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Music Critics' Picks: Halcyonaire, Maroon 5, Father Murphy

March 28-30: Live music in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Father Murphy / photo courtesy of Facebook

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Oakland five-piece Halcyonaire approach the genre of country music from a roundabout way. Much like bands like Phosphorescent, the music is less about approximating the sound of country than it is about creating a hazy mirage of what country feels like. These are drifting songs that have a relatively loose structure, content to just let the music go at its own pace. There seems to be an underlying spirituality to Halcyonaire (they started a project called Soundings, where they would do field recordings of their songs in majestic places like Anza-Borrego Desert, which they claim imbues the music with a certain indescribable vibe) but, lest you be scared off, the music itself doesn't come across as too touchy-feely. The closest they come to a New Age-y feel is the trilling bits of psychedelia that live on the outskirts of their songs. {REV. ADAM MCKINNEY}

HALCYONAIRE, w/ Coma Figura, Hot Cops, Full Moon Radio, 8 p.m., Bob's Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, $5, 253.475.9843


It's been 11 years since Maroon 5 smashed into the public consciousness with "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved," though "Harder to Breathe," the first single from that same album, actually reached #18 two years earlier. (Overnight success is a funny thing.) Since then, Adam Levine's distinctively high-pitched tenor has been ubiquitous on iPods and radio dials around the world. The band's fifth - or sixth, if we're counting Kara's Flowers - studio album, V, boasts three top-five singles thus far. Now its tour marches triumphantly into the Dome. Will the arena be full of screaming admirers, swooning each time Levine flexes his narrow but yoga-toned frame? Our Magic 8 Ball says, "You may rely on it." After all, Levine is People's Sexiest Man Alive. Will the encore include "Moves Like Jagger?" The Magic 8 Ball says, "Signs point to yes." {CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL}

MAROON 5, 7:30 p.m. Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, $26.50-$122 at Ticketmaster, 253.272.3663


From the anthemic rage of Manic Street Preachers' The Holy Bible to John Lennon's weary look into the unknown on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, musicians confronting their feelings on religion can often be a harrowing experience. Italian duo Father Murphy take this spiritual struggle to its next logical, roaring step. The band describes its music as being the aural embodiment of Catholic guilt. Powered by industrial drum machines and searing guitars, the stark sound of Father Murphy most closely resembles the similarly disturbing work of Suicide. There's rarely a moment to pull you out of the doom-ridden landscape as painted by Father Murphy - no light at the end of the tunnel. This is music made by two people deeply shaped by the psychotic world of religion, doing their best to pierce through the howling void of existential terror. {REV. AM}

FATHER MURPHY, w/ Jen Grady, Angelo Spencer, 8 p.m., Deadbeat Olympia, 226 N. Division St., Olympia, $5, 360.943.0662

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