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The under-celebrated influence of Guided By Voices

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In a conversation about '90s rock staples the other day, a friend casually mentioned that he'd never really listened to Guided By Voices, a statement that provoked in me a somewhat surprising level of panic, alongside a strange sense of injustice.

"Here!" I cried, throwing on the starter-friendly greatest hits compilation Human Amusements at Hourly Rates. "Listen!" He listened politely for a few songs.

"They sound like every other lo-fi indie band from the mid-'90s onward," he said.Read more »

The Pogues' James Fearnley on Shane MacGowan, the difference time can make, and the diary that became his new memoir

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Mixing a high proof distillation from the sounds of traditional Irish folk music with the piss and vinegar attitude and energy of punk rock, The Pogues burst upon the music scene in London in 1984 with Red Roses For Me, and further established themselves with the albums that followed, such as Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985), and what many consider to be their masterpiece, If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988).Read more »

Party Radar: Daybreaker gets you moving - on a Tuesday morning

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Back in 1988, I hung out for a summer in West Berlin. Yep, this was before the wall fell, when West Berlin was a roiling, hyperactive, neon-crazy island in a sea of Communist repression -- kind of like the most exclusive nightclub in the world.

One of the things that took my breath away: high school kids and college students went to clubs before school. At least the few I knew would met their friends around 5-6am at the all-night club du jour and dance it out for a while before heading to class. "This is the best place in the world!" I thought at the time.

Also: "Why can't we have this?" Well, now we kinda do. Welcome to San Francisco, Daybreaker.

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Middle fingers to the sky, Lady Gaga takes San Jose for an artRAVEy ride

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There are a lot of critiques that I can make about Lady Gaga’s Tuesday night performance in San Jose — the sports arena acoustics, the horrifically boring opening acts, the focus on her new and less popular album Artpop, $80 sweatshirts, the fact that she performed some of her most popular tunes in truncated versions and neglected to play “LoveGame” altogether — but the fact is, none of these shortcomings made a dent in the incredible energy and impassioned performance that Gaga dished out. The show was fucking incredible.Read more »

There is too much going on this weekend: The Congress, Not Dead Yet Fest, and more

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Y'all ever have that thing where a week or two will go by without a show you're particularly stoked on, and then all of a sudden there's one weekend where you want to go to everything? But you can't, because you're human, and science is too busy ensuring you'll have nightmares of outstanding proportions tonight to get on that teleportation thing, so you have to make all these god-awful decisions?Read more »

The pedestrian pop of Sylvan Esso

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Upon first listen, Sylvan Esso kind of takes hold of you. Nick Sanborn’s melodic, layered, driving electronic beats pair perfectly with Amelia Meath’s blissful voice and artful lyrics. The way Sylvan Esso — the band’s self-titled debut album, which dropped May 13 — is wrapped together feels so intuitive, so ethereal, that it will likely bring you to your feet for an impromptu dance session.Read more »

The Damned on playing small venues, headgear that protects you from spit, and why they won't stop 'til the Stones do

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For nearly four decades now, legendary British rockers The Damned have been haunting stages around the world with their brand of gothic-inspired punk.

Since storming onto the London punk scene in 1976, the band has evolved and survived multiple line-up changes over the years, with the group now led by founding members Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible, who are keeping the original spirit of The Damned alive and well.Read more »

Listen: Katie Day's anti-tech bro jam "San Francisco (Before the West Falls)"

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Between POW!'s "Hi-Tech Boom," the schticky "Google Bus Song" from Cachebox, and Violent Vickie's "Fuck You!!!!!", it's safe to say San Francisco musicians — the ones that are left here, haha! sorry — are currently leading the nation in anti-gentrification music.

This is a good thing, of course. It means the city still has a pulse. You know what we've been sorely lacking, however? As Emma Goldman basically said, give the people a summery, socially conscious anthem we can fucking dance to. Read more »

The 8 things that made BottleRock, well, BottleRock

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I am surrounded by people with purple teeth, stained from too much red wine. These people are twisted beyond belief, screaming obscenities about forgotten 90s bands, while wine sloshes around in glasses suspended by those stupid-looking lanyard wine glass holders. I want to say to them, “Literally, handle your shit. Like, physically hold your glass of wine. You’re a grown up.” It’s like a bad summer picnic for rich winos…Read more »

Pink Mountaintops get weird at The Chapel

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By Jordannah Elizabeth

The Pink Mountaintops performed last night at The Chapel in the Mission District to a loyal crowd of friends and fans, who patiently waited for McBean and his new line up — which includes Dead Meadow’s Steven Kille, Will Scott, and Gregg Foreman of Cat Power — to take the stage.Read more »