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"If a book is a door to some dive, dank but inviting, then the title must be a sign, a neon scar above the open maw ... a harbinger of dark happenings within." So wrote critic Brett Ralph of Franz Wright"s Pulitzer Prizewinning collection of poetry, ill lit. The same is true of the work of the L.A. musicians who borrowed Wright"s title to name their band. ill lit"s latest, I Need You, exists beyond just such a shadowy maw. There, leader Daniel Ahearn fuses grainy analog effects, laptop glitch, and country harmonies to evoke altheroes like Grandaddy and Sparklehorse. When Ahearn offers to be "the gift that keeps on giving" on "Ogg Vorbis," he might as well be talking about his record, which, like any good poem, grows increasingly beautiful over time. Ill lit performs at 12 Galaxies on Thursday, June 3; call 970-9777 or visit www.12galaxies.com.

-- Nate Cavalieri The Japanese psychedelic monsters of Acid Mothers Temple (pictured above) are more prolific than rabbits on Viagra, with a ridiculously long discography and four recent releases (five if you count guitarist Makoto Kawabata"s new solo CD). Since 1995, these darlings of The Wire magazine have explored everything from ear-shattering noise-rock to minimalist drones, and all manner of trippy hippie trance in between. Amazingly, this pile of product is consistently top-notch. Live, you never know just what you"re going to get with AMT, but word from the East Coast is that the current four-member lineup is delivering "fantastic" performances. The Acid kicks in on Friday and Saturday, June 4-5, at the Bottom of the Hill; call 621-4455 or go to www.bottomofthehill.com. -- Mike Rowell

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