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Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Spiritualized

Tonight @ the Turner Hall Ballroom - 8 p.m.

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Coinciding with alternative-rock’s increased interest in grand, studio-crafted albums, Spiritualized released its magnum opus in 1997, the space-rock symphony Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, an album that replaced the dramatic drones of Jason Pierce’s past work with Spacemen 3 with elaborate, orchestral arrangements and made ample use of the London Community Gospel Choir. Like any great album, this one had a story behind it: It was recorded after Pierce learned that his then-girl friend (and also then-keyboardist) Kate Radley had secretly married The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft. In the decade since, Pierce has toyed with Spiritualized’s sound, expanding it and contracting it from album to album, eventually returning to grand, oversized arrangements on his fine new album, Songs in A&E. This album, too, arrives with an irresistible back-story, having been recorded both before and after Pierce’s near-death bout with double pneumonia. Known for their elaborate, ever-changing live shows, the band plays an 8 p.m. show at Turner Hall tonight.