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    Wire

    What? Rock critics and musicians alike -- Michael Stipe, Robert Smith, and Robert Pollard just to name a few -- have heralded Wire as founding fathers of the U.K. post-punk scene in the late '70s, having shaped a new and influential form of atmospheric art-house music. And with the release of Object 47 on July 15, the band's original members show how well they've aged and how far they've come since their '77 debut. Tracks like "One of Us" and "Perspex Icon" flaunt vocal effects over simple dancehall hooks, while "Circumspect" and the decidedly Depeche Mode-ian "Four Long Years" are as contemplative and dreamlike as fans would expect. Who? Band members Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Robert Grey, and Bruce Gilbert have had a rocky go of it over the years.

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    Liz Phair Revisits 'Guyville' in S.F.

    Liz Phair has been performing the songs off Exile in Guyville since the album's release in '93, yet she expressed a bit of apprehension last night (June 23) about taking on the entire set live after so many years. "It's pretty incredible to be playing this here tonight," she said onstage at the Fillmore in a show celebrating the re-release of her iconic debut. "I didn't know if I could measure up, but God, it's just like the old days!" Indeed, the album provided a long-overdue flashback of sorts: Despite having turned from angst-ridden Gen-Xers into a sport coat-wearing set in their 30s, fans sang along to every word -- passionately, frantically, and nostalgically. With stick-straight hair and a leather jacket, Phair played the 18 tracks as they appeared in the liner notes -- from "6'1"" to"Strange Loop." Tunes like "Fuck and Run" and "Girls! Girls!

  • Sweet Home California for Del the Funky Homosapien

    As tiny mushroom clouds of smoke puffed skyward and hands thrustabove heads, celebration was in the air last night (Nov. 14) when EastBay hip-hop's prodigal son Del the Funky Homosapien took the stage atSlim's. The show was the grand finale to a nearly 50-date tour insupport of his forthcoming studio LP, The 11th Hour. Fellowlocal Knobody opened the more-than-four-hour show with sinceregratitude and honest rhymes based on the tribulations of real life.Next, Houston-based rhymeslayer Devin the Dude, a Dave Chappellelook-a-like, had the help of the Coughee Brothaz crew and Odd Squad ashe busted through raps like "To Tha X-Treme" and "Just Tryin' Ta Live,"featuring breakneck-speed verse about smoking and ladies (to put itvery nicely). It may have already been past midnight when Delfinally stormed the stage, but the party showed no signs of slowingdown.

  • It's a Black Night Out with Blaqk Audio

    It's not often that a band's first ever show is met with the screams of nearly 500 young, writhing bodies that already happen to know every lyric. So when Davey Havok and Jade Puget, members of California alt-rock punkers AFI, took the stage at San Fran's famed nightclub Popscene last evening (Aug. 30) for their inaugural performance as the indulgent alt-dance duo Blaqk Audio, it was clear by the commotion that they'd done this before. Fans waited up to 12 hours to get in, where they were serenaded with most of the tracks from the band's sex-fueled debut Cexcells, plus a decadent, synth-driven cover of Blur's "Girls & Boys." Puget, sporting a crisp three-piece suit despite the rising temperatures, manned the keyboards while Havok stormed around the stage and into the faces of the front row.

  • Sonic Youth Breathe New Life into 'Daydream Nation'

    There are three albums necessary to any indie rock fan's arsenal: The Bends by Radiohead, Doolittle by the Pixies, and Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation. And last night (July 19), a lucky sold-out crowd gathered at the Berkeley Community Theatre to see noise rock stalwarts Sonic Youth perform this classic album -- which, when released as a double LP in 1988, culled more superlatives than the band knew what to do with -- in its entirety, thanks to a tour celebrating the album's recent reissue for Geffen. From the anthemic drive of "Teen Age Riot" and the throbbing bombast of "Eric's Trip" to drummer Steve Shelley's punchy staccato beats on "Kissability" and the final frenzied notes of "Eliminator Jr," Sonic Youth ripped Daydream Nation apart; the kinetic furor between husband-and-wife duo Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon is still a perfect match nearly 25 years later.

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