THURSDAY

Cambridge, Mass.,’s Cul de Sac has mined the area between rock and a soft place since its inception in 1990, when leader Glenn Jones teamed up with synth-and-electronics boffin Robin Amos. Hearing the band’s powerful trancescapes, somewhere between world music and pure psychedelic rock, is like getting a stick thrust into your mind’s eye: Just as Jones’ meditative guitar lines begin to soothe your soul, the band busts into a primal groove that sounds like the Velvet Underground jamming on a Can track. Following The Epiphany of Glenn Jones, 1997’s tempestuous collaboration between the band and avant-folk guitar hero John Fahey, Crashes to Light, Minutes to its Fall, Cul de Sac’s fifth album, is its most wide-open release to date. Sounding at times like Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive” or the Doors—minus Jim Morrison’s bad poetry—Crashes to Light updates ’60s psych with blasts of Middle Eastern guitar, surf-tune twangs, and effects that swoop in like spaceships to take your mind to a brave new world. The underappreciated Emergent Music Forum hosts Cul de Sac along with Spaceheads and Kaffie Matthews at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. $5. (202) 462-3213. (Christopher Porter)