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Danish Garage Rockers Storm the Independent 

Wednesday, Feb 27 2008

When legendary U.K. space-rockers Spacemen 3 split circa 1991, member Jason Pierce channeled its lysergic drone into the eclectic, song-oriented Spiritualized while Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, continued his search for that lost chord with Spectrum. The latter's debut, Soul Kiss (Glide Divine), was surreal but tuneful, with subsequent releases growing more abstract and experimental. Kember/Boom is also the mainstay behind Experimental Audio Research, a flexible group including My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and AMM percussionist Eddie Prévost. Like the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno, and Suicide, Spectrum illustrates a nether region where sweet melody, soothing drone, and pure sound overlap. The journey to the center of the mind begins Saturday, March 1, at the Compound (1070 Van Dyke Ave.) at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10. — Mark Keresman

Amnesia is a very nice bar, all red velvet and sweetness. But it won't seem so freakin' nice when Deathroes — aka Ryan "Sixes" Jencks and Gerritt Wittmer — take the stage, black out the lights, blast your irises into sand with atom-bomb strobes, and churn up your last burrito with gut-grinding electronic noise and fiendish amounts of feedback. (Wait, come back! It's cool ... really!) If you expect leniency from 16 Bitch Pile-Up just because they're all members of the "gentler sex," well, forget it: The all-female trio of effects-pedal punishers can throw down distortion-scorched lightning bolts like Thor on his worst day. You can be assured that March comes into Amnesia like a lion on Saturday, March 1, at 9 p.m. when the two bands play alongside DJ Mick Nasty and Gina Basso. Admission is $6-$8; call 970-0012 or visit for more info. — John Graham

Flamenco purists will be drawn to Son de la Frontera, a five-piece group from the Spanish town of Morón de la Frontera that draws inspiration from the legacy of the late Diego del Gastor. The band's unique sound is specially marked by the très (a six-stringed instrument commonly used in Cuban folk music) of guitarist Raul Rodrigues, the percussive moves of dancer Pepe Torres, the dramatic vocals of Moi de Morón, and the Spanish guitar skills of Manuel Flores. Torres takes center stage for most of the set, his feet providing the beats that are the heart and soul of the music; the others take turns showing their chops — the best moments being when the two guitarists play against one another. Son de la Frontera performs on Saturday, March 1, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. Admission is $30-$65; call 978-2700 or visit for more info. — Ernest Barteldes

It's clear the Raveonettes have an affinity for shrill, ear-shredding distortion, juxtaposed with a lo-fi garage-rock aesthetic and improbably sweet two-part harmonies and melodies. Comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Velvet Underground have been a given since their 2002 debut EP, Whip It On! But on the group's latest album, Lust Lust Lust, the Danish duo has stepped it up a notch, illustrated by the droning yet catchy "Aly, Walk with Me," or the early-'60s Motown vibe of "Sad Transmission" drenched in a thin layer of guitar distortion. Don't forget to bring your earplugs when the Raveonettes and Be Your Own Pet perform on Wednesday, March 5, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $17; call 771-1422 or visit for more info. — Tim Pratt


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