Six months ago the Bowerbirds came through town near the start of a tour that has taken them across the country and throughout Europe, so their return should theoretically put a new spin on their idiosyncratic freaky, folkie indie music, originally spawned in the mountains of North Carolina. This time around the group will be pared down to mainstays Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, plus drummer Dan Westerlund. And although most of the material will come from last year's Upper Air, there may be a few new tunes. Air's moody sound is sufficiently off-kilter to suggest wild and strange things lurking out in them thar hills, among them the ragged harmonies and eccentric phrasing—both utterly fascinating—of Moore and Tacular, who sing poetically and sometimes with florid metaphors about matters of the head and heart. The music, meanwhile, elegantly lurches and meanders along a twisted path while various instruments scurry about conspiratorially—a fractured bass drum here, a flourish of piano, stray lines of accordion or fiddle—often as fleeting as actual bowerbirds. With Sharon Van Etten. 18+.
Tue., Jan. 19, 8 p.m., 2010