REACH FOR THE SKIES WITH FANG ISLAND'S POSI-ROCK
Call it what you will. If you catch me at the right moment, I could say Fang Island are life-affirming. They ooze sincerity in their reach-for-the-skies, joyful guitar shredding, but with riffs so ebullient and lyrics that read like something on my orthodontist's office wall (the first track on their new album features the mantra "All I know/I learned in/kindergarten"), they start to sound endearingly goofy after a while. This positivity makes it hard to classify the complex sheen of Fang Island. It would be easy to call them math-rock, but the music isn't dissonant enough, or prog, but, despite its fair share of searing guitar solos, the songs don't show off enough. Even the closest artist comparisons I can conceive of have some qualifiers, like Andrew W.K. without the shtick, or a less ostentatious (and therefore tolerable) Muse. Zechs Marquise sputter around in mystic-prog sorcery (so it's all pretty trippy, man), and it shouldn't come as a surprise that three of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's brothers play in the band. With Jenny Invert. Crocodile, 8 pm, $10.
SHARON VAN ETTEN'S TRIUMPHANT SAD-BASTARD MUSIC
This summer, I've tried to cut out as much sad-bastard music from my life as possible (you know, the living is easy, there's dancing in the street, etc.), but seeing Sharon Van Etten is one of a handful of exceptions I'll make. Her performance in Seattle this past March knocked the wind out of me, as she balanced tender and poignant confessionals about bad loving with stunning guitar work. It's not a total bummersville, though, as Van Etten, by singing of all the mistakes she has made in relationships, comes out sounding triumphant with her powerful delivery. In the words of a fellow admirer who stood next to me at the show, it was all "Patti Smith gorgeous." And if you're looking to see some music better suited for the summertime, the airy catamaran-rock of opener Tennis should leave you satisfied. With Lemolo. Neptune Theater, 8 pm, $17.