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Under Byen's Icelandic envy 

Wednesday, Mar 14 2007
Thanks in part to the benevolent gaze of previous tourmates My Morning Jacket, Dr. Dog 's status as Philadelphia's lo-fi-loving motley crew has been rising steadily in recent years. Last month's well-received release of We All Belong just might extract the group from the underground for good. Grander production techniques and more focused pop song structures do nothing to temper Dr. Dog's ramshackle charm, and its smartly executed, vintage '60s sounds have ripened into a stylistic calling card that evokes the Band as much as it does Olivia Tremor Control. Dr. Dog plays Thursday, March 15, at Café Du Nord at 9 pm. Admission is $10-12; call 861-5016 or visit for more info. — Hannah Levin

Everyone respects Bill Frisell . His music is easy listening and substantive. Drawing from jazz, blues, Americana, film scores, and folk traditions from around the world, his melodic originality is second to none. Then there's his technique — a rare combination of hypnotic soundscape effects and cleanly executed picking on shrewd, often uncanny, chord changes — which has influenced a couple generations of guitar players. Yet even those who can't hang with his latter-day somnambulant tendencies (he writes the lushest of lullabies) still give him props for his tenure with avant-garde icon John Zorn; Frisell's just cool like that. Which is as good an excuse as any to check out his solo gig on Friday, March 16, at the gorgeous Grace Cathedral at 8 p.m. Admission is $25-45; call 800-225-2277 or visit for more info. — Sam Prestianni

Danish orchestral-pop septet Under Byen must have spent its formative years weaned on the Icelandic scene. Lead singer Henriette Sennenvaldt is a cross between Björk's mellower moments and the childlike murmurs of Múm's Valtysdóttir sisters, while the band's music mines the anthemic dynamics of Sigur Rós. Its 2006 release Samme Stof Som Stof (Same Fabric as Fabric) is a mélange of refined whispers, creaky music boxes, classically influenced strings, and glacial balladry. Catch the hypnotic soundscapes of Under Byen in this rare San Francisco show (Frida Hyvonen and Au Revoir Simone open) on Monday, March 19, at Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is $13; call 885-0750 or visit for more info. — Mike Munz


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