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I got to see Beach House open for Ariel Pink in the summer of 2006. Victoria Legrand's glassy stare and Alex Scally's literal shoe-gazing made for a dreamy performance of lo-fi somnolence. Looking back, I realize the duo's mental presence has always been true to their sound and moniker: somewhere between surf and fog, the music languishes in the barely-brushed ethereal, beautifully dreaming out soundscapes like the one that hung in the mirrored roil of the Echo. Certainly this anesthetized...

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Friday, 15 February 2008
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For the past 8 or so years, the rumors or Portishead putting another album out were as hard to believe as the right-on-cue phony Coachella lineup fliers that circulates a week or so before the real one. But, after a show and a few hints FROM their site saying that they’re in the studio, we actually started to believe the viability. So unless I got an early April Fool’s Day email today, Portishead announce the release of Third, their hugely...

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Friday, 15 February 2008
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The unclassifiable sound of Beach House (lo-fi dream opera?), is being captured on video directed by Baltimore underground film legend Skizz Cyzyk. The first single, "You Came To Me," from their soon-to-be-released second album is now joined with a full-length music video. The video evokes dark imagery and works carefully to accompany the band's intense yet somewhat enlightening sound. Now an integral part of the Baltimore music scene, Beach House formed in 2005 and have quickly gained national recognition for...

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Thursday, 14 February 2008
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Picking up where 2006’s The Warning left off, Hot Chip’s latest, Made in the Dark, finds the U.K. electro-rockers as danceable as ever. Kicking off their third LP with “Out at the Pictures,” an upbeat guitar-heavy jive, Hot Chip gives us something that feels new, yet fits perfectly in sync with their repertoire. That feel remains true throughout the album where sonic experimentation and witty lyrics co-exist inside soft ballads and (what will become) dance club favorites. Made in the...

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Wednesday, 13 February 2008
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It's about time. We've all been waiting to actually get some hard-earned money into the pockets of the guys in Radiohead after that pay whatever you want plan for In Rainbows. And now we can because they confirmed a few live dates in North America, and I'm sure that ticket money will hopefully get their rent paid. The tour includes the West Coast now that the summer dates have finally been announced. So all of us need to get together...

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Tuesday, 12 February 2008
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The city of Los Angeles smells and feels as average as it always does. The noon sun is high but slightly orange thanks to the haze of smog provided by our labyrinth of freeways, highways and byways. The turn of one corner smells like a vagrant’s homestead while the sidewalks are cracked with tree roots trying to break free. A bus barrels by, leaving a trail of billowing carcinogens behind and some old lady just gave you the finger for...

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Monday, 11 February 2008
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The multiple benefits of having a large concert indoors didn’t really occur to me until I emerged from my trusty old 4Runner only to immerse myself in a sweltering rainstorm that was raging outside of Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday night. Lines poured out of the building onto the ground level, as folks impatiently waited for their chance to see one of world’s biggest bands, The Foo Fighters. When I got inside, I discovered another bonus, summed up eloquently...

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Sunday, 10 February 2008
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While much ado has been made about his background since appearing in 1996, it’s difficult to believe that Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett, a.k.a. Mr. E, wasn’t born in the wrong place; there is simply no word or expression present in the English language that neatly and clearly defines or qualifies the music he writes. Everett has been known to pen songs like “Going Fetal” that revel in schadenfreude – German for the pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others....

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Sunday, 10 February 2008
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When we last heard Long Beach’s Paperplanes on 2006’s self-released Volcanoes, they had just taken their first baby steps into the alt-country wilderness, adding elegiac strains of steel guitar to their jittery, Velvets-infused sound. With Rhinestone Republic, however, the ‘Planes have eschewed the “alt” prefix, driving deep into real country territory. Here, twangy Bakersfield guitars, honky tonk rhythms and heartfelt lyrics of loss, escape and addiction coalesce into something undeniably authentic—and...

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Sunday, 10 February 2008
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So this would be the first installment of Random Shit. I have another column that mainly focuses on sites that offer a grip of complimentary mp3s, mostly from intelligent labels that understand that offering free music will lead to more money because they have a better chance at attracting new fans. Anyway, that could be another Random Shit altogether. My point is, that column has always limited me because I could never just get inspired and write something because I...

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Saturday, 09 February 2008