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Music, West Coast Sound Release the Bats Celebrates 16 Years of Gothness in Long Beach

Release the Bats Celebrates 16 Years of Gothness in Long Beach

You could live blocks from Que Sera and be oblivious to its existence. Yet once a month, this unassuming three-room bar on a faded Long Beach strip hosts a globally recognized goth institution that celebrates its 16th anniversary on October 24. On the fourth Friday of every month since 1998,...…
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Calendar, Archive Massive Attack

Massive Attack

Though mellow and midtempo compared with so much British dance music, trip-hop trailblazers Massive Attack can still bare teeth. The duo's dogged political engagement across their 25-year career (their Facebook page currently invites uncensored debate about Palestine) is a reminder that even eyes-closed, escapist and gently psychedelic electronic music needn't...…
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Calendar, Archive The Kooks

The Kooks

As evidenced by their first three albums, England's Kooks can craft charming, often plaintive Britpop ditties seemingly at will. For their fourth full-length, the just-released Listen, lead Kook Luke Pritchard seems to have switched things up almost for the sake of doing so, embracing a much more percussive (and much...…
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Calendar, Archive Rise Against

Rise Against

While hardly making them the new Crass, Rise Against's pro-Democrat and human/animal/LGBT rights mutterings sound bold indeed in an era all but devoid of mainstream "political" music. The quartet's serrated yet ultra-anthemic punk-lite, distinguished by reckless groove shifts and Tim McIlrath's earnest, raw-throated roar, is lyrically sincere and musically challenging...…
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Calendar, Archive Arsonists Get All the Girls

Arsonists Get All the Girls

This Santa Cruz quintet certainly looks all deathcore — unison crab-squats, illegible logo T-shirts, confrontational frontman — and, in earlier incarnations, they checked many of that oversaturated genre's sonic boxes. But a decade and many, many members later, AGAtG has become something altogether more oblique, restless and just plain intriguing...…
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Calendar, Archive The Weirdos

The Weirdos

Like fellow genre pioneers The Ruts and The Slits, The Weirdos delighted in defying even what was socially mandated as constituting first-wave punk. Formed in 1976 and currently enjoying the latest in a string of sporadic reunions, these Angelenos shun the gritty, often confrontational imagery of their East Coast and...…
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Calendar, Archive Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

It's a shame that Fall Out Boy's street cred is crippled by the quartet's association with the dead-in-the-water emo scene and the tabloid ubiquity of bassist/lyricist (and former Mr. Ashlee Simpson) Pete Wentz. See, FOB at their best check all serious rock-band criteria: irresistible songs; Patrick Stump's vulnerable, emotive vocals;...…
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Calendar, Archive Boston, Cheap Trick

Boston, Cheap Trick

More than three-quarters of Boston's 31 million album sales are for their 1976 eponymous debut and its '78 follow-up, Don't Look Back. So gargantuan were these creations that the band, built around founding guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Tom Scholz, remains an arena-filling radio staple, despite releasing only four full-lengths since. Boston's secret is...…
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Calendar, Archive The Polyphonic Spree

The Polyphonic Spree

As with most mysterious happenings, reports of roving Texan troupe The Polyphonic Spree vary. While there were a good two dozen of its matching-robed members onstage a few years back, lately the count is in the mid-teens. Though pared down, and with the days of playing the Greek with Bowie...…
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Calendar, Archive The Sheds

The Sheds

Though punk's myriad subdivisions leave little room for fresh interpretation, local brothers The Sheds bring refreshing musicality and panache to the genre without compromising its signature pace and pummel. Morgan Miller's guitars and Evan Miller's super-literate bass intertwine in almost symphonic fashion, every bit as expressive as big bro Mac's...…
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Calendar, Archive My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult

That My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult has toured with everyone from Siouxsie and the Banshees and EMF to Marilyn Manson and Lords of Acid says much for both the band's longevity (27 years and counting) and its genre-defying sense of sonic wanderlust, melding throbbing industrial rock with sample-heavy...…
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Calendar, Archive Kitten

Kitten

With their debut album due next week, local throwback new-wavers Kitten have essentially become front gal Chloe Chaidez and a revolving door of bandmates. Which is predictable enough, considering it's Chaidez's breathy, melodramatic yelp that largely sets her band apart from any number of retro hipsters plundering Walkman-era staples from...…
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Calendar, Archive Meshuggah

Meshuggah

It says much for Meshuggah's sonic single-mindedness that, over a quarter-century career, they have been consistently classified as "extreme" or "progressive" metal - neither mellowing into "meh"-tal nor standing stylistically still long enough for the mainstream to catch up. For all their storied technical prowess and software-based songwriting and recording,...…
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Calendar, Archive Brody Dalle

Brody Dalle

Like Courtney Love before her, Brody Dalle's relationships with rock stars (Rancid's Tim Armstrong and, currently, Queens of the Stone Age main man Josh Homme) have raised her profile while tainting her musical cred. But with her just-released debut solo album, Diploid Love, the former Distillers and Spinnerette frontgal makes...…
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Calendar, Archive In the Valley Below

In the Valley Below

Closing out a monthlong Echo residency, local coed duo In the Valley Below exhibits at once the telepathy of identical twins and the feral chemistry of fated lovers. Done up like a wedding band from M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, they buttress gauzy Fleetwood Mac - isms with the bulbous...…
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Calendar, Archive For the Fallen Dreams

For the Fallen Dreams

With guitarist Jim Hocking the only constant factor over its decade-plus history, Michigan metalcore mainstay For the Fallen Dreams is more of a transplantable musical manifesto than a chemistry among specific individuals. Over 11 years and 25 members, FtFD has, however, developed from DIY deathcore to accomplished, borderline melodic hardcore...…
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Calendar, Archive Bermuda

Bermuda

Gawd only knows why this Oxnard outfit chose such a sunny, escapist name for its claustrophobic, cruelly mechanical deathcore. Bermuda's vision is bleak, urban and decayed, evoking blackened cityscapes, where the machines (depicted by fiercely disciplined and detuned stop-start guitars atop nail-gun kick drums) have turned on their lonely, horrified...…
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Calendar, Archive Nile

Nile

Death metal's answer to Powerslave-era Iron Maiden, the Egyptology-obsessed Nile explore their narrow niche with exquisite passion and punishing precision. Over eight albums and two decades, this perpetually morphing South Carolina crew has consistently thrived through furious dexterity, radically de-tuned doominess, and the sheer purity of vision of the only...…
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Calendar, Archive Off!

Off!

Living proof that punk rock and snotty youth are not, after all, indivisible, L.A.'s Off! - comprised of current and former members of Circle Jerks, Burning Brides, Redd Kross and Rocket From the Crypt - bring a veteran's clarity of vision to the genre, which only hones their sonic vitriol...…
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Calendar, Archive MGMT

MGMT

With childlike wonder permeating its quirky potpourri of decades' worth of pop influences, MGMT's 2007 debut album, Oracular Spectacular, has become a blueprint for indie-rock bands everywhere. On last year's self-titled third full-length, the Brooklynites grope for Oracular's mercurial magic, returning to that record's producer, longtime Flaming Lips knob twiddler...…
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