By Westley Barnes | Mar 24 2009Gig of the FortnightAnimal Collective – 27.03-2009 – TripodEvery once in a while a band comes along that makes you realise why you’re so obsessed with music in the first place. Maryland’s Animal Collective are one of the few bright sparks emerging in a time of ever-increasing musical mundanity, and their latest effort, Merriweather Post Pavillion, though only released in January, has already been named as one of the premier albums of the last few years. Excitement was rife among fans when they heard that Panda Bear, Avey Tare, Geologist and Deacon (all obvious pseudonyms of course, but why spoil the fun) were bringing their Beach Boys-inflected psychedelic harmonies to town, although gig-goers will have had to get their ticket early, because the show sold out in a mere couple of days. The lucky few hundred will gaze on wondrously as favourites such as ‘Fireworks’, ‘In The Flowers’ and ‘Bluish’ sparkle to life.Jackson Browne – 24-03-2009 - The Olympia – €71.25/€66.25Legendary west-coast singer-songwriter and “poet of the everyday”, Jackson Browne makes a rare appearance in the Olympia this month. The critical kudos which he has received throughout his career, plus the benefits of such an intimate setting, give an indication as to the reasoning behind the hefty ticket price. Fans will have high expectations, as the man responsible for evocative classics such as ‘These Days’, ‘Late for the Sky’, ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Running on Empty’ makes what could be his final visit to these shores.Messiah J and the Expert, 28-03-2009 – The Academy – €14.45Described as ‘friendly, cheery, having a laugh’, Irish rap pioneers and two-time Choice Music Award nominees Messiah J and the Expert expand their horizons for a date at the Academy, at a credit-crunching-era rate of just €14.45 a pop. The duo, best known for supporting every international hip-hop act that comes to Dublin, are reputed for their energetic and good-natured live performances, bringing you the kind of hip-hop that your mam wouldn’t frown upon, and your dad might actually like too.Bell x1 – 30-03-2009 – Vicar Street – €31D4 heroes and OC favourites Bell X1 play Vicar Street in a bid to promote their new album Blue Lights on the Runway. The band look set to blaze the Irish Top 30 once again, and remain just as obscure as they’ve ever been everywhere else. So if standing among throngs of screaming secondary school girls and their mildly interested boyfriends witnessing the most harmless, radio-friendly indie you’re likely to hear in Ireland these days is your idea of a mad night out, then Paul Noonan and Co. could be just what you’re looking for.Fujiya and Miyagi - 03-04-2009 – Tripod - €25Fujiya and Miyagi are the type of band that make you want to wear sunglasses whatever the weather. Hailing from the increasingly-hip music scene of Brighton, the band members connected, apparently, after discovering their mutual love of seventies Krautrock and nineties electro pioneers such as Aphex Twin, while sitting on the bench at a Sunday soccer league. Which gives a good indication of where their sound is coming from, but there is an added sense of groove. If you’re looking for the type of band to make your Friday night the new Saturday night, Fujiya and Miyagi are the one to watch.The Dirty Projectors28.03.09 – Crawdaddy€17YALE DROPOUT and David Byrne companion, David Longsteth, brings his eclectic sound to the Irish live scene. Hardly a stranger to novel concepts, Longsteth’s latest album, Rise Above, is an attempted word for word mimic of Black Flag’s seminal punk record – Damaged. However, rather than being a straightforward covers record, Rise Above is based on the songwriter’s memories of listening to the album as an awestruck teenager. So, if weird, commercially uncompromising indie-rock is your thing, then Crawdaddy is the place to be this fortnight.