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    Music, Reviewed Pinback

    Pinback

    Pinback's songs have always been metronome precise, with airtight rhythmic patterns and guitars and synthesizers that bounce along in lock-step cadences, as if the band members had been implanted with silicon indie rock chips that map out intricate algorithms of…
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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 The Futureheads

    The Futureheads

    Tired of Franz Ferdinand's melodic dance-punk? Of course you're not, which is why the Scottish group has been the ubiquitous indie-cred conversation topic for the better part of the year. So it's no surprise that genre-mates and countrymen the Futureheads…
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    Music, Reviewed Bright Eyes

    Bright Eyes

    Little Conor Oberst, bless his heart. We've watched him grow up right before our eyes, much like the zany girls of The Facts of Life. Although, in his case, he's gone from writing sensitive stories influenced by mid-America suburbia to…
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    Music, Reviewed Frank Black

    Frank Black

    Frank Black may be the godfather of quirk rock, but everyone would agree that much of the luster has been lacking since the Pixies originally disbanded, which is why Frank Black Francis comes as such a pleasant surprise. The record…
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    Music, Reviewed Pavement

    Pavement

    Modern-day indie rock owes a huge debt to Pavement, and Crooked Rain is arguably the pinnacle of the band's career: all endearing sloppiness; disses on the Smashing Pumpkins; cool, jammy guitars; wit for miles; and anthemic catchiness (pretentious diehards get…
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    Music, Reviewed Menomena

    Menomena

    "Force yourself to breathe." So begins Menomena's I Am the Fun Blame Monster! It's a prophetic lyric fragment considering the confusingly perfect nine songs that are about to follow and, yes, leave you breathless. Originally released on a limited basis…
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    Music, Reviewed The Late Great Daniel Johnston

    The Late Great Daniel Johnston

    For many, it's hard to understand how the shrill-voiced, clinically bipolar, and often childlike songwriter Daniel Johnston found himself with a double-album tribute that contains covers of his greatest hits -- as performed by the likes of Tom Waits, TV…
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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 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, 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, Reviewed Frog Eyes

    Frog Eyes

    If it weren't for the between-song banter at Frog Eyes shows, you'd think singer/ guitarist Carey Mercer was a pretty fucked-up dude. It's during these conversation breaks that his awkward/ shy/Canadian/artist side is revealed, the side that is very much…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    Old Crow Medicine Show is not your average bluegrass band. While the high-lonesome vocals and fleet-fingered string-pickin' suggest a Southern-fried musical education, the players didn't meet in some backwater town in ol' Caroline but in New York. Not one of…
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    Music, Reviewed Earlimart

    Earlimart

    If the California indie rock realm were a high school, you might say that Earlimart's main man, Aaron Espinoza, was being primped for the position of prom king. After establishing himself as the go-to production/recording don of Los Angeles' east…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    Morrissey fans know that, aside from James Dean and Oscar Wilde, pioneering '70s glam rockers the New York Dolls remain one of the most vital influences on the moody crooner's life, and he has thrown more light in their direction…
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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, Reviewed Palomar

    Palomar

    It's amusing that a band that sets its sights so high with its name (Palomar is an observatory that houses one of the world's biggest telescopes) ends up writing songs concerning earthly matters. But throughout the 14 tracks on Palomar…
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    Music, Hear This Hear This

    Hear This

    Thursday, Thursday, THURSDAY! The monsters of instrumental hip hop invade San Francisco when Sixtoo and DJ Signify roll into town. As Nova Scotia's finest rapper/producer, Sixtoo hits the road in support of his latest, Chewing on Glass and Other Miracle…
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    Music, Reviewed The Court & Spark

    The Court & Spark

    We'll be honest: We don't love Court & Spark frontman M.C. Taylor's twangy, low-register, sometimes Jerry Garcia-ish singing. In fact, if the group's latest, Witch Season, had been released on a label besides the local Absolutely Kosher, known for putting…
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    Music, Reviewed Clinic

    Clinic

    When "Country Mile," the first song from Winchester Cathedral, begins, it's instantly recognizable as typical Clinic: Singer Ade Blackburn's eerie, Thom Yorke-with-lockjaw crooning and the four musicians' mesmerizing drone rhythms are as present here as when we last checked in…
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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, 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, 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 Read Yellow

    Read Yellow

    The electric guitars and jittery drums of the first few bars on Radios Burn Faster make you wonder what direction the album will take. It could very well be that cutesy emo-punk hybrid the kids have been so fond of…
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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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  • 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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