Tonight: Bear In Heaven with High Places and Freelance Whales at the Crocodile

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Bear In Heaven, with High Places, Freelance Whales. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. 7 p.m. $10. We don't automatically associate the Deep South with spacey, synthy rock music, but that's exactly what we get from Bear In Heaven, whose five members all hail from either Georgia or Alabama. Last year's Beast Rest Forth Mouth is a paradoxical marriage of tension and meandering. Songs like "Wholehearted Mess" combine Jon Philpot's soft-spoken vocals and Joe Stickney's brisk and flashy drumming into a flighty, showy sound. The music is much too grandiose to be arbitrary, though, especially during moments like on Beast's first single, "Lovesick Teenagers," when the synths are hammering and Philphot, with an undercurrent of urgency, sings, "Lovesick teenagers don't ever die/They will live forever." ERIN K. THOMPSON

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