debut of some of the sight and sound experiments that came from that getaway. MARANDA BISH
A HAWK AND A HACKSAW, DENVER, EZZA ROSE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) A Hawk and a Handsaw's newest album, Cervantine, treads familiar ground—if you've been paying attention to folk music, you've heard this Balkan-tinged sound before. But like the best music, it rewards attention. At the edges of the music, A Hawk and a Hacksaw welcome in Middle Eastern elements, other European folk music, and even a little bit of Indian flavor. Those elements often gradually expand to take over the songs, bending them in directions you wouldn't think possible. Sometimes, as in the album closer "The Loser [Xeftilis]," flamenco and gypsy music combine to twist the song into something that sounds like a whole new genre. This is world music, and I mean that in the best, most un-Putumayo-like way possible. PAUL CONSTANT
A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.
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