Thurs, June 16, The Airborne Toxic Event
Ace of Spades, 7 p.m., $18
Sacramento, CA 95814
Aspiring novelist Mikel Jollet began Los Angeles quintet the Airborne Toxic Event in the wake of a week where his girlfriend broke up with him, he discovered his mother had cancer, and he was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Blending moody synth rock (with a neo-new wave sway reminiscent of the Killers) and chamber-pop grandiosity, the band’s 2008 self-titled debut attracted underground attention and earned it a major-label deal for April’s follow up, All at Once. Richly textured alt-rock that empties all its influences on the floor, the album can feel scattershot, but it’s delivered with all-consuming melancholy conviction and epic arena-sized ambitions. 1417 R Street, www.theairbornetoxicevent.com.