Music » Critics' Picks

Stroke 9

Friday, January 7; Mississippi Nights

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Is it worth going to see a show for one song? People do it all the time, of course: Do you think Lynyrd Skynryd plays "Free Bird" last by accident? Or are they afraid of playing their lesser hits to a half-filled stadium?

Less dramatically, about 90 percent of the people who remember San Francisco's Stroke 9 know the band about this well: "Stroke 9...were those the guys who...'Sex and Candy'?...no...oh, wait, 'Little Black Backpack?'" That's right. A juicy nugget of college pop about a cheating girlfriend, "Little Black Backpack" got some radio play during the post-grunge sorta-pop explosion and landed Stroke 9 on Universal. And the group kept putting out pleasing, straightforward pop records, taking care with the lyrics and putting a nice sheen on everything. And nobody noticed.

So if you want to go see Stroke 9 for one song, that's fine. But if they happen to play "LBB" in the middle of the set, stick around. You might be surprised.

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