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    Music, All Shook Down CD Review: Baths' 'Cerulean'

    CD Review: Baths' 'Cerulean'

    You've got to be thankful for the hopeless romantics. Without their uninhibited dedication to all things joyous, uplifting, and love-soaked, music wouldn't be anything like it is today. Somehow, these uncynical musicians and producers can turn some of the most…
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    Music, Reviewed The Dodos 

    The Dodos 

    When we last heard from the Dodos, the blogosphere had fingered the band as the Bay Area's answer to Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes. Those who listened beyond the jaunty "Fools" heard in 2008's Visiter a left-field masterpiece that was…
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    Music, Reviewed The Dry Spells

    The Dry Spells

    The loving attention with which the Dry Spells reconfigure traditional folk tunes is something to behold. The San Francisco group doesn't simply ape what has come before. Rather, Too Soon for Flowers casts cross-generational relics in lively new light. Most…
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    Music, Reviewed Henry Kaiser, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter

    Henry Kaiser, Damon Smith, Weasel Walter

    This strange and compelling debut recording by a trio of veteran Bay Area improvisers springboards off an old music-industry concept. Record labels would apparently prepare in advance "beautifully repackaged" records aimed to squeeze the last big bucks from top-selling artists…
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    Music, Reviewed Peaches

    Peaches

    Peaches' 2000 debut, Teaches of Peaches, was undoubtedly a high point of its genre. There was something uniting and motivating to be found in Merrill Nisker's skeletal production, sexual proclamations, and daredevil live shows. But through Fatherfucker and Impeach My…
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    Music, Reviewed Eminem

    Eminem

    Having fought a prescription pill addiction and mourned his murdered friend Proof, Eminem has chosen to use his new album as his therapy. Whereas he played his last work, Encore, largely for laughs, Relapse is an often-shocking plunder of the…
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    Music, Reviewed Jason Lytle

    Jason Lytle

    It may be a relief to Grandaddy fans that former frontman Jason Lytle's solo debut sounds exactly like the erstwhile Modesto group's output. But that shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, Grandaddy was a band in name only, and…
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    Music, Reviewed Lady Sovereign

    Lady Sovereign

    White grime rapper Lady Sovereign was the British Asher Roth of 2006, the subject of a tremendous marketing blitz preceding the U.S. release of her debut, Public Warning. As with Roth, there was some question whether the public was ready…
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    Music, Reviewed Black Moth Super Rainbow

    Black Moth Super Rainbow

    Ramshackle electro-psych collective Black Moth Super Rainbow first came to wider recognition with 2007's Dandelion Gum. Having dosed that record with some of the most psychotropic beat-driven sounds this side of Edan's fractured hip-hop masterwork Beauty and the Beat, Black…
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    Music, Reviewed Chain and the Gang

    Chain and the Gang

    After famously marketing socialist punk in Nation of Ulysses and MC5-damaged gospel in the Make-Up, the perpetually cool Ian Svenonius has another winning concept on his hands with Chain and the Gang. Using the same backing players as his pal…
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    Music, Reviewed The Horrors

    The Horrors

    Whereas 2007's Strange House found the Horrors meeting the Cramps and the Ramones halfway while singing about Jack the Ripper, its follow-up finds the English youngsters trading in their scrappy verve for atmospheric brooding. Here the Horrors look for inspiration…
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    Music, Reviewed John Vanderslice

    John Vanderslice

    On his seventh full-length, indie-rock nice guy John Vanderslice switches labels from longtime home Barsuk to Secretly Canadian imprint Dead Oceans, presumably to avoid complacency. But when has the Tiny Telephone studio founder phoned anything in? Although these dozen songs…
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    Music, Reviewed Wooden Shjips

    Wooden Shjips

    On their second album, local boys Wooden Shjips have entirely abandoned the primitive psych of their previous work, opting for glossy production, anthemic choruses, and a seemingly shameless bid for the pop charts. Just kidding, stoners. On Dos, the Shjips…
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    Music, Reviewed Kush Arora

    Kush Arora

    The emergence of Bay Area dubstep parties over the last couple of years illustrates the ever-expanding audience for music that combines elements of drum 'n' bass, breaks, dub, and dancehall. San Francisco's Surya Dub collective — a popular crew that includes producer…
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    Music, Reviewed Asher Roth

    Asher Roth

    Being a privileged white guy from the Philly suburbs doesn't disqualify Asher Roth from legitimate hip-hop MC status — not being able to spin an interesting yarn does. The Scooter Braun–championed overnight sensation's debut, Asleep in the Bread Aisle, has…
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    Music, Reviewed Serge Gainsbourg

    Serge Gainsbourg

    Even with no knowledge of the French language, it'd still be fairly obvious that Serge Gainsbourg's 1971 album was consumed with lust. The pelvic-thrust basslines, his ear-licking vocals, and the way Jane Birkin exhaled as if being penetrated made Histoire…
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    Music, Reviewed Yeah Yeah Yeahs

    Yeah Yeah Yeahs

    The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs' CD shares its name with the legendary London nightclub that served as a way station between '70s punk and '80s synth-pop. Like the club, the record doesn't straddle eras so much as create a temporary…
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    Music, Reviewed Mumakil

    Mumakil

    Say the name Knut, and most folks will think of that polar bear cub from the Berlin Zoo. A select few, though, will recall an extremely underrated post-hardcore noise-metal band from Switzerland that released three albums, an EP, and a…
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    Music, Reviewed Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir

    Aaron LaCrate and Debonair Samir

    It's easy to say what Baltimore club music isn't: It isn't Miami bass, Bay Area hyphy, Chicago house, New York hip-hop, D.C. go-go, Atlanta crunk, or Detroit techno. Yet it contains elements of all those genres, along with a unique…
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    Music, Reviewed Dan Auerbach

    Dan Auerbach

    The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach used to make annual pilgrimages to the Mississippi Delta, starting on Nashville's Music Row and detouring west through Memphis, if only to dig through the bins at Shangri-La Records. The Akron native's self-produced and perfectly…
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    Music, Reviewed ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

    ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

    The past couple of years have been pretty crappy for Austin noisemakers ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The band lost its drummer, barely made it through a turbulent tour, and parted with the major…
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    Music, Reviewed Phosphorescent

    Phosphorescent

    In 1975, Willie Nelson recorded a series of covers called To Lefty from Willie as a tribute to his musical hero, Lefty Frizzell. Despite Nelson's efforts, Frizzell remains one of the more underappreciated country musicians, but Nelson's intent was essentially…
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    Music, Reviewed BLK JKS

    BLK JKS

    When BLK JKS formed almost a decade ago, the band took a lot of flak in its native Johannesburg. Rock 'n' roll was viewed as the music of the antagonistic West, and BLK JKS was unabashedly rock. The band has…
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    Music, Reviewed Audrye Sessions

    Audrye Sessions

    Bring on the major leagues. Over the past six years, Oakland's pop darlings the Audrye Sessions have blossomed from the minimalist coffeehouse project of Ryan Karazija and Alicia Marie Campbell to a full band. In the process, they've emerged as…
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    Music, Reviewed M. Ward

    M. Ward

    It's a tricky thing, dissecting M. Ward's new album — it can't possibly stack up against 2006's Post-War, where every track felt like a classic. But Hold Time does show Ward expanding his production skills; the bustling girl-group sound here…
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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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