San Diego CityBeat - Music feature http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/articles.sec-115-1-music-feature.html <![CDATA[Underdogs of the San Diego Music Awards - Picks and predictions for this year’s ceremonies]]>

The San Diego Music Awards carries a lot of buzz around its Artist and Album of the Year categories, and anything that involves guitars. But there’s a lot more diversity than that.

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<![CDATA[Indie rockers Ought come together - Montreal band thrives on the dependence they have on each other]]> The Montreal-based band Ought is home between tours, but that doesn’t mean its four members are giving each other the kind of space they crave after weeks on the road.]]> <![CDATA[DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are hip-hop historians - Duo crafts show from Afrika Bambaataa’s massive vinyl collection]]> Armed exclusively with albums from hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa’s 41,000- piece record collection, the preeminent DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are back on the road together for the 28-date “Renegades of Rhythm” tour.]]> <![CDATA[The Breeders make another splash - Iconic indie rockers get the cannonball rolling again]]> To coincide with the Last Splash’s 20th anniversary, the Deal sisters, Wiggs and MacPherson reunited for a tour that found them playing Last Splash in its entirety every night.]]> <![CDATA[Sebadoh and the art of feeling - Legendary indie-rockers confront a new era]]> For years, this venerable indie-rock band has plumbed some of humankind’s most awkward feelings. Anxiety, self-pity, resentment, confusion—this is where Sebadoh shines.]]> <![CDATA[Liars are a perpetual-motion machine - Ever-evolving art-rockers headline San Diego Music Thing]]> There’s nothing easy or orderly about the music that Liars make. Since forming in 2000 in Brooklyn, the band has been consistently on the move—both figuratively and literally.]]> <![CDATA[Terry Malts’ punk is scuzzy and wonderfully weird - Trio’s latest EP focuses on pop hooks]]> The promotional blurb that accompanies Terry Malts’ new Insides EP floats the idea that this might be the band’s most “pop” effort yet.]]> <![CDATA[Benjamin Booker keeps it simple - Singer / songwriter plays a manic, raw style of punk-blues]]>

 Benjamin Booker never set out to be a rock star. Watching his recent, high-energy performances on The Late Show with David Letterman or Conanyou might think otherwise.

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<![CDATA[Future Islands are new romantics - Baltimore synth-pop group is free of cynicism or irony]]> In a crowded and often unwieldy universe of indie rock—where irony-dispensing frontmen like Stephen Malkmus and Robert Pollard are regarded as patron saints—Future Islands stand out for evoking feelings of sincerity and romanticism. ]]> <![CDATA[Eukaryst pledge their commitment to the riff - San Diego death-metal band takes shredding seriously]]> At first glance, the members of San Diego death-metal band Eukaryst don’t seem like the type to take themselves too seriously.]]> <![CDATA[Courtney Barnett breaks out - Australian singer / songwriter pairs infectious melodies with peculiar anecdotes]]> Barnett’s first EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, put her name out there, but the follow-up, How to Carve a Carrot into a Rose—which includes “Avant Gardener” and the infectious “History Eraser”—landed her international acclaim.]]> <![CDATA[The Aquabats are saving the world! - Costumed ska heroes spread a positive message]]> For some, the image of The Aquabats looms large in the imagination. Years before the advent of YouTube, they made their live show a multimedia experience, with video interludes, onstage battles, bopping beach balls and toddlers crowdsurfing on inflatable rafts.]]> <![CDATA[Boris’ amplifier worship - Tokyo trio obliterates expectations]]>  Named after an epic track by The Melvins, Boris isn’t a band that entirely makes sense on paper.]]> <![CDATA[Cloud Nothings work hard, play hard - Cleveland indie rockers are light on frills, heavy on melody]]>

Let’s get this out of the way: Dylan Baldi, the founder and core of the Cleveland post-hardcore band Cloud Nothings, is 22 years old.

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<![CDATA[Wye Oak divide and conquer on new album - Baltimore duo use geographical obstacles to their advantage]]> Jenn Wasner didn’t play guitars on Wye Oak’s Shriek, instead focusing on bass and vocals, while Andy Stack took up synth duties.]]> <![CDATA[Lee Fields’ soul salvation - R&B singer preaches the gospel of feeling good]]>

Lee Fields may have to get a pulpit. The man can preach. Put aside the fiery funk jams and sweet soul serenades that define his remarkable 45-year career—when the veteran singer talks, it’s a different kind of sermon.

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<![CDATA[The sonic redemption of Prayers - Cross-border duo combines contrasting subcultures with ‘cholo-goth’ music]]> In Sherman Heights, where Prayers frontman Rafael Reyes grew up, summers were far from picturesque.]]> <![CDATA[Tombs strike gold on third album - New York metal band opens up their extreme sound]]> Savage Gold, released Tuesday, June 10, via Relapse, simultaneously sounds like the work of the band that recorded Path of Totality and something new altogether.]]> <![CDATA[The rebirth of Failure - Alt-rock innovators return to play for a new audience]]>

In late 1996, Los Angeles alternative-rock trio Failure seemed on the verge of something huge. They’d just released their sprawling third album, Fantastic Planet, and its lead single, “Stuck on You,” earned them airplay on stations like 91X and KROQ

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<![CDATA[Pink Mountaintops’ summer jams - Stephen McBean captures a feel-good psychedelic sound]]> But Get Back, the fourth album by McBean’s experimental pop-rock project Pink Mountaintops, was pushed back for years while McBean tried to find the right players and environment to not only make it, but to actually be properly prepared to make it.]]>