The Shaky Hands Where: The Firebird With: The Mhurs Sounds Like: "If Mott the Hoople and Dr. Dog had a baby, it would be called Tom the Poodle, and it would sound like the Shaky Hands. The Portland band's no-frills, all-boogie presentation reclaims the spirit of the blues-jamming early '70s -- without relying on girl jeans and mustaches. On the group's fourth album (second on Kill Rock Stars), Let It Die, the fidelity is low, and the swagger is high, making gems such as the groovy "Caught in the Storm" and deliriously catchy, Petty-could've-written-that "Allison and the Ancient Eyes" sound more like lost gold than obscure indie-rock trinkets." (link) -- Jason Harper
Dinosaur Jr/Lou Barlow Where: The Pageant Sounds Like: "With grunge-era staples such as "Freak Scene" and "Out There," Dinosaur Jr. specialized in bittersweet compositions, where even the sad songs were love songs and even the love songs were sad. But they were no crybabies: An impermeable wall of screaming guitar concealed much of this melancholy. To the delight of fans, not much has changed over the past twenty or so years. The older songs still ring true, and the live shows are still a pulverizing avalanche of sound." (link) -- Jaime Lees Other links: Lou Barlow interview
The Action Design Where: Cicero's Playing With: Sick of Sarah, Donora, Black Vista Highway Patrol Sounds Like: "Invariably forceful and energetic with her old outfit, Agent M now coos like a breathy torch singer over piano backdrops and recalls Debbie Harry's passionate cool during jaunty new wave numbers. While Tsunami Bomb traces remain, from M's trademark lyrical admonitions ("You've been found out") to the way the song title "Scissor Game" evokes the scissors-intensive album art for TB's final record The Definitive Act, the Action Design's kinetic rhythms introduce choreographic possibilities beyond the pogo." (link) -- Andrew Miller Download/Listen: To lots of stuff here!
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