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Words + Guitar (+ Beats + Skronk) What mattered and what splattered in pop, 1997 December 31, 1997

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Music, Truth  Be Told

Truth Be Told

"When I was young, I was diagnosed as a compulsive liar," laughs Sadie Shaw, guitarist for the San Francisco post-punk quintet the Lies, as she admits part of the secret impetus for her band's tricky moniker. Still, she insists that…
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Music, Ulan Bator

Ulan Bator

For the French, it's not enough to love music; one must embrace it with the codependent disgust of a couple verging on a murder/suicide. The French avant-rock group Ulan Bator clearly loves the pop tradition in this way. Listening to…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Although this is the season of haunted houses and macabre creatures, the scariest thing about Damon & Naomi -- the former rhythm section from indie rock legends Galaxie 500 -- is their musical kinship to tragic singers like Nick Drake…
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Music, Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead

For a band whose very name implies contradiction, not until the release of the New York City trio's latest album has Blonde Redhead truly embodied the paradoxical spirit of its moniker. The group of immigrant musicians -- twin brothers guitarist/vocalist…
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Music, Steve Von Till

Steve Von Till

Heavy music is seldom associated with acoustic guitars and sparse piano, but on the solo debut by Neurosis vocalist and guitarist Steve Von Till, instruments and song styles typically dominated by simpering two-dimensional coffeehouse crooners are craftily enlisted to create…
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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Like their simple candy-cane visual aesthetic, the White Stripes appear quite deliberately minimalist. Always dressed in red and white and adorning their records in that color scheme, the Stripes underscore the significance of their stark, direct sounds: most often just…
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Music, Various Artists

Various Artists

K-Tel, the "as seen on TV" super-hits record label, having released a stream of specialty compilations, was already prepared for your "not in my niche market" incredulity at the notion of a double-CD collection of '80s-era indie rock favorites, so…
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Music,

Two Ton Boa

Sharing a childlike fascination with dead things and arcane lore, Two Ton Boa sounds perfectly suited to the films of Tim Burton. Like the famed director of such modern fairy tales as Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow, the Olympia trio's…
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Music, Record

The Makers

Who would've thought the inscrutable, insolent, and indisputable kings of fuzzed-out garage-punk had a rock opera in 'em? Considering the leather-fisted primordial punk smeared on the Seattle-slash-Spokane quartet's five previous albums, most of the Makers' converted minions might have thought…
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Music, Hear This

Hear This

The Gunga DinMany of the best musical ideas don't make sense on paper. That's certainly true in the case of the seemingly contradictory combination of European pop, '60s garage rock, shoegazing droning, and swamp lounge produced by the Gunga Din.…
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Music, Record Milk Cult

Milk Cult

Milk Cult Project M-13 (O to 1) Mysteriously guarding the identities of the trio of Cult leaders, the group only identifies its members by the pseudonyms of Agent Nova, the Bumblebee, and Conko. But those familiar with the unparalleled…
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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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