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Arlie John Carstens

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A Noble Throttling

Qui, the Bronx, Circle Jerks, the Melvins, and the Locust August 4 at the Echoplex Drummer Ferdie Cuilda has been the hard-hitting, wildly entertaining backbone of 400 Blows, L.A.’s best brutalist noise-punk band, for nine long years. His mathematically complex drumming style is precisely what drew me to the band......

X Post Facto

Even in action sports, context is everything. In 1995, when ESPN launched the Extreme Games in Rhode Island (renamed the X Games in 1996), a great many board-sports enthusiasts gazed skeptically upon the affair. After all — Disney owns ESPN. While delivering conventional sports like NASCAR and Major League Baseball......
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Yowza

American underground music of the early 1980s was a mash of good, great and painfully bland. The rich and varied legacy of that time is a mixed blessing. Arguably, the most defining, genre-expanding bands of the era were L.A.’s Black Flag, New York’s Sonic Youth and Austin, Texas’ Scratch Acid......
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In the Pink

In the 2004 film Garden State, Natalie Portman’s character declares that the Shins song “New Slang” will “change your life.” Much fun has been made of that daft assertion, and rightfully so. At best, the song’s crystalline distillation of indie ennui will guide you home from another bleak night at......
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Neuromancers

Neurosis, Red Sparowes at the El Rey, January 3 To the uninitiated, the ambient instru-metal sound of the opening act, Red Sparowes, is not dissimilar from Mogwai’s 2001: A Space Odyssey–meets–Conan vibe or Godspeed’s sonic cathedrals. However, with an affinity for pedal steel, shakers, countrified chords and galloping, polyrhythmic bass......
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Present Perfect

Photo by Wild Don Lewis ELECTRELANE, SILVERSUN PICKUPS, TIMONIUM at Spaceland, April 9 This sold-out Friday night began with a whisper, slowly rose to a bounce and finished with a bang. Sounding at turns like Brit shoegazers Ride, or perhaps a less adroit Idaho, openers Timonium offered a glacially paced......