Post-rock is a completely meaningless genre title. Only the most closed-minded would dump everything from Explosions in the Sky to Tortoise into the same bin for no other reason than a lack of vocals. So consider Pelican a metal band in the best, '70s-style sense of the term, just sans lead singer. Both full-length debut Australasia and 2005's breakthrough The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw combine the irony-free epic scale of Zeppelin and Sabbath with the modern complexity of Mastodon and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, without resorting to proggy theatrics. While this year's City of Echoes captures the band transitioning to a shorter, more accessible song style, the live experience should be exhilarating. Pelican performs on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Great American Music Hall at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $13-15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. J.M.
In the late '90s, Film School started out as the musical venture for local guitarist Krayg Burton, who worked with a flexible lineup that once included members of Pavement and Elephone. After releasing 2001's A Brilliant Career, the band's membership solidified a bit and Film School released an eponymous disc involving exquisitely layered sounds, judicious distortion, and shards of electronica. Alas, School's current faculty has changed once again in recent times Dave Dupuis is now on guitar, Lorelei Plotczyk currently plays bass, and James Smith is the band's drummer. To herald Hideout, the group's third release (due in September), Film School performs on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. Mark Keresman