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Macabre

My inner handwringer says I shouldn’t encourage Macabre–think of the children, she says, especially the ones who can’t tell the difference between worshipping serial killers and satirizing people who worship serial killers. Even if the band’s kidding–and there’s no way to be sure they are!–some kid with an underdeveloped sense of humor might take them […]

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Alessandro Bosetti

Italian saxophonist and sound artist Alessandro Bosetti vigorously explores the possibilities of his instrument. Last year’s Zona (Grob) is a stunning representation of his extended technique as well as an expression of his interest in electronics: he recorded the piece using six microphones positioned at various distances, then digitally sewed the tracks together. Shifting from […]

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Muhal Richard Abrams

Of all the dynamic figures who emerged from the AACM, none has had a stronger influence on how it fulfilled its mission than pianist-composer Muhal Richard Abrams. A cofounder of the organization in 1965–and its president for most of the years between then and 1977, when he moved to New York–Abrams boldly conceived a new […]

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Konono No. 1

This Congolese group from the impoverished suburbs of Kinshasa has existed in fits and starts for more than 25 years—just long enough to become one of the most unlikely success stories of 2005. The best-known musical export of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is still soukous, a silky and elegant Cuban-flavored dance style, but […]

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Achim Kaufmann Trio

German-born pianist Achim Kaufmann started his career in the 80s, working in a variety of free-improv, fusion, and mainstream jazz contexts, but it wasn’t until 1996, when he moved to Amsterdam, that his playing truly took flight. The city has long been a springboard for creative musicians, and its anything-goes scene demands a focus and […]

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Newberry Consort

For its first concert of the season the Newberry Consort has put together an unusual program combining fascinating scholarship and outstanding musicianship. In the 17th century the emperor of China allowed Jesuit missionaries into the Forbidden City, where they gave concerts on harpsichords and other Western instruments, taught the emperor and a group of eunuchs […]

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Dirtbombs

Mick Collins has been trying for ten years to get people to stop calling the Dirtbombs a garage band. Their recent singles compilation, If You Don’t Already Have a Look (In the Red), includes covers of the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” Soft Cell’s “Insecure Me,” and Yoko Ono’s “Kiss Kiss Kiss.” (“Fuck you […]

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Otis Taylor

Boulder-based singer-songwriter Otis Taylor considers himself a bluesman, but few of his tunes adhere to standard blues changes, and his lyrics go well beyond stock themes of erotic infatuation and betrayal. He draws on both black and white rural American folk traditions and uses call-and-response motifs that nod to the African roots of jazz and […]

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AIDS Wolf, Carlos Giffoni

Montreal’s AIDS Wolf are an immense onslaught of terrorizing chigger-itch guitar and smash-crash-bash drumming, fronted by a woman who screams and whines like she’s channeling all the PMS in the world. Judging from the handful of songs on their MySpace page–the only music they’ve got available so far–their brand of what’s now embarrassingly called “noise […]

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A Frames

Even if the postapocalyptic world of the future runs out of more than just oil and freshwater–if, for instance, there’s somehow a shortage of musical notes–this Seattle robot-punk band will be all set. Using only a few basic materials–simple, almost affectless vocal melodies, squared-off guitar and bass lines that repeat in blocks of two or […]

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Adicts

This English band, formed in 1977, plays raise-your-pint-glass pub punk in outfits straight out of A Clockwork Orange. But though the catchy, brilliantly boneheaded tunes are plenty aggressive, they’re much more likely to inspire a drunken sing-along than a bit of the old ultraviolence. By the early 80s the Adicts were so sick of the […]

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Ella Leya

The fusion genre known as Russian romance flourished in the Russian salons of the 1800s; based in folkloric music and influenced by the burgeoning Romantic movement in French literature, this potently emotional idiom came to epitomize Russian popular culture at the turn of the last century. (One of its characteristic melodies resurfaced on the late-60s […]

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Alexei Borisov

Russian journeyman Alexei Borisov began playing music in the early 80s as the front man of the Centre, one of the Soviet Union’s first new wave bands, before founding the pioneering industrial dance outfit Notchnoi Prospekt. Since the 90s, however, he’s gravitated toward electronic music of various stripes, particularly techno and abstract experimentalism; this performance, […]