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    Jon Spencer Joins Literary Explosion

    Smart, filthy, and funny, Mike Edison is no ordinary author, and his reading/book-release party Thursday night in Brooklyn was, accordingly, a break from the expected. Jon Spencer -- the madman behind the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Boss Hog, Heavy Trash, and Pussy Galore -- joined Edison onstage at Frank's Cocktail Lounge (Christmas lights up since 1974) in Fort Greene to blow minds for a gig appealing equally to the literate and the lowbrow. And Spencer wasn't there to just play a few songs at a book party. He was leading a working band, newly christened the Space Liberation Army, and featuring Hollis Queens (Boss Hog, Edison Rocket Train) on drums, Dean Rispler (Murphy's Law) on bass, with Edison on keyboards and Theremin.

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    Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt Debuts 'Coraline' Musical

    Anyone who has read Neil Gaiman's novel Coraline would be understandably skeptical of the idea of a musical adaptation of the creepy children's tale. It isn't exactly Disney material. Fans of the book will be relieved to know, then, that in the hands of Magnetic Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt, the story retains every bit of its fantastical, delightfully macabre tone. Merritt acquired the theatrical rights to the book soon after it was published and also scored the audio book, but he never intended to make a play for kids. Merritt has crafted a decidedly adult musical with a challenging plot and visual presentation that's equally imaginative in its execution. After four years of development and workshopping, Merritt debuts Coraline June 1 at the off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Theatre, in New York City.

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    Black Keys Need No Frills in NYC

    The Black Keys certainly had reason to veer from their trademark raucous blues sludge Saturday night in New York City. On the band's 2008 album, Attack & Release, studio wizard Danger Mouse added a psychedelic layer to their Delta-blues/'60s-garage-rock hybrid, replete with extras like an eerie choir from "Psychotic Girl" and a Moog synthesizer from "Remember When (Side A)." Also to consider: Singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach's debut solo album, Keep It Hid, is set to be released this week. Would this somehow affect the Akron, Ohio, duo's dynamic? A few ragged rock riffs and cymbal crashes into their gig at NYC's Terminal 5, the third date of their first U.S.

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