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A fervent melodic-emo torch goes out, Of Montreal reveals its happy/malevolent juxtaposition, and Michelle Shocked does it her way

Emo bands don't simply die -- they issue earnest statements on their Web sites announcing their impending (nonacrimonious) breakup, do a farewell tour to give fans that One Last Night of extra-cathartic rock, and then they die. Kinda like a mortally wounded movie character who can't kick the bucket without gasping a few tragic words to his grieved lover first. That's how the Get Up Kids are going out. After a decade of carrying the fervent melodic-emo torch handed to it by Braid and Sunny Day Real Estate, the beloved Kansas City quintet is embarking on a final string of dates (and issuing a 10th-anniversary live album) before calling it quits, whereupon its members will turn such side projects as the New Amsterdams, Reggie & the Full Effect, and Koufax into their primary outlets. You'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll rock out, you'll cry some more, and then you'll begin counting the days to the 2009 reunion tour, when the Get Up Kids hit the Fillmore on Thursday, June 2; call 346-6000 or go to www.thefillmore.com for more info. -- Michael Alan Goldberg

As you've undoubtedly heard, now is a good time to be of Montreal -- just ask such critically slurped bands as the Arcade Fire, Stars, and Broken Social Scene. It's also a good time to be Of Montreal , the colorful Athens, Ga., psych-pop band fronted by ever-clever songsmith Kevin Barnes, a Willy Wonkalike figure who easily draws you into his musical world, alive with kaleidoscopic Ray Davies/Andy Partridgestyle melodies and arrangements, but whose surreal twinkle reveals something vaguely unsettling behind all that unbridled giddiness. The Sunlandic Twins -- Of Montreal's seventh studio album -- is one of the group's best and most addictive, benefiting from both that happy/malevolent juxtaposition and a sparkling instrumental palette, diverse enough to include jangly guitar fuzz, flanged-out disco-pop grooves, akimbo rhythms, George Harrisonworthy slide solos, big-top-organ interludes, and blippy nu-wave synth doodles. Judging by that, something wickedly good this way comes, as Of Montreal plays the Great American Music Hall on Thursday, June 2; call 885-0750 or go to www.gamh.com for more info. -- Michael Alan Goldberg

From the mid-'80s to the early '90s, Michelle Shocked was the alterna-folk-roots-rock queen. After immersion in the S.F., NYC, and European punk scenes, she embraced folk, and was surreptitiously recorded at a Texas festival, a taping that ended up hitting the European charts. That success led to a string of releases on Mercury Records: 1988's Short Sharp Shocked (folk rock with punk 'tude), '89's Captain Swing (obvious), and '92's Arkansas Traveler (really traditional Americana). But despite good sales, the suits balked. Mercury, fed up with morphing Michelle, quite literally pulled the plug on her gospel album, and legal clashes left Shocked unable to record for anyone. Like Sinatra, Michelle did it her way, establishing the Mighty Sound imprint. June brings the release of not one, not two, but threealbums: the eclectic Don't Ask Don't Tell, chronicling her divorce; Mexican Standoff, which explores her Hispanic heritage with a side order of raw electric blues; and Got No Strings, a collection of western-style versions of Disney songs (e.g., "Wish Upon a Star"). Catch a reinvigorated Shocked this Friday, June 3, at the Great American Music Hall; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info.-- Mark Keresman

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