Knyfe Hyts' Shahin and Shahryar Motia started out playing in no-wave bands in high school, then, with the help of Oneida drummer Kid Millions, began to hammer out a series of even more distorted thrashers. Sometimes the pummeling drum beat strays off the constant guitar churn, but their eventual reconvergence is the best part. Vocals are there, but beside the point — you'll be front and center at Monster Island not for tunes, but for a brazen, face-slapping freak-squall.
Note: Only exact change will be accepted at the door. ($4.20 ticket for tonight's show - April 20th; it's a special day for some.)
Following last year's stopover with his crew the Perceptionists, Mr. Lif returns to SF to drop more Bean-town slang. Foregoing the crypto-futurism of his past releases, 2006's Mo' Mega found Lif showing some genuine emotional vulnerability; the album was proof that there's more to this Def Jux crew member than backpacker hubris and inner-circle big-upmanship. Lif continues to grow as a lyricist on his newest album, I Heard It Today, on which he sings the praises of our new president in his silky baritone.
When a group of Harvard alums pulls a band name from a Cambridge street sign, comparisons to hyper-literate, "collegiate" acts like Vampire Weekend are inevitable. Fortunately, Bishop Allen's Christian Rudder and Justin Rice have chops to rival any pack of preppy calypso kids. Their elegantly simple pop arrangements are re-created live with the help of friends on drums and vocals. With songs on Scrubs and in Sony commercials ("Click, Click, Click, Click"), and an appearance in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, these Crimson boys (and girl) are certainly getting their fair shot at the spotlight.
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