“Shearwater, previously a good band, a solid band, has jumped ahead and entered the realm of greatness. In the past, they were an artsy alt-country/folk/baroque pop group with twee tendencies. Now, they have embraced an icy darkness that suits them better than anything a past listener could have imagined. Reference points include, but are not limited to, Talk Talk, Joy Division, Joni Mitchell, and the most dispossessed Radiohead moments.” --PopMatters
Synthesizer madness: Dan Deacon, 9 at 21 Grand. $8.
“Despite its cacophonous electronic surface, the best of Spiderman of the Rings hits the pleasure centers with a string of great pop singles. "The Crystal Cat" could almost be a straight-up surf-rock tune until the moment when Deacon's leader-of-the-pack goon croon becomes a grotesquely twisted helium shriek and the drums explode like illegal fireworks. "Okie Dokie" is basically "Wooly Bully" rewritten with Deacon's handmade tone generators and ring modulators.” --Pitchfork
New England represent: Sage Francis, 9 at the Fillmore. $25.
“Francis' relentless self-examination can strike real sparks -- he's a clear-eyed lyricist and his unorthodox flow is plenty energetic -- but he falls into mawkishness far too often. Still, this is more mature than 2005's A Healthy Distrust, boasting straightforwardly soulful production and smarter punch lines.” --Spin