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7 must-go April shows

Posted by Alex Pearlman  April 2, 2012 09:16 AM

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concert live music singer.jpgBy Mike Flanagan

The second half of April is so good in terms of concerts that it might do you well to get used to the idea of cramming (or just not studying) for finals ahead of time. Whether you're on the front nine, back nine, or just teeing off your twenties, there's a show that'll tug at everyone's nostalgic strings this month.

TONIGHT: Cursive (The Middle East, $16). If there’s one thing I know about Cursive, it’s that I’ll love their new album, I Am Gemini, much more next week than I do now (even though I like it pretty well already). If there are two things I know about Cursive, it’s that seeing them in an intimate setting like The Middle East will speed up the process.

Saturday, April 7: Quilt (Great Scott, $8). Quilt won me over at last year’s Homegrown III festival, and I’ve given this local act my highest endorsement several times since then. They’re as hip as the hippest of Allston bands, but they’ve got the chops to back up their fashion sense. You’d never believe that Quilt recorded its richly layered self-titled record as a three-piece until you see them pull it off flawlessly live. The term “psychedelic folk” doesn’t suit Quilt -- they’re far too fat a pigeon to fit into that tiny hole.

Saturday, April 21: Death Cab For Cutie (Wang Theater, $39.50 and up). Ben Gibbard’s Twitter feed might be the only thing more boring than his ex-wife’s music, but his band has been known to put on a worthwhile show. The rustic Wang should serve as a proper capsule for Death Cab’s timeless Millennial anthems and, in all likelihood, a worthy host for the largest Emerson College Class of 2000 reunion since LCD Soundsystem played the Orpheum two summers ago.

Sunday, April 22: Portugal. The Man (House of Blues, $22). Portugal. The Man is as prolific on the road as it is in the studio. But while too much recording leads to more misses than hits for the Alaskan rock band, there’s no such thing as too much touring. The more they play, the tighter and more confident they get, and the larger the venues and crowds grow.

Thursday, April 26: Good Old War (Paradise Rock Club, $20). You’ve probably heard Good Old War’s new single, “Calling Me Names,” flowing dimly and unobtrusively from the rafters of your neighborhood Whole Foods. If that fact discourages you from purchasing a ticket to this show, perhaps I could interest you in that Quilt show (should you not be interested already). Otherwise, enjoy one of the cleanest, sleekest, and most impressive live bands on the road today. The last time I saw Good Old War, the trio ditched Harper’s Ferry’s defective sound system, jumped off the stage with a guitar and an accordion, and played a flawless set in the middle of an ecstatic Brighton crowd. Imagine what they might sound like through the Paradise’s pristine speakers.

Saturday, April 28: The All-American Rejects (Royale, $30). Get off your high horse and let your current self melt back into your 14-year-old self as the Rejects serenade you with classics like “Swing Swing” and “My Paper Heart.” You’re not supposed to grow out of songs like those any more than you’re supposed to grow out of nostalgia; to do so would be to defeat the very purpose of either. Also, the first single, “Someday’s Gone,” off their new album is awesome in its own right. Everything you listen to is pop music, whether you like it or not, so own it!

Saturday, April 28: Archers of Loaf (The Middle East, $25). Archers of Loaf put out a masterpiece, Icky Mettle, in 1994 and broke up after a string of solid records in 1998. They reunited and toured the nostalgia circuit briefly in 2011, wrapping up just in time for me to fall in love with “Web In Front” -- and, subsequently, their entire catalog. I thought last year's tour was a one-time thing until I started looking up concerts for this list. When I saw this listing, I dropped everything and bought two tickets faster than I could remember that the show falls on my mother’s birthday weekend. I’ll figure that out later.

See a great show in March? Looking forward to a concert this month? Tell us in the comments!

Photo by blog.lolitanie.com

About Mike -- I graduated with a degree in journalism from Emerson College in December. I've done investigative work for the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and covered beats in Bridgewater and Dorchester, but my passion is music. When I'm not blurring the line between obsession and enjoyment while listening to Pavement or Bruce Springsteen, I'm punching walls over the Celtics. Twitter: @mikeflanagan2.

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