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Music, California Psychedelia

California Psychedelia

The new CD from San Francisco's Andrew Douglas Rothbard, Abandoned Meander, is one of those captivating, outta-nowhere masterworks. Recorded over three years on Rothbard's PowerBook, the album is trippy, lulling, and euphoric, with hints of everything from vintage Beach Boys…
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Various Artists Alright, This Time, Just the Girls (Sympathy for the Record Industry) Perhaps aiming to destroy the myth of the coy and demure "girl group," Sympathy for the Record Industry -- the stalwart independent rock 'n' roll label operated…
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Angels of Light While his countless post-punk contemporaries wallow in self-misery and miserable poetry, Michael Gira -- the former leader of avant-noise-droners Swans -- creates a ruptured synthesis of blues, folk, and rock with his new acoustic-based group. While the…
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Ben Folds Five The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (550 Music/Epic) It's always interesting, though rarely pretty, to watch what happens to a novelty act when the novelty starts to wear off. So: You're a trio, but you call yourself…
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Country Teasers Destroy All Human Life (Fat Possum) When we think of misanthropic music, the first things to come to mind are probably punk, industrial-noise, and heavy metal. After all, their sounds are laden with aggressive, distorted guitars, and rhythms…
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(Young) Pioneers Free the (Young) Pioneers Now! (Lookout) It's a common misconception that punk rock is nihilistic and destructive. On the surface, punk's language and style certainly evince a cynical worldview, but within all of punk's vitriolic reactions against the…
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Jarboe Anhedoniac (Self-Released) In the short time since the cathartic obliteration of Swans at the beginning of this year, each of the band's two principals has issued a solo album that illustrates the visceral tug of war within the group's…
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Lesbian Favorites: Women Like Us (Rhino) "Womyn's music" pioneers Alix Dobkin and Cris Williamson strummed their way into Sapphic infamy as part of a separatist movement. Back in the 1970s, these women wrote their own songs, ran their own labels,…
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