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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Print: Robyn's Robot Obsession, the Gloomy Royal Baths, and the Sadies' Family Affair

Posted By on Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 7:41 AM


From SF Weekly's latest print music section:

Robyn: While most of today's pop stars are eager to define their public personas, '90s two-hit wonder turned electropop princess Robyn likes to keep people guessing. When asked whether her frequent tongue-in-cheek cockiness is for real, for example, she replies, "I don't like to look at myself from the outside." Maybe it's because she doesn't have time. Robyn is on the home stretch of a marathon year in which she released three albums and toured almost nonstop.

Royal Baths: 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 the Velvet Underground, its ghostly howls and dejected mumblings emanate solely from songwriters Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer, a former drummer for Thee Oh Sees. The result is bewildering.

The Sadies: The Sadies are not a one-trick band. While there are many roots-music-oriented outfits extant, some inspired by iconic combos such as the Band, Flying Burrito Brothers, and the Byrds, most evoke shades of their forerunners to varying degrees. The Sadies do not at all "sound like" the Byrds; rather they are like the Byrds. As the Byrds synthesized strands of Anglo-American folk, shimmering electric guitars, vocal harmonies, and a Beatles-ish beat for their definitive style, the Sadies do the same with traditional country music (think Hank Snow, Johnny Cash), 1960s garage-rock and psychedelia, bluegrass, and instrumental surf-rock, subsuming and personalizing these until they "sound like" no one but themselves.

Also, we recommend shows from: Greg Dulli, Clinic, Bear Hands, Zion I, Yo Gabba Gabba, and NAPT.

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Ian S. Port


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