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    Music, Reviewed The Time Flys

    The Time Flys

    I saw these New York Dolls wannabes at 12 Galaxies over a year ago, and after the set I mentioned to the singer, "You know, you guys spell your name wrong," 'cause, like, they do: It should be "the Time…
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    Music, Reviewed Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    Why isn't anyone bringing up the Violent Femmes? It's because the Violent Femmes aren't cool. The Talking Heads are cool, which is why anyone who wants to knight a new band Artful and Cool reaches for the Talking Heads mantle.…
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    Music, Reviewed Subtle


    If there's justice in the world, Subtle frontman Doseone will someday win a MacArthur Genius Grant. John Zorn won one this year; so did some guy who studies combinatorics, whatever those are. They seem to award the things to folks…
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    Music, Reviewed Nina Nastasia

    Nina Nastasia

    You don't have to have lived in New York City to appreciate Nina Nastasia's fourth album, but it helps. It helps to imagine autumn arriving in Manhattan, that first crisp day when you feel the chill's bite, and those subsequent…
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    Music, Reviewed Ratatat


    One of these dudes is the touring guitarist for Dashboard Confessional. How kooky is that? Not as kooky as the jams you're gonna find on this record! The two boys in Ratatat go their own way, and that way involves…
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    Music, Reviewed The Chop Shop

    The Chop Shop

    Remember ye olde days of turntablism? When all the DJs (diggers, we called them) were high on their horses delivering lessons — literally, as our man Cut Chemist had his "Lesson Six," following in the footsteps of Godhead DJs Double…
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    Music, Reviewed Midlake


    Texas' Midlake recently guest-DJ'd a set on Gorilla vs. Bear blogger Chris Cantalini's satellite radio show for Sirius. That set included, among others, America, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, the Band, ELO, Bread, and David Bowie. Gives you a pretty good…
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    Music, Reviewed Grandaddy


    For a band that obsesses so much about the inexorable march of technology, Modesto's Grandaddy sure has managed to arrest any evolution of its aesthetic since perfecting the formula on 2000's The Sophtware Slump. That album offered gently fuzzy guitars,…
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    Music, Reviewed The Velvet Teen

    The Velvet Teen

    Cum Laude finds Petaluma trio the Velvet Teen attempting the same stylistic 180 it pulled by following up serrated pop stunner Out of the Fierce Parade (2002) with the completely guitarless, piano-driven concept record Elysium (2004). The Iron Chef surprise…
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    Music, Reviewed Sunset Rubdown

    Sunset Rubdown

    In a perfect world, side projects would be judged independent of project-projects. But this ain't a perfect world, so Spencer Krug's Sunset Rubdown is just going to have to deal with living in the shadow of his main gig, Wolf…
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    Music, Reviewed Another Serene World

    Another Serene World

    Here’s a new band with a lot going against it. First, the name. Kind of clunky. Second, it hails from Ontario, is a cute boy/girl collective, and plays quixotic indie rock with a king’s arsenal of different instruments. These facts…
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    Music, Reviewed 13 & God

    13 & God

    It really seemed as if 13 & God, a collaboration between Oakland's Subtle and Germany's the Notwist, was going to be this year's Postal Service, that wildly successful mind-meld of Death Cab for Cutie vocalist Ben Gibbard and Dntel producer…
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    Music, Reviewed Luna


    It feels real nice to deliver the news that a veteran band that has influenced hundreds of acts during its tenure has released its final album, and that that album sounds every bit as good as the records it was…
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    Music, Reviewed Ada


    This debut by Ada, aka Michaela Dippel, a singer and producer out of Germany, is an alternately sweet and savory buffet of techy, housy, glitchy, mousey goodness. It opens with the slippery flanged synths of "Eve," ebbing and flowing as…
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    Music, Reviewed Replicator


    There's much to like about this record. Let's start with the song titles. "The Frogurt© Is Cursed" -- that's a good one, pretty self-explanatory. "It Seems Like the Real Deal, But the Citizenship Doesn't Hurt" -- hmmm, can't figure that…
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    Music, Reviewed Xiu Xiu

    Xiu Xiu

    The first thing you hear when you put on Fabulous Muscles, the third full-length from Oakland's Xiu Xiu, is a couple of giggly synths burbling over skittish drumming. It sounds like tweaky circus music. "Oh," you think, "a fun-time happy…
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    Music, Reviewed Bonobo


    A little over a decade ago, downtempo producers needed an expert's knowledge of all recorded music from the previous 20 years to sniff out their boogiein' beats, scratchy vocal samples, nifty organ riffs, and all the other elements that, when…
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    Music, Reviewed Aereogramme


    The chunky bass line that opens Aereogramme's Sleep and Release is nothing less than a short fuse. When it sizzles into the rest of the song's parts -- the combustible guitars, the pounding drums, the wrung-out vocal wail -- the…
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    Music, Reviewed The Velvet Teen

    The Velvet Teen

    Indie rock is a notoriously prickly pear. The style's supposed to be powerful and emotionally evocative, yet understated and raw; oftentimes, it's supposed to sound like an accident, as if the musician just happened to stumble across beauty. Should things…
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    Music, Reviewed Lessick


    Besides being a surly, drug-addicted womanizer who ends up overdosing face down on the sidewalk, Danny Lessick is also the creation of late local Beat writer Jack Micheline. When Charles Gonzalez met Micheline through his brother, S.F. Supervisor Matt Gonzalez…
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    Music, Reviewed Boom Bip

    Boom Bip

    For the past few years, a group of independent hip hop producers and MCs -- from Emeryville's Anticon crew to Columbus' RJD2 to New York's El-P -- has been fucking with mainstream hip hop, lobbing cherry bombs down the toilet…
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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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