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Pan

Like sonic Serotonin, Pan opens your receptors to make everything a little bit less depressing. Major-key instrumental anthems surge and accrete and draw you into a feel-good state not unlike their pals in Fang Island and Explosions in the Sky. The South Carolina quartet recently followed up their gauntlet-hurling 2011 EP “Post Rock Is Not Dead” with These Are the Things I Love and I Want to Share Them With You. Thanks, guys!

Sat., Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., 2012

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SATAN’S CHILDREN

England’s WU LYF (World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation) make a crescendo-rich indie-rock racket that shares some DNA with music by Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. These blokes, though, seem to view their stuff less as movie-score-minus-the-movie than as alternate-universe radio fodder: WU LYF’s 2011 debut, Go Tell Fire to the Mountain, closes with a tune not unreasonably titled “Heavy Pop.” They hit NYC near the end of a U.S. tour that began at Coachella.

Thu., April 26, 9 p.m., 2012

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Explosions in the Sky

What better place to witness the cinematic grandeur of Explosions in the Sky than on the Wellmont’s proscenium stage? The group’s knack for putting echo-laden guitar melodies at the center of their expansive post-rock (meaning you might just be able to hum the tunes on your way home) and their ability to put on a compelling live performance (despite being an all-instrumental ensemble) could make tonight’s performance, particularly transcendent than usual, especially considering that theatrical setting. With the Antlers.

Mon., Oct. 3, 8 p.m., 2011

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ROCK ACTION

Mogwai are our greatest living crescendo artists; painfully deliberate sculptors of the churning, yearning, forever-burning riff. None of the tasteless end-credit emotion-tugging of Explosions in the Sky or the self-important swooning of Sigur Rós—Mogwai work widescreen magic by simply having the familiar crunch of a hard-rock band, gently peppered with a variety of understated hues. Their seventh album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will matches a few of their classic skyscrapers with some of the melody-based indie-crunch of 2003’s college radio staple Happy Songs for Happy People—all gently colored by a newish palette of Jesu-style feedback whines, Badalamenti melancholy, and searing vocoder wail. Tonight, they team with fellow Scottish art-rockers Errors, who mix a taut ’80s dance-punk energy with the burnt-end noise of modern art-loft punk-scuzz.

Thu., April 21, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., April 22, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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WELCOME TO TOMORROWLAND

Most children forced through the Machiavellian social gauntlet known as summer camp will grow up to become contributing, placid members of society. Those are the odds, anyway, not the logic. But the few who didn’t, the ones who gleefully capsized the rowboats and tried to smoke the macramé keychains, will be the ones to revisit the grand outdoors this weekend at All Tomorrow’s Parties, the delightfully decrepit festival at Kutshers Country Club in the Catskills. The intimate grounds and spontaneous performances break all the conventions of other all-star carnivals; musicians wander the grounds, unchained, for the most surreal three-day weekend of a music fan’s life. Director Jim Jarmusch curates this bill, and his angular, noisy fingerprint is well repped in Iggy and the Stooges, Sleep, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, Explosions in the Sky, Tortoise, Vivian Girls, and many more. Don’t drink the bug juice.

Sept. 3-12, 2010

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Mono

Instrumentalists Mono excel at the noodley, floaty, slow-buildup-into-kaboom! thang that other post-rock outfits such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky are best known for—currently, Mono are one of the best. This tour is in promotion of their new excellent album, Hymn to the Immortal Wind. With Maserati.

Mon., Sept. 28, 8 p.m., 2009

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MONO

Way more tasteful than Explosions In The Sky, far more skilled arrangers than Envy, Japanese post-whatever band Mono make remarkably heavy 11-minute suites that are less about abusing dynamics and more reveling in cinematic textures. Playing with a full 23-piece orchestra for the first time ever, don’t expect them to be on some Kamen-ruins-Metallica ish. The nimble bows of Wordless Music Orchestra are sure to play the dainty, icy arrangements that make Mono’s lastest mutation, Hymn To The Immortal Wind, a delicate blend of Morricone and Isis.

Fri., May 8, 7 p.m., 2009

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Mogwai Are As Brassy As Ever, and Even Jaunty For Once

Mogwai recently released a deluxe 10th-anniversary edition of their debut, Young Team, which opens with a girl testifying on the majesty of her favorite band: “If the stars had a sound, it would sound like this.” Now that’s brassy, but then Mogwai were a brassy band back in those days, what with their reputation for mocking their Britrock cohorts (“Blur are shite”) and an assumed mandate to shake the pillars of heaven via their rock action. Conveniently, they had the sound to back it up: That record did sound like the stars, like a huge, dumb shower of light and fire, all sad and epic and full of hope and kind of scary. Its final track, the 16-minute “Mogwai Fear Satan,” was such an unstable mix of brutal noise orbiting around shimmering tenderness that it was Old Gooseberry himself who needed to watch his back, not the other way around. Thus, the album became a touchstone for an entire generation of Explosions in the Sky. If you enjoyed that band’s plucky notes of wistful triumph during many a 2008 Olympic montage, you have Young Team‘s inspiration to thank.

Over the past decade, however, as Mogwai have grown increasingly adept in the studio—the production slicker, the songs shorter, sturdier, and more lustrous—they’ve perfected their craft nearly to the point of rendering it innocuous. The Hawk Is Howling doesn’t stop this slide, but it does manage to slow it down considerably. Reuniting with Andy Miller, who produced some of their earliest and best tunes (including “Helicon 1”), the band is finally taking its time again with these songs, something they’ve remained great at onstage (where their earliest songs remain staples) but have struggled with on record. In contrast to many of the tunes on recent offerings like Mr. Beast and Happy Songs for Happy People, new jams like “Scotland’s Shame” and opener “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead” (the titles are top-notch throughout) enjoy the blissful build-ups—measure by languid measure—with which the band made its name, and throughout, you can finally hear the layers of guitars, bass, and keyboards that past records compressed into a solid brick of sound.

True to form, Mogwai still balance out the beefy guitar assault of a song like “Batcat” with the atmospheric sweetness of “Local Authority,” but for the first time in their career, they manage to synthesize both approaches on “The Sun Smells Too Loud,” the band’s first jaunty tune ever, featuring a lock-step backbeat, sparkling atmospherics, and a chunky melody line. It’s a page out of Mogwai grandchildren Ratatat’s playbook, and it shows these Scots doing something we haven’t seen them do in a while: evolve. Who says you can’t teach an Old Team new tricks?

Mogwai play Terminal 5 September 18, and the ATP Festival in Catskills September 19 to 21 with My Bloody Valentine and, like, 600 other bands

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MUTE EMOTION

There’s no doubt that Austin’s Explosions in the Sky play music that we in the rock-critical complex like to call “post-rock.” For starters, they do without the vocals (that tired rock-era relic), and though they aren’t free of a flair for memorable melodies, their music is defined not by compact hooks, but by long, dramatic crescendos and intricate, lengthy stretches of instrumental interplay. Yet perhaps more than any of the band’s post-rock peers, EITS conceive their stuff as a conduit for emotion with a capital E, which is the primary reason they’ve developed a healthy sideline as film-score composers; their soundtrack for 2004’s Friday Night Lights managed to make high-school football seem pretty epic. With Lichens and Ola Podidra.

Tue., April 8, 7 p.m., 2008

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Music

Gratuitous Nudity
Pitchfork now posting naked photos of indie-rock stars for some reason.
Another reason not to look forward to the new LCD Soundsystem.

Transcendent Concert Experience
Explosions in the Sky’s quite beautiful but rather sleepy gig at the Society for Ethical Culture.
Thank god there were pews.

Imminent Medical Calamity
The woefully poor posture of the one EITS guitarist dude.
You’re gonna wind up like that chick in the attic in Pet Semetary, dawg.

Regrettable Social Malady
Saying dawg a lot.
Regrettable side effect of American Idol exposure.

Album of the Year This Week
Good lord almighty, this Pretty Ricky record.
Someone took Dave Chappelle’s “Piss on U” just a little too seriously.

Blog Dalliance
Matsuli Music (matsuli.blogspot.com) posts a bootleg of James Brown’s “Rumble in the Jungle”–affiliated 1974 gig in Zaire.
Boy, they sure do love “Sex Machine.”

TV Party
Mentally composing a parody version of the Pierces’ “Boring” to reflect your rising disgust with Lost.
Bullshit “mysteries.” More Jack whining. Too much Charlie. Boring.