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Radiation City's Slow Burn

The website intothewoods.tv has a remarkable video of the band Radiation City performing their song “Babies” in someone’s living room. They’re packed in so tightly that one guy who wants to listen is standing outside, pressed against the window. The camera keeps close to lead singer Lizzy Ellison behind her keyboard. The rest of the band is behind her in the frame for most of the video, and at first it looks and sounds like she’s doing a solo project with some anonymous backup musicians.

But as the song goes on it builds in intensity, and you can see the band working together. The other players are clearly getting caught up in the sound. At a key moment, they punctuate the song with staccato bursts from guitar, keys, and drums while the bassist picks quickly on a high note. On record, this part of the song seems to come out of nowhere, and that’s not a bad thing. But in the video, everything in the song suddenly seems to have been leading to that moment.

Radiation City specializes in this kind of slow burn. The Portland band counts jazz and bossa nova among its influences, but there are a lot of other styles at work, too: notably rock and country and old-timey folk harmonies, but none of them quite as you would expect. In the song “Hide from the Night,” the band touches on all of these influences and throws in a noisy guitar solo, a weird synth, and some arty production effects. It comes off like a country band playing Hawaiian easy-listening in a David Lynch movie.

Moonbeams, the Pharmacy, and Not Machines also perform.

RADIATION CITY: Tin Can Ale House, Friday, March 23. 619-955-8525. $6.

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The website intothewoods.tv has a remarkable video of the band Radiation City performing their song “Babies” in someone’s living room. They’re packed in so tightly that one guy who wants to listen is standing outside, pressed against the window. The camera keeps close to lead singer Lizzy Ellison behind her keyboard. The rest of the band is behind her in the frame for most of the video, and at first it looks and sounds like she’s doing a solo project with some anonymous backup musicians.

But as the song goes on it builds in intensity, and you can see the band working together. The other players are clearly getting caught up in the sound. At a key moment, they punctuate the song with staccato bursts from guitar, keys, and drums while the bassist picks quickly on a high note. On record, this part of the song seems to come out of nowhere, and that’s not a bad thing. But in the video, everything in the song suddenly seems to have been leading to that moment.

Radiation City specializes in this kind of slow burn. The Portland band counts jazz and bossa nova among its influences, but there are a lot of other styles at work, too: notably rock and country and old-timey folk harmonies, but none of them quite as you would expect. In the song “Hide from the Night,” the band touches on all of these influences and throws in a noisy guitar solo, a weird synth, and some arty production effects. It comes off like a country band playing Hawaiian easy-listening in a David Lynch movie.

Moonbeams, the Pharmacy, and Not Machines also perform.

RADIATION CITY: Tin Can Ale House, Friday, March 23. 619-955-8525. $6.

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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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