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Electrelane proffers that come close/go away rock; punk paragons the Leaving Trains do the "all original members" thing

Wednesday, Jun 15 2005
Electrelane is an all-girl rock group, but it couldn't be more unlike the Donnas. Electrelane is a garage-y British band with post-punk influences, but it's certainly no Franz Ferdinand. Pretty much any similarities between Electrelane and the crop of '70s retreads routinely getting editorial oral from music rags worldwide are only superficial; this weird, krautrock-inspired quartet is a definite square peg. The band's new record, Axes, is a mix of instrumentals and vocal-enhanced tracks recorded in one take with legendary (and notoriously unorthodox) knob-twister Steve Albini. Meandering from Sonic Youth noise to semimelodic instrumentals with accordions and strings, the album is alienating, much like the band's live show. Don't look for verse-chorus-verse song structure, or even an obvious start or end to a song. Instead, expect the foursome to blast through their droning set (which, cross your fingers, includes a punked-out version of Leonard Cohen's "The Partisan") without a whole lot of audience interaction when Electrelane co-headlines with Deerhoof on Thursday, June 16, at the Great American Music Hall; call 885-0750 or visit for more info. -- Maya Kroth

Led by cross-dressing Los Angeles scene veteran and all-around flamboyant character Falling James -- whose weirdest claim to fame may be that he was Courtney Love's first husband -- the Leaving Trains have been pumping out roaring, punk-fueled ROCK since 1980 to middling acclaim. Admittedly, Falling James and cohorts have made a career out of chaos and bad luck, but the words "criminally underrated" have been applied to this act's oeuvre more than once and for good reason. The band has cycled through a ridiculous number of members over the years, but with all the "original lineup" vibes floating about these days, it's only fitting that the musicians who appeared on the group's classic first two albums -- 1984's Well Down Blue Highway and Kill Tunes (1986) -- have joined forces again to play San Francisco for the first time in 19 years. Catch them as they take the city by storm with three shows this week: Thursday, June 16, at the Hemlock Tavern (923-0923 or; Friday, June 17, at 12 Galaxies (970-9777 or; and Saturday, June 18, at Thee Parkside (503-0393 or -- Mike Rowell

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Maya Kroth


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