Spring Arts Guide: The Feelies Get Perpetually Nervous All Over Again

Plus CSS, Adele, and other spring music picks

PJ Harvey
April 19 and 20
With her studious attention to genre and history, Polly Jean Harvey is a formalist. Protest songs are not her usual form. Still, she applies her prodigious musicological skills to chilling anthems of war and country on Let England Shake, pushing her voice—what a soprano!—and compositional talent to new levels. But lyrically, she’s no Billy Bragg. Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street, terminal5nyc.com

The Raveonettes
April 20 and 21
Imagine Jesus and Mary Chain, unplugged, with Hope Sandoval on vocals. On new album Raven in the Grave, the Danish duo drop the drum boom from their shimmering, echoing wall of goth, making them sound sadder than ever on songs about evil seeds and the summer moon. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, musichallofwilliamsburg.com

April 26
OK, so they go for the tear-jerking cute-pet trick on their new video, “Just for Show.” Hey, I’ve felt like that retriever. Atmosphere is one of the smartest hip-hop groups ever to hail from Minneapolis, and then some. On the tour for new album The Family Sign, rapper Slug and producer Ant will be joined by a guitarist and keyboardist, plus Rhymesayers labelmates Blueprint, Grieves with Budo, Sab the Artist and DJ Abilities. Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street, terminal5nyc.com

Femi Kuti (and the Positive Force)
April 27
The son of Nigerian musical legend Fela blows a mean sax and puts on a feverishly sweat-inducing show of his own. If you’ve only seen the Broadway simulacrum of Afrobeat, here’s your chance to experience the real thing. Bring your dancing shoes. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, musichallofwilliamsburg.com

May 11 and May 12
CSS’s name puns a computer-geek term and the Portuguese phrase for being sexy. Accordingly, Sao Pãulo’s answer to electroclash use both girl power and social media to spread their just-wanna-have-fun dance pop. Third album is in the works. May 11, Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, websterhall.com; May 12, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, musichallofwilliamsburg.com

Elvis Costello and the Imposters
May 18 and May 22–23
The Spectacular Spinning Songbook is the stuff of musical legend. In the 25 years since he last trotted out the much-loved wheel, Costello has added quite a few pages to that book. Lucky fans will “win” one of 40 selections, and the chance to hang out onstage, in either the “Hostage to Fortune Go-Go Cage” or the “Society Lounge,” to hear it performed. Elvis doesn’t need a gimmick, but it’s a good one. May 18, Wellmont Theatre, 5 Seymour Street, Montclair, New Jersey, wellmonttheatre.com; May 22 and 23, Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, beacontheatre.com

May 19
What sophomore slump? Adele’s second album is so nigh unto perfect in its husky, throbbing, old-fashioned soul, it’s hard to believe the English singer is merely, as the album title says, 21. Yes, she’s the heiress apparent to Van Morrison and Dusty Springfield—she even earns the comparison that all the American divas overshoot, Aretha. With a touch of Natalie Maines. Album of the year? Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, beacontheatre.com

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