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The Treatment

Saturday 17 ATTIC RECORDINGS, NOTES AND SCRATCHES The Notes and Scratches, a quintet of members of the local Tense Forms art collective, has just released its own first CD, Uh-Oh. The credits list more esoteric instruments than a Gypsy pawn shop, but the nicely understated production lets them all bleed together into a hazy shimmer […]

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Even if you hated the Pixies for their moneygrubbing comeback tour last year, you gotta give ’em credit for jump-starting the Coctails’ reunion. Their gig opening for the Pixies at the Aragon inspired them to speed up work on Popcorn Box (Carrot Top), a three-CD set that collects early tracks, vinyl-only rarities, and outtakes, documenting […]

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Brute force is how this local trio kicks it. Their music is pure, pummeling midwestern noise, terse and heavy and sure to warm the heart of anyone who can fondly recall the first time she heard Hammerhead or reminisce about a Cows show that changed her life. Pete Wagner’s thick, swampy bass lines gouge a […]

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I guess the Cougars took one look at all the garage-rock duos out there and decided to go in the opposite direction: really, it doesn’t take eight guys to play this stuff, but these locals pile on with sadistic gusto. Their 2003 debut, Nice, Nice (Go Kart), was a sort of matter-antimatter collision of the […]

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The Pack Rat and His Art

One evening during his first year at James Madison University in Virginia, Dolan Geiman was sitting on the floor doing a self-portrait assignment when a fellow student came in. “He was drinking a 40, singing, pretty wasted. I think he was reciting poetry. He came over and said, ‘What the hell are you doing? That’s […]

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A Marvelous Party: The Noel Coward Celebration

Not even Anna Lauris’s showstopper–she single-handedly performs an entire operetta–can salvage this uninspired assemblage of dated novelty songs by playwright-songwriter-bon vivant Noel Coward. A coproduction with Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York, A Marvelous Party offers only disconnected epigrams and a pastiche of 30s tuxedo-movie moments involving elegant tipsiness (The Thin Man) and sinuous […]

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Sister Bernie’s Bingo Bash

This amusing interactive show features the ill-tempered Sister Bernie, a blithe priest, and an eager young nun who all believe that God controls the bingo cards. No wonder they’re such devotees, explaining the game’s origins, outlining how to play in excruciating detail, and providing all the amateur glitz they can muster. Their obsession can be […]

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The Family Stone

The potential for moral confusion in a liberal-minded family–unpacked so ruthlessly in Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale–is scrutinized with more ambiguity in this good-natured comic subversion of the holiday get-together. Diane Keaton, in a performance full of unexpected accents and grace notes, presides over a large New England tribe; their open-mindedness is tested […]

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Frogs, Mommy and Daddy

Something weird must happen after you’ve written and recorded a few thousand songs with somebody. Milwaukee brothers Dennis and Jimmy Flemion, better known as the FROGS, have been playing together since grade school, and their breakout album, 1989’s It’s Only Right and Natural, was a bizarre collection of semi-improvised “gay supremacist” psych-folk-pop culled from the […]

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The Illusion of Chaos

Mariah Colbert, 23, works in an upscale specialty food shop and hosts French wine tastings. Liz Armstrong: Where did that dress come from? Mariah Colbert: It was in my friend Colleen’s closet and I think I smiled at it so many times that she was like, “You can have that.” LA: This is like a […]