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The Fratellis don't sing opera. They don't roll in an SUV riddled with "bullet holes the size of matzo balls" and hide out in an abandoned restaurant. They don't threaten to puree little kids' hands in a blender if they don't get the information they want… or at least they didn't during their show on September 17th at the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center in San Francisco. Clearly, these are not the Fratellis I grew up with. Luckily, what...

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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
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I have taken Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds live shows for granted, and I'll be the first to admit it. In fact, the last time I saw him and his band live (aside from the two Grinderman shows here in S.F. well over a year ago) was probably in 1997 or so. But after being blown away by those two amazing nights It finally sunk in that Mr. Cave has become as talented as a performer as he is...

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Tuesday, 30 September 2008
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After eight years without a numeral appended to his name and a couple of albums that, while very good, found the defender of the dumped evacuating his seat at the eighty-eight keys (Rockin’ The Suburbs) and then sitting back down to ease out some bittersweet and sentimental regrets that even won some adult contemporary radio air time (“Landed” from Songs For Silverman), fans might’ve started to get worried that Ben Folds had forgotten his sense of humor as well as...

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Monday, 29 September 2008
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As we get deeper into the new millennium and an increasing number of Gen X musicians discover the joys of parenthood, conspicuously the number of really good kids records to come out has increased at a roughly equal ratio. This year alone, albums geared to children that won’t drive their parents insane have appeared from bands including They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies and those have almost deliberately gone out of their way to be really smart for parental...

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239
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Saturday, 27 September 2008
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Other than being remarkable talents whose careers have been celebrated by legions of fans the world over, what do U2, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Raffi, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Scott Weiland, Robbie Robertson, Luscious Jackson, Ron Sexsmith, Dashboard Confessional and Emmylou Harris have in common? In short, the single most noticeable common thread among the careers of that list of musicians is that, at one point or another, Daniel Lanois has offered his talents for production to at least one...

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Friday, 26 September 2008
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Everybody that’s partial to rock n’ roll has a memory of the first time that the music crept up and made a devotee out of them. Years ago, you might have been a passing fan or daytime dabbler and enjoyed the music, but didn’t really know all that much about it and, if asked, probably couldn’t pick out one particular favorite song. Then a record came along, punched you in the gut and made you a slave to the rock;...

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Friday, 26 September 2008
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After bursting onto the scene in 2005 with the danceable indie rock of Silent Alarm, Bloc Party ventured into new territory with a dark and introspective sophomore release, A Weekend In The City, and scored their biggest hit with the single “I Still Remember.” On Intimacy, the UK quartet preserves their original sound while fusing it with the darker writing from their second album. The result is a collection of strong, upbeat, listenable melodies that run the emotional gamut. Led...

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Friday, 26 September 2008
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I have to admit that, years ago when I first heard about the notion of a DJ packing a room full of ecstatic dancers and such an individual being called a genius, I was sceptical. I mean, they’re just pushing pre-recorded music right? How difficult could it be to string together a bunch of songs, make a playlist and make it sound good? Oh, how woefully under-educated I was. What DJs do isn’t so simple as just slapping a series...

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305
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Wednesday, 24 September 2008
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Some things are guaranteed to make your blood pressure go up. According to every piece of literature available, too much salt is guaranteed to register a pulmonary increase, but what’s lesser-known is that the right combination of hard-soft dynamics, girl-and-boy harmonies and huge overdriven guitars in just the right spots—not unlike the combination The Subways play with reckless abandon on All Or Nothing—will get blood pumping too fast too. From the very first arpeggiated guitar build of “Girls & Boys,”...

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231
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Tuesday, 23 September 2008
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Unlike so many other bands that have released side project albums over the last few years (beginning with Fieldy’s god-awful hip hop record, Rock n’ Roll Gangster, in 2002, recently releases have surfaced by Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes and Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals) that really only amount to variations on the original, established theme of the larger band in question and are a cheap excuse for one member to put his/her name up front to be...

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Tuesday, 23 September 2008