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Every once in a while a band comes around that no one’s ever heard with a collection of songs that should be called “Greatest Hits,” but can’t considering, well, technically there are no hits. So you can go the “An Introduction to” route, but that seems to work better for Nick Drake and Shuggie Otis. For Stockholm’s cerebral rockers Audionom, Retrospektiv seems like an appropriate album title as nothing this band does can really be explained in one Virgin Megastore-friendly...

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Wednesday, 17 January 2007
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Walking into the Comets on Fire pre-Christmas bash at 12 Galaxies in SF’s Mission District, there’s a slight, although not overwhelming, feel of camaraderie. Here were the boys of the hometown sort, who had muddied their way up from the coast located at the bottom of the Santa Cruz mountains just a few years ago and were now making highly visible, highly praised cosmic dirt rock. Maybe not for the masses, but for a big enough selection of underground rock...

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Tuesday, 16 January 2007
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Honeycut’s name might ring a bell if you’re a Morning Becomes Eclectic listener, but if you asked anyone who attended the show about Honeycut, they’d most likely refer to them as “The band whose keyboard playing was (expletive) awesome, and beats were (superlative) sick.” And they were. Thank RV Salters’ skill on the keyboard and Tony Sevener handling the beats. But don’t assume that’s all there is to them. As vocalist Bart Davenport mentioned during the set, “This isn’t no...

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Monday, 15 January 2007
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Axl Rose has not aged gracefully. I was flipping around the television a few weeks ago when the remote landed on Axl’s puffy, pock-marked visage mumbling about “the future of Guns N’ Roses.” First of all, WHAT future of Guns N’ Roses? Axl is the only remaining original member of the supergroup and the fact that he continues to tour under the moniker is a bit like Roger Waters touring as Pink Floyd without even David Gilmour and with poor...

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Sunday, 14 January 2007
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Dat Rosa Mel Apibus, the title of Brooklyn-based White Magic’s anticipated debut long-player, is Latin for “The rose gives honey to the bees.” As singer and pianist Mira Billotte recently explained in an interview with The Village Voice, “To me, the rose is life, the path of life and consciousness, the Creator, and the bees are us. The honey is what we’re looking for, our fulfillment, finding our truth and place.” However, the album’s title functions equally well as a...

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Friday, 12 January 2007
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What do indie buzz bands have to aspire to now that the O.C. is cancelled? Well, if you are Bloc Party, it's no big deal. Vice Records will release the follow-up to your smash debut on February 6th, and then you will go on tour. Thousands of girls (and boys) with asymmetrical haircuts will swoon and throw their panties at you, and all will be right with the world. And none of them will realize that you are singing about...

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Thursday, 11 January 2007
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There's a fairly decent chance that if Neko Case wrote a song that predicted my death three weeks from now from some grisly cause, I'd still think it was completely awesome, right up until the point where I lost consciousness. And Neko Case is one of the few people who could sing that song and have listeners appreciate the beauty and heartache of my death, not get sick over the sheer amount of blood and insane coincidence that contributed to...

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Thursday, 11 January 2007
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The Arcade Fire takes it sound to new and exciting places on its slavishly anticipated new album, “Neon Bible,” which, as previously reported, is due March 6 via Merge. The 11-track set was primarily recorded in a church outside the band's Montreal homebase and features contributions from Final Fantasy's Owen Pallett, Calexico's Martin Wenk and Jacob Valenzuela and Wolf Parade's Hadjii Bakara. Three tracks have already made the rounds online: the pipe organ-drenched “Intervention” (which is available for...

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Thursday, 11 January 2007
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Nick Cave is a strange, beguiling dude. Here’s a guy who made some of the blackest, darkest music of the post-punk era, now verging on Hollywood acceptability (thanks to The Proposition) and is probably a more frequent guest on David Letterman than Steve Martin. His albums no longer carry the explosive, head-against-the-wall, heroin fear of yore, but they instead are big, expansive baroque meditations on love and murder. If anything, he’s only increased in intensity over the years, becoming accomplished...

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Thursday, 11 January 2007
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Deerhoof’s last album, The Runners Four, was probably the most pop-obsessed album that the group had recorded in their lifetime. There were moments of their unexpected heavy crunch and stop/start fragments, but it was practically their version of The Monkees in its pure catchiness and humable tunes. Anyone who has seen the group live recently will know that this bubblegum is just part of the equation that adds up to Deerhoof’s full strength. They are also wickedly obtuse, often heavy...

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Thursday, 11 January 2007