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DECEMBER 6

When was the last time you had your heart pushed up into your throat by an album? Jason Pierce, the obsessive leader of Spiritualized, knows how rare it is to have modern music reach deep inside and emotionally grip you. In pop, everything is tossed off like pennies into a fountain just hoping to hit upon a wish. But Pierce doesn’t leave his musical desires to chance; his three albums with Spiritualized (after years with Spacemen 3) are as meticulously sculpted and heartfelt as the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and as distinctive as My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. The group’s latest masterpiece, Ladies and gentleman we are floating in space, has a wry title, but Pierce’s sentiments are anything but ironic. The album charts the breakdown of his relationship with the band’s keyboardist, Kate Radley, and Pierce’s need for something—namely, drugs—to fill the void. From the full-on squealing R&B car wreck that is “Electricity” (“I need someone to help me/Turn it on”) to the bruising black and blues of “Come Together” (“Those tracks of time/Those tracks of mine”) to the sad but witty, gospel-tinged “I Think I’m in Love” (“Love in the middle of the afternoon/Just me, and my spike, and my arm, and my spoon/Feel the warmth of the sun in the room/But I don’t care about you/And I got nothing”), Pierce exhaustively explores the dangerous intersection of the two things that make him feel both fine and fucked up. See Spiritualized turn it on like no other with Acetone at 7 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Christopher Porter)