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Music, Architecture in Helsinki Finds a Lean New Sound

Architecture in Helsinki Finds a Lean New Sound

Restrained isn't a word typically applicable to Architecture in Helsinki. The group has taken quite the opposite approach for most of its career, turning out colorful, sprightly indie pop that's more likely to go all in than hold back. This…
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Calendar, Night&Day Just Boxers — No Briefs

Just Boxers — No Briefs

In what may be the greatest nerd fight since those two LARPers were immortalized by Google Street View, Boxwars SF is the venue for a deliriously ridiculous (and awesome) DIY battle royale. Bearing the tagline "fight or be recycled," Boxwars…
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Music, BeatBox FreQ Nasty: Show Preview

FreQ Nasty: Show Preview

Party promoters Raindance and An-ten-nae are gathering quite a walloping sock hop to celebrate Chinese New Year with the "Monsters of Bass" tour featuring DJ and producer FreQ Nasty. Time and the demise of the record business have picked off…
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Film, David Michôd interview: "Animal Kingdom" director debuts strong

David Michôd interview: "Animal Kingdom" director debuts strong

Debut films usually come with qualifications. They have limited budgets and scopes. They get called "small," patted on the head, and judged on a curve. Which is precisely what Australian writer-director David Michôd, whose first feature, Animal Kingdom, opens this…
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Film, "Animal Kingdom": Aussie crime saga suffers for its ambition

"Animal Kingdom": Aussie crime saga suffers for its ambition

Happily sampling nasty beats and riffs from the Scorsese catalog, the new Aussie crime saga Animal Kingdom begins with a hushed but breath-holding set piece: A gawky lad watches TV on the couch next to his dozing mum ... until…
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Music, Beaches break into Australia's heavy psych scene

Beaches break into Australia's heavy psych scene

The Australian band Beaches isn't an all-woman supergroup, although its five members play in other bands and a few perceptive fans might recognize guitarist Antonia Sellbach from the trio Love of Diagrams, which was briefly signed to Matador. Considering the…
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Music, Hear This Discord Down Under

Discord Down Under

Melbourne's the Drones are much more turbulent than their moniker suggests. The band steers clear of warmly humming songs, embarking instead on a noisy, energetic amalgam of the styles cultured by fellow countrymen like the Dirty Three and the Birthday…
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Music, Skream signals dubstep's dance with assimilation

Skream signals dubstep's dance with assimilation

Too many new ideas in electronic music quickly become decoration to match the drapes at the IKEA showroom. But, as with the Jackson Pollock that hangs over the corporate conference table, we forget that today's sonic wallpaper was last decade's…
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Calendar, Night&Day Australian for Rock

Australian for Rock

Recordings of the Grey Daturas show off the majestic noise-metal drone the Melbourne band is famous for. But the trio is an improvisational instrumental group, meaning that from a purist's perspective, recordings are a moot point and a pale snapshot…
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Calendar, Night&Day Good Times on a Sliding Scale

Good Times on a Sliding Scale

As we learned from a certain episode of Maude, nobody comes to a fundraising party for a black militant if you inform them beforehand of your intention to shake them down for money. But surely such tangential rules don't apply…
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Music, The Dramatists

The Dramatists

I'm gonna have to fall in love/ With a blind girl/ So that she will not see/ The shame that I know/ Oh new scar/ You have raised the bar. — "Jezebel" There are times when a betrayal feels so…
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Music, BeatBox Letting your A.D.D. run rampant

Letting your A.D.D. run rampant

Melbourne's Luke Chable and Phil K are best known as the de facto Down Under ambassadors to the global nightclub scene. But the veteran DJ duo's relatively nascent production partnership as Lostep yields the type of breakbeat and progressive house…
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Best of San Francisco, Arts & Entertainment

Best Sing-Along

Sea Chanteys on the Balclutha Hyde Street Pier, 2905 Hyde (at Beach), 556-6435 On the first Saturday night of every month, wannabe old salts, sea dogs, jack-tars, and windjammers gather aboard the Balclutha and belt out salty old ditties about…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

You'd be hard-pressed to find two local music acts that have had a better 2004 than Rogue Wave and Kelley Stoltz. It seems like only a year ago that we profiled Zach Rogue's quartet in these pages -- and as…
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Music, Down Again

Down Again

Melbourne, Australia's Dirty Three has been making music for nearly a dozen years, forging melancholy instrumentals that shudder with the weight of their emotional heft. For those raised on rock without much exposure to classical music, the ability to convey…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Want to know when the Australians really got fucked? 1987. That was the year INXS and Midnight Oil accidentally appointed themselves lifetime Aussie ambassadors to the U.S. via "Need You Tonight" and "Beds are Burning," respectively. Sporting dramatic hairstyles (Michael…
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The Day of the Dead

The last time dark sonic conceptualists Dead Can Dance wafted through the Bay Area, in a velvet-draped show at Zellerbach last year, a strange thing happened, befitting the band's penchant for high drama. Brendan Perry, the deep-voiced, guitar-strumming half of…
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Old Rules for a New World

Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Dekalog is the cinematic equivalent of a short-story collection, and it displays the chief characteristics -- good and bad -- of compaction. Each of the 10 one-hour movies is precise and shapely, and every gesture and detail…
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