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    News, Feature The Sounds of Silence

    The Sounds of Silence

    What happened to you, San Francisco? You used to be the epicenter of musical culture, the pulsating beacon of righteous noise, the kind bud in the bong of rock. More than almost any other U.S. city -- certainly any of…
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    Music, The Keys to Success

    The Keys to Success

    The sign on the wall of Haight Street's swanky Club Deluxe says "DJ Lebowitz," but what most of the rain-mussed crowd doesn't realize is that the spiky-haired hipster spinning easy-listening tunes in the corner isn't, in fact, the DJ in…
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    Music, Fresh Fruit

    Fresh Fruit

    Shouting over one another and a box full of fried chicken, the members of Loquat declare they are presently experiencing some "band drama." That's tough to imagine for a group like this, whose members are already sipping beers at noon…
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    Music, Funk Soul Brothers

    Funk Soul Brothers

    On a balmy night in August, hordes of vintage scooters -- 100, easily -- line the alley leading to 330 Ritch. Inside the nightclub, a crowd looking alternately like motorcycle-gang members and tight-sweatered hipsters has gathered for the King's Classic…
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    Music, Chimerical Men

    Chimerical Men

    The Cost's Stephen Loewinsohn lives in an East Bay apartment straight out of Punk 101: The walls are bare, the bathroom is full of CDs, and the living room offers only a minimal amount of furniture. The guitarist looks every…
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    Music, Coat Tales

    Coat Tales

    One day in 1998, a small Southern California label called Darla Records got a love letter in the mail. Along with a hand-scrawled note -- written as if intended for a girl named Darla -- came a tape of bizarre,…
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    Music, Reviewed Thee More Shallows

    Thee More Shallows

    Recorded in a Tenderloin rehearsal studio between midnight and 9 a.m., Thee More Shallows' A History of Sport Fishing dutifully captures the mood of a city stumbling into morning. Whether you're coming down from all-night revelry or a caffeine-stoked cram,…
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    Music, Reviewed Liz Phair

    Liz Phair

    Do not be fooled by the lyric "Give me your hot white cum." This isn't the edgy, clever Liz Phair of Exile in Guyville, but rather a bland, barely recognizable avatar. And the song, abbreviated "H.W.C.," encapsulates everything that's wrong…
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    Music, Reviewed Fiver

    Fiver

    If you gave some kids from the sleepy Central Valley a few shoegazer CDs, a library of fantasy fiction, and a couple of '70s glam rock records and asked them to put it all together, the result might sound something…
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    Music, Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing

    Growing up in the South's steamy confines, Stoo Odom had a lot of alligator dreams. A pictorial view of one such night vision hangs over the couch in his Potrero Hill home. Perched on top of a bunk bed, a…
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    Music, Same Old Brand-New

    Same Old Brand-New

    Jeff Daniel's office has all the trappings of a home-grown music label or independent college radio station. Thousands of CDs line the walls, interspersed with concert posters and rock 'n' roll memorabilia, while a cushy, multicolored couch beckons nearby. For…
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    Music, Reviewed Irving

    Irving

    It's rather galling to us Northern Californians that the lower portion of the state produced so many praiseworthy albums last year, among them Rilo Kiley's The Execution of All Things, Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf, and…
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    Music, Reviewed Of Montreal

    Of Montreal

    There are a whole bunch of bands -- Apples in Stereo, Lilys, Of Montreal, and the like -- whose British Invasion- styled rock draws endless comparisons to the Beatles and their compatriots. Problem is, much of that '60s-inspired pop is…
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    Music, Reviewed The Black Heart Procession

    The Black Heart Procession

    Upon first hearing this marriage of band name and album title, many may ask, "Is this some bizarre combination of goth rock and Brazilian tropicalia?" And the answer would be, well, yeah -- and the band has piled even more…
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    Music, Reviewed Blur

    Blur

    On "Ambulance," the opening track of Blur's first album in four years, Damon Albarn sings, "I ain't got nothing to be scared of," over low, eerie strings and a hymnal choir. But in the months leading up to Think Tank's…
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    Music, Reviewed Sleater-Kinney

    Sleater-Kinney

    Despite what Greil Marcus and other critics might tell you, Sleater-Kinney is not for everyone. With a plethora of articles in the mainstream press, including a 2001 piece in Time that proclaimed the group America's best rock band, you'd think…
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    Music, Reviewed Continental

    Continental

    As its band name suggests, Continental's sound is vast. What Was Gained From What Was Lost is also fittingly mournful: The eerily apt title took on added significance when Continental's bass player, Brent Kimble, passed away on the eve of…
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    Music, Reviewed Swirlies

    Swirlies

    What is a swirly? Many music fans may wonder precisely that, because despite more than a decade of existence, Boston's Swirlies remain relatively obscure. But for devoted admirers, the band's first proper album in seven years -- with a remix…
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    Music, Reviewed Sigur Rós

    Sigur Rós

    In the Oct. 3 issue of Rolling Stone, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin named Sigur Rós' 1999 effort, Ágætis Byrjún, to his current top 10 album list, summing up the music with a simple statement: "I don't understand a word, but…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    The Drive-By Truckers are the kind of band that makes big-city sissies wish they'd grown up in the South. And for those who did, the act's music is an authentic representation of the homeland -- full of conflicted charm, heartbreaking…
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    Music, Reviewed The Apples in Stereo

    The Apples in Stereo

    Over the years, the Elephant 6 Collective has become a highly drop-able name among the indie rock intelligentsia. So drop-friendly, in fact, that the musical alliance showed up in last fall's Vanity Fair Rock Snob's Dictionary, described thusly: "Loose collection…
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    Music, Reviewed Silver Jews

    Silver Jews

    To understand the novelistic genius of the Silver Jews, choose any of the band's albums and listen to the first line. On the sparkling '90s pop masterpiece American Water, it's "In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection." The lo-fi…
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    Music, Fact or Friction

    Fact or Friction

    Here Are the Facts You Requested received its first piece of fan mail in 1991. The package -- a note and a blurry photograph of its author -- came from a cello-playing high-schooler named Akire Lessey, and though it was…
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    Music, Reviewed The Heavenly States

    The Heavenly States

    The first track on Black Comet comes off like a cheap ploy. Sure, "Look and Listen" proves that Oakland's Heavenly States can write a passable punk ditty. But the lackluster string arrangements make it sound like the band is tricking…
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    Music, Reviewed Loquat

    Loquat

    Loquat is the quintessential hardworking local band. It records at home, gigs like mad, and took about four years to release its debut album. After two EPs of teasing, It's Yours to Keep arrives as a labor of love delivered…
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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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