Balmorhea 

9 p.m. Friday, February 26. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street.

Since Balmorhea also comes from Austin, Texas, it's tempting to peg them as an acoustic version of Explosions in the Sky. Like that instrumental post-rock group, Balmorhea creates dense, swirling worlds in a short space. However, the quintet's hand-hewn discipline shines — it cuts a path between conservatory music and rustic experimentation by using orchestral instruments (violin, cello, double bass) alongside acoustic guitar, banjo and piano. Despite that somewhat limited palette, Balmorhea moves from pastoral landscapes to drone music to exercises in static and white noise. Dismiss the band as background music at your peril — the band packs as much tension, emotion and imagination into its songs as any wordsmith. Local acts Grace Basement, the Brothers Lazaroff and the Northwoods open the show.

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