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    Dawes and Blitzen Trapper Play Classic Rock for Classic Town

    For a pair of bands that embrace the down-home and rootsy, Dawes and Blitzen Trapper couldn't have chosen a better place to kick off a six-week co-headlining tour than Petaluma, California. Whether time forgot it or the town simply stopped telling time altogether, rolling into downtown P-town instantly conjures up images of Marty McFly making his way through Hill Valley circa 1955. Similar cinematic nostalgia crackles from the Mystic Theatre and its glowing, old-timey marquee. The venue has been around since 1912 and has featured everything from vaudeville to porn during its last century.

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    Mars Volta Guitarist's New Band Makes U.S. Debut

    Since the 2001 dissolution of post-hardcore heroes At The Drive-In, guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed the Mars Volta, produced artists like Juliette Lewis, and released a mind-boggling number of solo and collaborative albums (over 35!). Monday night in San Francisco, his latest and most experimental project, the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group, played their first U.S. show -- and they unleashed a prog-space odyssey on the Great American Music Hall. Rodriguez-Lopez was hardly the show's only star -- in fact, it wouldn't be inappropriate to add the word "Super" to the band's name.

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    Jenny & Johnny Take Their Show to San Fran

    Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice played the first of two gigs at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall Thursday night (their third show ever under the new Jenny & Johnny moniker) to a capacity crowd who already knew most of the words to songs that had been released just two days before. Such are the loyal Jenny fans, who can recite Rilo Kiley lyrics and debate which songs on J&J's debut album, I'm Having Fun Now, are initially the best-and which stand out after repeated listens. Without saying a word, Lewis, Rice, guitarist Tod Wisenbaker (of Whispertown2000), and drummer Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley) launched into "Scissor Runner," the dreamy, peppy pop ditty that opens I'm Having Fun Now and announces that "a scissor runner stole my heart." It made sense that Lewis, in particular, would want to open both the album and the show with such a breath of fresh air: After heari

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    The Hold Steady Debut New Album Live in S.F.

    Indie rock's favorite bar band is also one of the best live bands around, a product of anthemic choruses, a highly expressive frontman, a lead guitarist who knows his way around great riffs, and, as the title of last year's live album pointed out, a positive rage. "We're The Hold Steady and we're going to have a really good time tonight," singer Craig Finn told an ecstatic, inebriated dude-fest that had just finished cheering for a roadie who had brought out the band's cooler of beer. Thursday night's show at The Fillmore in San Francisco came two days after the release of the Brooklyn band's new album, Heaven Is Whenever, and the crowd was ready to celebrate.

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    Broken Social Scene Launch Tour for New Album

    The night before Broken Social Scene kicked off its world tour at the Fillmore in San Francisco, hometown heroes Rogue Wave performed on the same stage, and played a song that talks about music being cheaper than therapy. That pretty much sums up what BSS was going for over the course of its two-hour-plus set on Saturday, three days before the release of Forgiveness Rock Record, the Toronto collective's first since 2005. The Toronto kitchen-sink collective's triumphant indie rock -- aided at times by four guitars, two basses, sax, flute, and nine players onstage -- is the perfect soundtrack for frontman Kevin Drew to make comments like, "This is therapy. This is for you. You gotta let it go." And even if you're not usually one to buy into a rock band's inspirational messages, it was hard not to get caught up in the feel-better moments during Saturday's show.

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