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It Was a Year Of ... It Was a Year Of ... Well, lots of things, actually December 20, 2006

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Music, Hear This Fischerspooner


In hindsight, the idea that people once considered Fischerspooner an electroclash act is laughable. The NYC duo of Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner has always been a synth-pop band with a penchant for flamboyant glam and performance art — even…
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Music, Reviewed R.E.M.


R.E.M.'s fourteenth studio album, Accelerate, lives up to its speedy title. It's loud, quick, and dirty, spinning by so fast that it takes multiple listens to absorb. It's full of buzzing guitars and stream-of-consciousness discontent, along with an abundance of…
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Music, Reviewed Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Fields

The earliest albums released by the Magnetic Fields (particularly 1995's Get Lost) featured burbling synth-pop in the vein of OMD and Soft Cell, long before such new-wave influences were prevalent or trendy. Perhaps that's why Distortion, the eighth Magnetic Fields…
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Music, Hear This The Energys: hot-wired Japanese punk explodes in S.F.

The Energys: hot-wired Japanese punk explodes in S.F.

Morrissey has turned from a gangly egghead into a debonair crooner without losing his self-deprecating wit: At his birthday show in May, the suit-clad singer gestured to himself and dryly said, "Let this be a warning — this is what…
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Music, Reviewed PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey

Sometimes the simplest music is the most affecting. So it goes with PJ Harvey's new studio album, White Chalk, which often feels like a sequel to Björk's Vespertine. Absent are the scorched-earth guitars and feral vocals for which the songwriter…
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Music, Hear This French electro-rock luminary Richard Pinhas graces the States

French electro-rock luminary Richard Pinhas graces the States

A friend once described the National as the ideal band to spin when you're alone and wallowing in misery. It's a fair assessment: Matt Berninger's deep drawl and the band's velvety piano-folk are decidedly intimate. But with the recent release…
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Music, Hear This Two! Hyped! Bands! In! One! Week!

Two! Hyped! Bands! In! One! Week!

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn describes his band's brand of verbose, guitar-driven splendor as "classic rock with a small ‘c'." It's apt shorthand for the hedonistic-but-literate sprawl that is a Hold Steady show, a glorious shot of euphoria that should…
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Music, Reviewed Björk


While her flamboyant outfits might never be polite, Björk's last few albums certainly were. The ice-crystal percussion and melodies on Vespertine were stunning but mannered, like an immaculately decorated parlor. The nearly a cappella Medulla — an album where beatboxing…
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Music, Reviewed Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse

Ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr knows a little something about dealing with strong-willed vocalists (ahem, Morrissey), so it's no surprise that his contributions to the poppiest Modest Mouse record yet are solid. But it's still a treat to hear how focused…
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Music, It Was a Year Of ...

It Was a Year Of ...

In case you haven't been paying attention, we're here to remind you that it's that time again. As December gets tossed away like so many holiday cocktail napkins, we critics are busy making our ultra-scientific, down-to-the-last-decibel-point-ratings, you-know-you-just-loved-the-new-Hold Steady-record lists for…
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Year End, Marrying the Mainstream

Marrying the Mainstream

In 2004, the line between indie and mainstream rock disintegrated even faster than Britney Spears's quickie Vegas marriage. Vinyl obsessives mingled with white-hat-wearing fratheads at Modest Mouse shows, Taking Back Sunday debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, and…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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