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Liars

Last week I interviewed Stan Ridgway of Wall of Voodoo, and something he said has been nagging at me: “The music that I always found to be most valuable to me when I was younger were songs that I didn’t really like at first.” I like his word choice: “valuable.”

What Ridgway said made me give the Liars another chance. The band first entered public consciousness as one of the leading lights of the much-hyped New York scene of 2001. The Liars had the cool sound of the time, dance-punk, and at the time singer Angus Andrew had the coolest girlfriend in the world, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. (Her sublime hit “Maps” was written about him.) But the Liars took a weird turn and started recording experimental music on concept albums about artistic doubt and historic witch-hunting. I wasn’t the only listener who was left completely mystified.

I’m glad I reconsidered. The self-titled album Liars released last fall is a return, if not to exactly dance-punk or even rock, at least to riffs and rhythms that are a little easier to understand. It’s not a retreat, though, because the music shows the influence of years of studio trickery and avant-garde ideas. It’s just that this time around, the Liars ditched the high concept in favor of high energy.

So thank you, Stan Ridgway. I think the Liars could be valuable to me if I keep listening. I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle that album about witch hunting again, but I’ll think about it.

LIARS, The Casbah, Thursday, February 21, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $14.

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Last week I interviewed Stan Ridgway of Wall of Voodoo, and something he said has been nagging at me: “The music that I always found to be most valuable to me when I was younger were songs that I didn’t really like at first.” I like his word choice: “valuable.”

What Ridgway said made me give the Liars another chance. The band first entered public consciousness as one of the leading lights of the much-hyped New York scene of 2001. The Liars had the cool sound of the time, dance-punk, and at the time singer Angus Andrew had the coolest girlfriend in the world, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. (Her sublime hit “Maps” was written about him.) But the Liars took a weird turn and started recording experimental music on concept albums about artistic doubt and historic witch-hunting. I wasn’t the only listener who was left completely mystified.

I’m glad I reconsidered. The self-titled album Liars released last fall is a return, if not to exactly dance-punk or even rock, at least to riffs and rhythms that are a little easier to understand. It’s not a retreat, though, because the music shows the influence of years of studio trickery and avant-garde ideas. It’s just that this time around, the Liars ditched the high concept in favor of high energy.

So thank you, Stan Ridgway. I think the Liars could be valuable to me if I keep listening. I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle that album about witch hunting again, but I’ll think about it.

LIARS, The Casbah, Thursday, February 21, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $14.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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