Everyone's a Critic

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The unpredictable Mild High Club

This year's Skiptracing is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly.

Skiptracing is a whiff of clear ’60s air, breathed out by Mild High Club. Their style is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly. The title and opening track peals with ...

Guided by Pollard

At over two hours with two encores, you got to wait for the GBV nugs

In 2014, five guys played the Belly Up under the moniker of Guided by Voices. A pair of these musicians was present at this year’s show — Robert Pollard (singer) and Kevin March (drummer) — ...

What is a bass player?

Rodrigo y Gabriela slay Belly Up flamenco style

On night one of two evenings of sold-out shows consisting of four musicians comprising two bands, the Belly Up became a stage for dynamic duos. Warming up the crowd was the Irish acoustic guitar-and-drum bundle ...

Radiohead: Dialed in at the Shrine

The English quintet sends 6300 fans into frenzy

Shrine Auditorium has a gorgeous personality, a haunting elegance that paired well with Radiohead’s bipolar extravagance, as the English quintet performing 24 intimate songs to a sold-out crowd of 6300. The night looked like a ...

Dead and Company rock-roll in Sleep Train

Three old hands, three new hands, including blues-rock star John Mayer

“Shakedown Street” is one of the Grateful Dead's funkiest songs, and it’s also the name given to the funky traveling market that has been springing up in the parking lot at Dead shows for decades. ...

Half-hour of free Descendents therapy

After 12 long years, SoCal punks return with Hypercaffium Spazzinate

The first Descendents album since 2004’s Cool to Be You blasts out of the gates with a pristine five-song run of classic ‘Dents goodness. The cream of the crop is “Victim of Me,” an 97-second ...

Savages turn Observatory into a cauldron of punk-metal

British band riding a mighty, high wave behind this year's Adore Life

What to say about Savages…these are some badass ladies. The English quartet is known for their fierce and eerie delivery. Atmospheric guitar feedback, constant rumbling of bass and drums, topped off by Jehnny Beth’s maniacal ...

The London Suede's aquatic Night Thoughts

Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish

We won’t have the new Meat Loaf until the kids go back to school this September, so lucky for us the Suede decided to carry on in the face of lineup changes and, dare I ...

The soft, loud, soft, really loud Wye Oak

Baltimore indie-rock duo packs 'em in at the Irenic

Wye Oak is a Baltimore indie-rock duo formed in 2006 whose music ranges from laid-back and spare to noisy guitar freak-outs. They showcased these dynamics mid-set at the Irenic with the galloping soft/loud/soft/really loud structure ...

Yoni & Geti park the Testarossa at Casbah

Why? trio lights a fire under Chicago rapper Serengeti

Serengeti and Yoni Wolf’s second collaborative full-length, Testarossa, is a concept album speaking to the difficulty inherent in maintaining a relationship across distance, specifically in a profession requiring perpetual travel, and of the longing, infidelity, ...

Once in a Blue Moon no soothing tonic

Robert Nix's latest adds muscle-tone to art-rock

Robert Nix is a Canadian composer and multi-instrumentalist whose recent album, Once in a Blue Moon, highlights a man adding muscle-tone to the business of art-rock. Acquainted with absurdity and valuing the artist impulse to ...

One hot Headache

Aussie pub-rockers Royal Headache get Soda Bar bouncing

Before Royal Headache started their set, I spotted their bassist, Joe, taking a stab at the NFL Blitz ’99 arcade game nestled in the club’s main room. Perhaps he was using it to learn the ...

Com Truise's sci-fi saga continues

With Silicon Tare, the electronic artist brings the space traveler to an intriguing place

Com Truise is the electronic project of Seth Haley, a former DJ who employs an arsenal of synth patches and drum machines to create a heady mix of ’80s-inspired sci-fi music. By pitch-bending and layering ...

Stage sick — Flight of the Conchords

Music-comedy duo use the sore throat for comedic effect

Musical-comedy duo Flight of the Conchords didn’t care that several fans in the front row had brought small children to their sold-out gig at San Diego State: nothing was going to stop them from boasting ...

Buckethead — mad scientist of electric guitar

Worshippers wore buckets on their heads, played along on air guitars

Without a live band, Buckethead kept the packed Music Box of hardcore fans salivating over his axe handling. A souped-up guitar capable of making you breakfast and doing the dishes, buzzed, ripped, soared, and dominated ...

Chili Peppers' Getaway doesn't get too far

SoCal funk-rock act stays in its safe zone but gets high marks for revitalized production

Following the commercial high-water mark of Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way, it's been a decade plus of funk-rock mediocrity from an aging band with a formulaic sound. The average listener's impression of the ...

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