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    Music,

    Pew's Anatomy

    The Birthday Party reissues (Thirsty Ear/2-13-61) Tracy Pew, the leather-clad cowpoke bassist of the Birthday Party, once said: "Rock music will be remembered as the anus of culture." A typically charming statement from one of rock's great id-men -- and…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Guided by Voices Mag Earwhig! (Matador) For 15 albums or so, Robert Pollard has been the honcho behind the thirtysomething, Dayton, Ohio, Brit-invasion-style, lo-fi pop ensemble Guided by Voices. After a recent and fairly decent solo effort (in conjunction with/response…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Verbena Souls for Sale (Merge) Here's some advice for a record exec working at an entertainment conglomerate (and worrying a bit, in the face of all this Britronica, about the state of American Rawk, and how that trickles down to…
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    Music,

    Heavy on the Lite

    Ultra Lounge: The Lexicon of Easy Listening By Dylan Jones Universe Publishing 144 pages, $19.95 "Easycore" is what he calls it -- see him there, present day, still staggering around in last night's rumpled sharkskin. Another lukewarm martini, one more…
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    Recordings

    Cheap Trick (Cheap Trick/Red Ant Entertainment) Before we bog ourselves down in the bubble gum, let's get the disclaimer out of the way: The purpose of this essay isn't to compare Cheap Trick to John Coltrane, or Bob Dylan, or…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Radar Bros. (Restless) Whether or not you'll want to pick up the Radar Bros. self-titled debut depends on how you feel about those first few Pink Floyd albums in your record collection. (Mind you, this isn't as direct a relationship…
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    Music,

    Dust to Dust

    In the inaugural issue of No Depression -- a fanzine out of Seattle that has somehow grown to embody the genre of "insurgent country" -- the editors wrote: "We claim Gram Parsons as our unholy ghost, minister of the shotgun…
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    Recordings

    Karp Self Titled LP (K) There are those who would say this country is in dire need of a presidential address on the State of Metal. So many unanswered questions linger: Whatever happened to White Lion? Witchfynde? Angel Witch? Death…
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    Recordings

    Skeleton Key Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon (Capitol) Back in my college days of yore (the late '80s, at New York University), it seemed Berlin-based industrial-strength noise-makers EinstYrzende Neubauten had influenced every dark corner of the Lower East Side music scene.…
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    Recordings

    Frank Zappa Have I Offended Someone? (Rykodisc) Have I Offended Someone? probably won't offend anyone. In fact, it is hard to imagine this album offending anyone even back in 1973 when the first of its 15 tracks was originally released.…
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    Music,

    Recordings

    Tarnation Mirador (Reprise) Local western crooner (and archaeologist) Paula Frazer has taken her pet "project" Tarnation to some interesting places. A couple of years back we visited an Arkansas trailer park in I'll Give You Something to Cry About, one…
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    Recordings

    Lutefisk Burn in Hell Fuckers! (Bong Load Custom) Imagine yourself in a homemade rocket. Reaching down to the spacestereo there and plunking in Lutefisk's latest, Burn in Hell Fuckers! "Tin Man's Cue" comes on with a quiet country-chord intro and…
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    Recordings

    Ednaswap Wacko Magneto (Island) Here're some Ednaswap "factoids" to help you come to a purchase decision: 1) The name comes from a dream lead singer Anne Preven had in which she played, ironically, in a terrible band named Ednaswap. 2)…
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    Recordings

    Serge Gainsbourg Comic Strip Couleur Cafe Du Jazz Dans Le Ravin (Mercury) The music industry's cartoon characters are often even more amusing and intriguing (and less human) than those inhabiting your average Chuck Jones-era Warner Bros. cartoon. Take Serge Gainsbourg,…
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    Music,

    Take the Bait

    The cliffs rise bleak and black in thick fog and the Atlantic roars in from the Arctic and smashes skyward in periodic explosions of foam. It's a twilit 3 in the afternoon on the outskirts of St. John's, Newfoundland, and…
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    Recordings

    Starfish Frustrated (Trance Syndicate) Frustrated, by Austin hardcore/post-punk/ditty-pop range finders Starfish, offers a preponderance of great tracks and flaunts many of the finest features of indie rock. On the other hand, it's also burdened by one of the more stubborn,…
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    Recordings

    Various Artists Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Suburbia (DGC) First Romeo & Juliet, then Beavis and Butt-head, and now Bogosian and Linklater. The whole idea of the soundtrack album has become that of a compilation for the alienated teen. (Not that…
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    Music,

    "Dealing Real"

    The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerce By Fred Goodman Times Books 431 pages, $25 In 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan strapped on an electric guitar and drowned…
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    Recordings

    Dirty Three Horse Stories (Touch and Go) Why Australian instrumentalists Dirty Three should have piqued the interest of higher-profile supporters and tourmates like Pavement, Sonic Youth, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Nick Cave, the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Rickie Lee…
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    Recordings

    Sneaker Pimps Becoming X (Virgin) Nostradamus' Centuries predicts a second wave to the British Invasion. Many sages mistakenly interpreted the Second Invasion to have come in the form of Boy George and the Haircut 100s (aye-yi-yi). Other prophets announced it…
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    Recordings

    Built to Spill Perfect From Now On (Warner Bros.) Built to Spill, who are good at many things, seem to be better at nothing than their ability to layer. And by that I don't mean producing some studio-phonic deluge as…
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    Recordings

    John Williams Star Wars: A New Hope (RCA Victor) It occurs to me that if Ronald McDonald and his vast empire of cow grinders could only figure out a way to pretty up the cess from their franchise restrooms, they…
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    Recordings

    10 cents Everybody Wins (Angel Dust Records) Remember grammar school recess when you were a kid and they were picking teams for, heaven help us, smear the queer? So much rode on where you landed in the draft -- specifically,…
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    Recordings

    Come Near Life Experience (Matador) You are perhaps aware that this record has been available for conspicuous consumption for months. If so, I hope you strapped on the feed bag, since it was without question one of the best records…
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    Recordings

    Bush Razorblade Suitcase (Trauma) Instead of making the obvious invocation here -- namely, the indignant, sputtering apparition of Kurt Cobain -- let's find something else to chat about. Furthermore, let's not trouble ourselves with the presence of anti-producer Steve Albini…
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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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