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Pelican exhibits why it's joined Chicago's post-rock pantheon; the Greenhornes open for the White Stripes, and maybe show them up

Wednesday, Aug 10 2005
The boys in Pelican recently released an EP titled March Into the Sea, and the title track is what I believe to be the longest, most chops-laden post-rock composition ever conceived, executed, and recorded by a Chicago indie-rock outfit. And if you know the infamous history of late-'90s Chicago-born post-rock then you know that this is by no means an accomplishment to be taken lightly. This seemingly endless epic (20 minutes!) contains it all: scores of minor-key chord changes à la Fugazi; the booming drum-kit sound endemic to any and all Steve Albinirecorded masterpieces (though Greg Norman recorded this track); and that unmistakable mixture of patience and concentration such post-rock legends as June of 44 and Hoover tirelessly exhibited when nurturing their grooves. Sure, Pelican dresses its jams up with some metal riffage, remix magic, and folksy acoustic guitarwork, but do NOT allow these impurities to spoil the post-rock experience you'll so ravenously be craving by the time the band takes the stage on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Bottom of the Hill; call 621-4455 or visit for more info. -- Justin F. Farrar

Unless he's beating your face to a bloody pulp in a Detroit nightclub, it's good to be in a band and friends with Jack White. The Greenhornes -- a dynamic, soulful garage-rock outfit from Cincinnati -- have undoubtedly benefited from their long association with the White Stripes: Jack 'n' Meg regularly bring them out on the road as a support act and talk up their music in the press, and Jack even handpicked the Greenhornes rhythm section (bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler) to back Loretta Lynn on last year's Van Lear Rose. But it's not like the Greenhornes haven't earned their own stripes; they've been touring incessantly since the late '90s (at one point, the White Stripes were opening for them), and they've put out a handful of terrific, Brit Invasioninspired platters, including the recent East Grand Blues EP. Once a quintet, then a quartet, the Greenhornes (according to their Web site) have "cut [their] extra fat and trimmed down to a lean three-piece" -- we'd like to think that's not a swipe at beefy former keyboardist Jared McKinney, but it probably is. Be sure to show up early when the Greenhornes open for the White Stripes on Friday, Aug. 12, at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley; visit for more info. -- Michael Alan Goldberg

"Oh Mandy" is the song that landed the Spinto Band in the earbuds and eventually the hearts of tastemaking hipsters like Sarah Lewitinn. A pseudo-celebrity of the NYC blogosphere, Lewitinn (code name: Ultragrrrl) left her post at Spin to start a singles-only record label that released early tracks by Louis XIV and a group of scrawny Delaware teenagers nobody had ever heard of called the Spinto Band. A few short months later, the members of the Spinto Band had a deal with Bar/None and a shiny new full-length to showcase their '90s-esque, Pavement-meets-the-Shins indie-pop. Some even had high school diplomas. The six-piece, initially called Free Beer, dubbed itself the Spinto Band in 1997 after singer Nick Krill's guitarist grandpappy, the late Roy Spinto. If you can't wait till the next time the Malk swings through town, check these chaps out. Then go home and blog about it. You can thank us -- and Ultragrrrl -- later. The Spinto Band plays between the Herms and Head of Femur on Monday, Aug. 15, at the Bottom of the Hill; call 621-4455 or visit for more info.-- Maya Kroth


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