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Music, Hear This Cool Ghouls: Show Preview

Cool Ghouls: Show Preview

Did someone say jangly indie-pop was dead in San Francisco? Clearly they aren't hip to Cool Ghouls, an upstart foursome offering scrappy, reverb-saturated guitar glee with a touch of charming juvenilia. Yes, there are like 50 million other bands doing…
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Music, All Shook Down Jonathan Richman to Appear on Radio Valencia, Discuss Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground

Jonathan Richman to Appear on Radio Valencia, Discuss Lou Reed, the Velvet Underground

This Sunday, March 2, would have been Lou Reed's 72nd birthday. To honor him, the great local singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman will appear on Radio Valencia's Wax! Crackle! Pop! show to talk about his hero Reed and his most famous musical…
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Music, All Shook Down S.F. Faces War of the Pizza Bands: Personal and the Pizzas vs. Macaulay Culkin

S.F. Faces War of the Pizza Bands: Personal and the Pizzas vs. Macaulay Culkin

San Francisco, the pizza band wars are on. You've undoubtedly heard that Macaulay Culkin's pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, The Pizza Underground, recipient of oodles of Internet hype, is playing here in S.F. at Neck of the Woods on March…
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Music, Hear This Jonathan Richman: Show Preview

Jonathan Richman: Show Preview

Jonathan Richman created the Modern Lovers, a band inspired by the Velvet Underground, in 1970. Before their long-awaited album (produced by John Cale) was released, Richman had already moved on. Disillusioned by the negativity he heard in rock music, he…
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Music, All Shook Down Battling Over the Best of Solo Lou Reed, From <i>Berlin</i> to <i>Street Hassle</i>

Battling Over the Best of Solo Lou Reed, From Berlin to Street Hassle

Obsessed with punk in my early teens, the Velvet Underground's music was gradually administered through something like osmosis. I harbored an ignorant delusion that '60s rock was all gushing hippie idealism, but the tributes from so many punk-era heroes and…
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Music, Hear This John Cale: Show Preview

John Cale: Show Preview

You don't really think of John Cale as just one of the other guys in the Velvet Underground, do you? Because it turns out that while, yes, Cale did co-found the Velvets with Lou Reed, he's also made some incredible…
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Music, All Shook Down Background Music Makes Daily Life Worse, Not Better

Background Music Makes Daily Life Worse, Not Better

Is background music necessary? Ever? My favorite sound in the world is the white noise the city makes outside my open window. I hear distant traffic; the arrivals and departures of streetcars; all manner of beeps; the occasional (and always…
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Music, All Shook Down Valentine's Day Warning: These Five Love Songs Are <i>Not</i> About Loving People

Valentine's Day Warning: These Five Love Songs Are Not About Loving People

Rob Sheffield's book, Love Is a Mix Tape, meticulously details the many categories of the medium: The Party Tape; The Walking Tape; You Broke My Heart and Made Me Cry and Here Are Twenty or Thirty Songs About It. But…
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Music, Light from the Pink Moon: S.F. Artists to Reinterpret Nick Drake's Classic Onstage

Light from the Pink Moon: S.F. Artists to Reinterpret Nick Drake's Classic Onstage

During his lifetime, Nick Drake only sold a few thousand albums. Since his accidental overdose on antidepressants in 1974, his influence as a musician and songwriter has been incalculable. His stripped-down, emotionally raw music still sounds fresh and new today.…
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Calendar, Night&Day Eeet Dozen&#146;t Really Bozair Me

Eeet Dozen’t Really Bozair Me

Oh, the miseries of being a woman who sings in French. Always, in every review and in all articles, to be called a "chanteuse." Even if you don't sing in French anymore! And you aren't even French, although you grew…
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Music, Royal Baths spin some captivating gloom

Royal Baths spin some captivating gloom

No little girls were harmed in the making of Royal Baths' full-length debut. No fingernails were pulled out, no veins slashed, no moaning apparitions captured and made to spill their woe. Though Litanies sounds like a torture chamber run by…
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Calendar, Night&Day They're Going to Play You For a Fool

They're Going to Play You For a Fool

None of the local musicians paying tribute to the VU classic at Undercover presents the Velvet Underground & Nico are known for "that kind of music." Charith Premawardhana is one of the founders of national phenom Classical Revolution. Rupa Marya…
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Calendar, Night&Day Siren Sings Again

Siren Sings Again

While 1990s stalwarts such as Pavement have had big comebacks this year, quirky Dutch alt-rock band Bettie Serveert has had a quiet revival. The band (whose name translates to "Bettie serves," after Dutch tennis player Betty Stöve,) formed in 1986,…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Velvet Aboveground

The Velvet Aboveground

Of the more obsessed-about rock bands, the Velvet Underground is probably in the top five. Mostly, it's Lou Reed people can't stop talking about, but according to Allmusic.com author Richie Unterberger, "Brian Eno once said that even though hardly anyone…
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Music, Let's Get Killed Live Through This: The de Young's Warhol exhibit

Live Through This: The de Young's Warhol exhibit

Music fans long ago lost patience with passively observing musicians. We want to download a song from one site, research band details from another, and get musicians' status updates through our social networking webs. Living through 21st-century pop culture means…
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Music, Reviewed The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs

We're only halfway through 2008, but Philadelphia's The War on Drugs claims one of this year's most exciting debuts. On Wagonwheel Blues, songwriter Adam Granduciel precisely fuses together the best elements of rollicking folk and classic rock with experimental ambience…
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Calendar, Night&Day Loving Nico

Loving Nico

In a perfect world, the revival of Philippe Garrel's 1991 pinnacle J'entends plus la guitare (I Don't Hear the Guitar Anymore) would warrant more than a two-night stand. (It did play for a week in New York, admittedly a slightly…
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Music, Hear This Danish Garage Rockers Storm the Independent

Danish Garage Rockers Storm the Independent

When legendary U.K. space-rockers Spacemen 3 split circa 1991, member Jason Pierce channeled its lysergic drone into the eclectic, song-oriented Spiritualized while Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, continued his search for that lost chord with Spectrum. The latter's debut, Soul…
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Music, Department of What the Fuck?

Department of What the Fuck?

There's such a fine line between stupid and clever. -- David St. Hubbins, This Is Spinal Tap Metal has never been a genre of music generally associated with rocket scientists, but perhaps no band in the last quarter-century better illustrates…
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Music, Reviewed Eno Moebius Roedelius|Eno Moebius Roedelius Plank

Eno Moebius Roedelius|Eno Moebius Roedelius Plank

A few years before his ascendance to iconhood, Brian Eno was a British, ex-Roxy Music rascal who -- like the Velvet Underground in the 1960s -- sought to bridge rock and the avant-garde as a singer, producer, and self-declared "nonmusician."…
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