Mogwai have come a long, long way since emerging from Scotland in the mid-1990s as a self-declared antidote to Britpop--remember those controversial "Blur is Shite" tees? Back then, when Young Team (rightly) had hipsters swooning over quietly threatening, emotionally resonant post-rock, the quintet sneered wantonly in interviews while going individually by insipid chat-room nicknames like "Cpt. Meat" and "pLasmatroN"--as if to say that coming right out with identities in a CD sleeve was an antiquated notion. Mogwai has evolved considerably since those early days, even as the hype's cooled down, honing that standard-issue quiet-loud-quiet template into something subtler and smuggling folk (Rock Action), ambient (Happy Songs for Happy People), and metal (Mr. Beast) into its mostly-instrumental arsenal. Former contemporaries and pals have fallen by the wayside--Arab Strap broke up, while Belle & Sebastian grow less interesting with every successive record--but Mogwai's spark never dims: Witness forthcoming record The Hawk Is Howling, where the band dares to relax, somewhat. With Fuck Buttons. 18+.
Sat., Sept. 27, 6 p.m., 2008