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    Music, Record Peter Case

    Peter Case

    You could get the idea from his songs that Peter Case is obsessed with his past: From the first song on the first Plimsouls record, "Lost Time," to the first on his seventh solo album, "Paradise Etc," Case is still…
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    Music, Record

    The Makers

    Who would've thought the inscrutable, insolent, and indisputable kings of fuzzed-out garage-punk had a rock opera in 'em? Considering the leather-fisted primordial punk smeared on the Seattle-slash-Spokane quartet's five previous albums, most of the Makers' converted minions might have thought…
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    Music, Record On


    Los Angeles' Failure, comprised of core songwriters Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards, issued three immaculately produced albums for Warner Bros., including its swan song, the sprawling, epic masterpiece Fantastic Planet, before calling it quits in 1998. If the band's stock…
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    Music, Record Elliott Smith

    Elliott Smith

    After 1998's full-blown XO, Elliott Smith has pulled back a couple of notches for Figure 8. In the tradition of the DIY record maker -- albeit with a bigger budget -- the majority of the album's 16 songs are spare,…
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    Music, Record Milk Cult

    Milk Cult

    Milk Cult Project M-13 (O to 1) Mysteriously guarding the identities of the trio of Cult leaders, the group only identifies its members by the pseudonyms of Agent Nova, the Bumblebee, and Conko. But those familiar with the unparalleled…
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    Music, Record Nash Kato

    Nash Kato

    Nash Kato Debutante (Loosegroove) When Urge Overkill maxed out its fashion plate cheeseball charm, vocalist/guitarist/ international playboy Nash Kato was left all dressed up with nowhere to deliver his clever tongue-in-chic schmaltz. Most listeners recognize Kato only from the band's…
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    Music, Record Crooked Fingers

    Crooked Fingers

    Crooked Fingers Crooked Fingers (Warm) Neil Young dedicated Tonight's the Night to friends who lost their ways and lives to drugs. Likewise, Crooked Fingers takes on the scourge of alcohol and crack cocaine -- though whether it's a friend, a…
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    Music, Record Various Artists

    Various Artists

    Various Artists Machine Soul: An Odyssey into Electronic Dance Music (Rhino) Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music (Ellipsis Arts) The early negative reviews of Rhino's Machine Soul -- which boil down to "been there, done that" -- have a…
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    Music, Record Kid Koala

    Kid Koala

    Kid Koala Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (Ninja Tune) Coldcut titled the publishing company for its Ninja Tune label Just Isn't Music. Thankfully, this just isn't music, either. We can go even further and say also that this just isn't DJ music…
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    Music, Record

    Sex Mob

    Sex Mob Solid Sender (Knitting Factory) At New York-based Sex Mob's last San Francisco appearance at the Elbo Room, slide trumpeter and leader Steve Bernstein spent more time between songs dissing Branford Marsalis than he did introducing his own band's…
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    Music, Record Willem Breuker Kollektief

    Willem Breuker Kollektief

    Willem Breuker Kollektief Hunger! (Bvhaast) Performances by the Dutch ensemble Willem Breuker Kollektief are more art happenings than mere musical events. Evolving out of the leader's pioneering free-jazz experiments with the Instant Composers Pool in the '60s, the 11-member group…
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    Music, Record

    Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd

    Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd Monk's Dream (Verve) Forty years ago, Thelonious Monk went to New York's 5 Spot club to hear a young soprano saxophone player named Steve Lacy; a few months later, he added Lacy to his…
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    Music, Record

    Fiona Apple

    Fiona Apple When the Pawn... (Clean Slate/Epic) Committing to a fledgling pop star is a lot like establishing trust and intimacy with a new lover. How many times have we been jilted when a favorite artist has sold out to…
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    Music, Record Mono Pause

    Mono Pause

    Mono Pause Peeping Through the Listen Hole (Electro Motive) The "pause" in Mono Pause must be your own. It's the one the band's music gives you as you listen and wonder, first: Are these guys serious? Then: What are they…
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    Music, Record Dirty Three

    Dirty Three

    Dirty Three Whatever You Love, You Are (Touch and Go) While its previous album, Ocean Songs, offered melodies that revealed a relaxed side to this erratic and emotive instrumental trio, the fantastic new effort by Dirty Three is the…
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    Music, Record In Extremo

    In Extremo

    In Extremo Verehrt und Angespien (Metal Blade) Who'd've thought bagpipes could sound so majestic and powerful alongside a wall of chugging metallic guitars? Or that while nearly all 20th-century gimmicks and images have been exhausted as potential retro flashcards, medieval…
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    Music, Record

    William Ørbit

    William Ørbit Pieces in a Modern Style (Maverick) There is a natural desire to treat William Ørbit's Pieces in a Modern Style, a collection of classical compositions synthed up and reinterpreted for modern ambient audiences, with some degree of critical…
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    Music, Record Sonny Smith

    Sonny Smith

    Sonny Smith Who's the Monster...You or Me? (Self-released) There's a moment in every Sonny Smith performance when a strange hush falls over the crowd and suddenly -- when everyone's' faces are lax from laughing at some particularly funny line --…
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    Music, Record

    Three Day Stubble

    Three Day Stubble The Figshta Diaries! (Nerd Rock Music) Rubbing and wiggling into its third decade of existence, Three Day Stubble -- San Francisco's foremost proponent of "the movement borne of white culture turned inward upon itself" -- has extruded…
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    Music, Record Nels Cline/Gregg Bendian

    Nels Cline/Gregg Bendian

    Nels Cline/Gregg Bendian Interstellar Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane (Atavistic) Jazz artists of every stripe in recent years have tried to tackle the colossal musical legacy of the late John Coltrane. Despite varying degrees of success, the proliferation…
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    Music, Record The The

    The The

    The The NakedSelf (Nothing) As the founder and lone official member of The The, Matt Johnson was pouring angst-ridden lyrics over electronic beats when Trent Reznor and Billy Corgan were still gumming their pacifiers. While most people will remember The…
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    Music, Record

    Mouse on Mars

    Mouse on Mars Niun Niggung (Thrill Jockey) When German duo Mouse on Mars released its "Frosch" single in 1994, it was the first salvo in a growing global attempt to turn ambient techno inside out. Jan Werner and Andi Toma…
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    Music, Record


    Suba São Paulo Confessions (Six Degrees) Local genre-blurring label Six Degrees poses an unlikely question with its latest release: What kind of music would a Yugoslavian-bred musician and composer trained in jazz and classical make if he moved to…
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    Music, Record


    Clinton Disco and the Halfway to Discontent (Astralwerks/Luaka Bop) For side project Clinton, Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayres have posted an "out to lunch" sign in the window of their Cornershop. Like previous Cornershop albums, particularly 1998's groundbreaking When I…
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    Music, Record Afro-Cuban All Stars

    Afro-Cuban All Stars

    Afro-Cuban All Stars "Distinto, Diferente" (World Circuit) By now you know the heartwarming story of the Buena Vista Social Club: American guitarist goes to Cuba, locates almost-forgotten elder statesmen of classic Cuban music, records album, watches album become worldwide smash.…
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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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