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    Music, Reviewed Dead Meadow

    Dead Meadow

    Imagine a big, steaming plate of scrambled eggs, fluffy, syrup-drenched pancakes, and a heap of bacon: juicy, dangerous, satisfying, excessive. The adjectives that an artery-clogging greasy-diner breakfast evokes are not unlike the words you might use to describe what Washington,…
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    Music, Reviewed Pidgeon

    Pidgeon

    The members of Pidgeon jump right into From Gutter With Love, opening with a flurry of sinister guitars and rumbling rhythms. But wait, what was that? For a second, and just a second, you think you hear some sugary pop…
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    Music, Reviewed The Album Leaf

    The Album Leaf

    After a tour spent opening for Sigur Rós, Tristeza alumnus and Album Leaf alter ego Jimmy Lavalle found himself with an invitation to make In a Safe Place at the band's Icelandic studio. The venue was a perfect match for…
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    Music, Reviewed The Thrills

    The Thrills

    It's not difficult to understand people's obsession with California, especially if you've spent a significant amount of time here. It can be a magical place, which is why it comes up in pop music so often -- see Led Zeppelin's…
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    Music, Reviewed Tindersticks

    Tindersticks

    By definition alone, Tindersticks' name implies something fire-worthy, spark-inducing, and with more than a decade's worth of experience, one would hope the British sextet would have settled into that name by now. But the group's latest effort, Waiting for the…
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    Music, Reviewed The Appleseed Cast

    The Appleseed Cast

    Ah, that precious post-alternative gunk, anthems penned by soft boys with bright eyes and dashboard confessionals on their minds: emo. Emotional. Evocative. Derivative. Emo. Whereas there were originators like Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Enigk, who could make you cringe…
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    Music, Reviewed Mobius Band

    Mobius Band

    There's an urgency missing from The Loving Sounds of Static, the debut full-length from the Brooklyn (via small-town Massachusetts) electro-pop trio Mobius Band. Gone is the immediate dose of gooey melody that made the band's City vs. Country EP such…
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    Music, Reviewed Son, Ambulance

    Son, Ambulance

    Omaha's Son, Ambulance, the indie brainchild of singer Joe Knapp, actually has more in common with its Brit-pop contemporaries than it does Saddle Creek's usual array of sentimental Midwestern gunk-purveyors. A more focused effort than the group's 2001 debut, Key…
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    Music, Reviewed Múm

    Múm

    There seems to be something special in Iceland, perhaps some sort of nutrient in the soil that helps the citizens manipulate electronic instruments like they weren't electronic at all. The country's most popular export, elf goddess Björk, uses this nutrient…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    It makes sense that Now It's Overhead would choose a Magnetic Fields cover ("The Book of Love") to complement the single for "Wait in Line," from this year's Fall Back Open, a warm, texture-rich combination of sparse drum-machine beats, sparkling…
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    Music, Dark Horse

    Dark Horse

    To use the word "sophisticated" when talking about sloppy Montreal pop outfit the Unicorns seems somehow inappropriate. There's nothing that sounds calculated or mature about the band at first listen. Rather, the group's sophomore release, Who Will Cut Our Hair…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    Yes, it was frustrating when we learned that KMFDM stood for "Kein Mitleid Für Die Mehrheit" (translation: "No Pity for the Majority") instead of "Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode," as the rumors had promised us for so long. It was…
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    Music, Reviewed Matthew Sweet

    Matthew Sweet

    Well, the obvious question is: How relevant is the traditionally youthful pine of a gooey power-pop love song when it's sung by a fortysomething? Normally, not so much, which is why hesitation should be employed when considering the purchase of…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    "Malkmus, Malkmus, Malkmus!" we might mutter in frustration like an indie-rocking Jan Brady or John Malkovich. We've seen the glory the former leader of Pavement is capable of and can't argue with the fact that he and his low-fidelity slacker…
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    Music, Reviewed The Fall

    The Fall

    You'd have thought Fall frontman Mark E. Smith would have collapsed by now from the sheer weight of the cynicism he's been preaching for 25 years. But Mr. Smith sounds every bit as virile on The Real New Fall LP…
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    Music, Reviewed Blood Brothers

    Blood Brothers

    It would be wrong to dismiss Seattle's Blood Brothers as a run-of-the-mill hardcore or punk band. Yes, singers Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney are capable of screams and screeches more grating than Godzilla's nails on a giant chalkboard. But it…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    You love natural disasters, admit it. If you could, you'd stand in the eye of a hurricane, a six-pack and a bong in hand. You'd walk on stilts along the San Andreas fault during an 8.6 quake. You'd fry wieners…
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    Music, Reviewed Sufjan Stevens

    Sufjan Stevens

    While far more stripped down than the multitimbre grandeur of Sufjan Stevens' last full-length, Greetings From Michigan, Seven Swans is just as ambitious. Stevens starts his indie-folk compositions with a sparse banjo or acoustic guitar and whispered fictions about dragons…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    How does an old-school avant-gardist who made his name with the legendary Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor connect with today's kids? He meets them on the dance floor. At least that's what trumpeter Eddie Gale, San Jose's officially designated "Ambassador…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    In our opinion, nothing spoils a pretty picnic like boring families satiating themselves with the contents of cute little picnic baskets, which is why we're thrilled that the third annual Noiserock Picnic will be bringing what the organizers call "bombastic…
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    Music, Reviewed Jason Anderson

    Jason Anderson

    Once, in a dank back music room of a venue, hidden on the wrong side of the tracks in Denton, Texas, a town only the Mountain Goats sing fondly of, Jason Anderson closed his set with an a cappella R.…
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    Music, Reviewed Explosions in the Sky, et al.

    Explosions in the Sky, et al.

    The decision to use a popular-music soundtrack instead of traditional orchestral arrangements for your feature film can sometimes be disastrous (we're looking at you, Phil Collins). Occasionally, however, it works wonders: See Simon & Garfunkel's contributions to The Graduate or…
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    Music, Reviewed Beulah

    Beulah

    Oh the can of worms calling your record Yoko opens. Let's break it down. Yoko is considered by many to be the evil force that broke up the Beatles. She's also the inspiration and love interest of one of the…
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    Music, Reviewed Adam Green

    Adam Green

    It wouldn't be that surprising if, in the storeroom of a strip-mall novelty shop somewhere, Beck, Har Mar Superstar, and Adam Green meet monthly to swap jokes and try out new gags. There, lacking the soul and rhythm of his…
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    Music, Reviewed Grandaddy

    Grandaddy

    What happens when the line between dystopia and the daily grind disappears? Is this indeed the robot-policed future that science fiction has been hinting at for decades? It is, according to Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, but he seems surprisingly calm about…
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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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