Faun and a Pan Flute, Magicicada, Guerilla Toss, Lovely Little Girls – Great Scott – June 27

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Faun and a Pan Flute (Atlanta)

High drama tension wires on brass, strings, and marimba. This has a jazzy feel, with good dynamics, and varied. Mysterious at times, with modal touches, it can leap back into symphonic band territory – just for a spell, then into the austere realm of European free, or classic fusion.

Touchstones seem many, though nothing conspicuous enough to make you think “this sounds like…” It’s kept in a good mix, with abrupt but smooth changes, and tight interplay.

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Magicicada (Atlanta)

Magicicada evokes the sounds of electrical storms rather than cicadas on a summer night. The lineup is deceptive. Guitar and cello plus singer and drums, but what you hear is a wall of noise. It’s scary and creepy. Stiff growls, intermittent and jolting, swatches of sandpaper synthesizer. Is there development? It travels like a tornado, busting up whatever structure evolves in the meantime.

Rhythms start to develop as the set progresses. They are like stuff dragged by large vehicles on the street. Then they get spacey. Wind blowing through hallways of empty mansions. Ends with a bang and a whimper.

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Guerilla Toss

G Toss has cleaned up their act. Their music is sparkling where it used to be muddy. Peter drives the band with heavy funk from his drums. Kassie is as happy as a schoolgirl on the playground, bouncing up and down when she sings. The rhythms shoot up like fireworks, brushing up again each other, pushing each other out of the way. Their songs have real melodies now, though they’re obstacle courses, like they used to be. They were always an eclectic band, with heavy no wave precedents, but their elements are purer now, and effusive.

The band’s art has always been to cover their L7 music school tracks with punk attitude, but there’s a oneness to them now. I would call them psych punk. They can push dreamy, hot colored chords out of their axes, but always with a jagged edge. They’re not students anymore.

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Lovely Little Girls (Chicago)

Contortionist , no wave style music, with dirty, funky horns, and stop start action. Energized, inspired traffic jam. They can get operatic, or wax classic musical, like West Side Story. Different dimensions at work here, say, the rolling, hard hitting drums that back the arch, theatrical singing on one song, with structured, syncopated guitar patterns. The horns border on jazz, with charcoal harmonies, but this is effect, as they support the vocals, which are central, and are more lush and even.

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TIg Bitty, NE Patriots, Take Out Order – Deep Thoughts JP – June 22

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Tig Bitty

This is curvy music, stretching from seventies’ disco classic Chic’s “Le Freak”, to nineties alt hoppers Luscious Jackson. “Who’s a bad bitch?” they say, to twisty, Eastern sounding beats. Then more talk “about our pussies.” Theses are raunchy bitches, “Bang my pussy, bang my pussy, bam!” Almost too much to take, but it’s good.

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NE Patriots

They’re a cross between Joy Division and Talking Heads. Eerie, metallic guitar monotones, awkward, jerky syncopation. The singer, Cory, forays into the crowd, right into me, as I’m typing. The kids wave and roll, to the shocks of rhythm. These guys can take you through the seventies punk clubs, grainy, black and white snapshots of CBGBs and The Rat. Then they go for avant noise, dusting a dissonant chord over an insistent drum beat. They’re good sound explorers, too, with fire alarm psychedelic tone spirals.

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Take Out Order

Andy Brown, aka Bazooka Joe, aka Charlie Brown, aka DJ Mental, takes it easy tonight with his Skimask replica, Take Out Order. With his sideways baseball cap, he looks like a cross between Method Man and ODB. The music is wild, with titles like “Creature Double Feature”, about meeting your mate. Andy’s got a reptilian roar which is repulsive at first, but grows on you like the sticky tongue of a chameleon, with which he consumes his audience, which he has in the palm of his hand, like a superstar.

Fresh Air – Ringer Park, Allston – June 21

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Free Pizza

Intellectual punk, a la Television, Richard Hell. Very good… Even shirtless.

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Homeshopper

Bibles are corporations, which are people. Dave droning on and on, why can’t he just play sax? I’m so bored. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Something about comas. Now he wants to spend money on a funeral.

Then they play, and of course, it’s sublime. Dave’s hoarse, airy nothings, Steve’s golden alto egg noodles. As Dave again waxes on death. Now it’s peaceful, echoing caves by the sea. Long held cicada note. Fluttering like a hummingbird. As the birds course through the rocks and hills of the park.

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IAN

IAN is a woman led trio, with good, slow, soft heavy rhythms, punch and pop, soaring melodies. They’ve got touches of ginger and cider vinegar. Waves of warm island water. Traces of heavy metal stomp. They have the start stop motion of a sports car going through traffic. They can get grand and sonorous, anthemic and arena-like, but this is low key power pop at root.

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Rob Noyes

Classic finger picking, Leo Kottke style. Takes the train through country hills. Slow locomotion motion. Then, light and happy, bouncing a child on his knee. Grand, mystical chords. Light and down home. Very good drama and tension. Balance of dark and dreamy, a country daydream.

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Frank Hurricaine

Cracker Man holy cosmic vibes.

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Pancho Kidd & Wes Buckley

Pancho plays by the trees in the breeze on the hill. It’s a pastoral scene, and the music is mellow and romantic. Pancho gets deep into the heads of strange characters, and you laugh and cry. You can tell his love for Neil Young. The songs roll along like peaceful meadows, but with an undertow of darkness. Songs about narcissists, cancer patients, hopeless victims of hopeless love. His rhythms, as he stands with guitar in hand, are lanky, lithe, and graceful, a tall oak thrown by wind.

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Keith Fullerton Whitman

Pleasant buzz to start. Bats in the evening are speaking through stars. It’s just wild electronic whizz bang scream, starting low, getting louder. Organ tones in a church. Plastic horns blown by children at a parade. Now, prog tones squirreling in. A grand, sonorous wall. Dramatic progression of dark intervals. Noise, destruction and bomb blasts. Kettle drum beats, and shifting tides of synesthetic color. Glacial reflections on the ice. The sound tucked into the urban neighborhood, under the trees, by a baseball field.