What to Do Tonight: Black Mountain

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Remember when the alternative-rock label was a good thing? Too bad it was run into the ground by dozens of toothless, pre-packaged corporate bands, because a group like Black Mountain sure could use the tag. They mix the best parts of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Jefferson Airplane, but despite those retro influences, their music makes it clear that they’re well aware of what year it is and what’s going on around them — even if they willfully and wonderfully stay out of step with the current herd. In other words, a true alternative. Black Mountain make smart, dynamic hard rock that draws depth from a blend of psychedelic keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, and the contrasting vocals of earthy frontman Stephen McBean and the ethereal Amber Webber. The band is touring in advance of the September release of Wilderness Heart, its follow-up to 2008’s terrific In the Future. Black Mountain, with Quest for Fire play the Beachland Ballroom at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12. —Matthew Wilkening

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