Silversun Pickups | Pikul
Long before the era of digitally enabled instant satisfaction, I used to make analog tapes where I would record my favorite song, hit program, and then record the same song again on the other side of the tape. While this didn't make the best use of 90 minutes of blank tape it did allow me to consume my favorite songs faster than if I had to hit the rewind button (who had the time for that?). If I were still at that game today you can bet I'd make just such a tape of Silversun Pickups' "Kissing Families". This is hand down the most infectious song I've heard in 2006 and its a must hear. "Kissing Families" packs a raw and emotional punch layering distorted guitars with rhythmic hooks and abstract lyrics. If you dig Smashing Pumpkins, Pinback or The American Analog Set, then these guys are for you. Check them with the Two Gallants and Street to Nowhere Friday, 3/31 (TONIGHT!) at Bimbo's. Enjoy ~ Cirrities

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Umphrey's McGee | "Women, Wine and Song"
The new single from the forthcoming album Safety in Numbers is live in Rhapsody this week. You can stream it, as well as the B-side of a live version (with horns!). Oh Umph, I can't do withoutcha. Full length of the album should be live in Rhapsody on Tuesday, but go out and buy a physical copy, the artwork is superb! And the music our boys from the midwest make is always shredtastic! - TK

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Street To Nowhere | Charmingly Awkward
I never really had a Weezer power-pop phase, but I may be having one now after all these years. Having recently admitting in public that I secretly enjoy "Sugar, We're Goin Down" (have you seen the YouTube vid?) and now finding myself listening repeatedly to the new Street to Nowhere album, with its catchy choruses that stay in your brain with power chords so that you can feel it and start screamin about it. The album is well-named, it's Charmingly Awkward. You can tell these are young kids, but the sound is outstanding, it is remarkably well-produced for a first album. You gotta hear some of these tracks, they are so catchy, I find myself screamin' out "Screamin" while I'm scheming. It's a new sound coming. So I listened to the CD again, and the more I listened to, the more songs hooked me. The next obvious hook is "Boxcars, Boxcars, Boxcars" with the background plucked violins and rising chorus. After Boxcars, I moved to the clinking glasses and bar-room sing-a-long ending on the ridiculously infectious "Tipsy." Ten bucks says if you listen to Tipsy three times, you'll find yourself humming the "oh hell yeah, all i need is you" chorus. Who are these kids from Oakland? Don't know, but I can't wait to see them open for Two Gallants and Silversun Pickups on Friday at Bimbos! See you there? Oh hell yeah! - TK

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Soul Sides Volume One
A compilation album of sorts from music critic Oliver Wang's popular blog, soul-sides.com, Soul Sides spans nearly 40 years of soul music. The common denominator is the songs' warm soul and relative obscurity. Clarence Reid (aka Blowfly) is stunning on "Masterpiece," and Weldon Irving's gorgeous and fragile "Morning Sunrise" was recently recycled for Jay-Z's "Dear Summer." - Sam C.

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Jack De Johnette and Bill Frisell | The Elephant Sleeps But Still Remembers
Drummer Jack De Johnette and guitarist Bill Frisell, employing a galaxy of pedal loops and effects, both have expansive, often otherworldly playing styles. It's hard to imagine their Golden Beams/Kindred Rhythm meeting coming off any better than it does here, on a set that will please old hippies, young herbalists and adventurous music lovers of all ages. - ND

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Band of Horses | Everything All The Time
Band of Horses just released their first full length record on SubPop. The sound might be described as sort of like a light Jacket that you would put on in the Morning, but singer Ben Bridwell does indeed have a special voice, and his rhythm section is driving and powerful. One can't help but nod along and agree with Ben as he sings on "Funeral," "In every occasion, I'm ready for the funeral." Mellow yet entrancing, subtle yet blissful, the album is just short of outstanding all the way through. Props to SubPop, they always seem to know how to pick 'em. - TK
One Track Recommendation: "Wicked Gil"
Note to those in SanFran: Band of Horses plays at the Independent tonight. Get involved!

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SXSW 2006 | Recap Playlist
I'm not even going to try and explain how great it is to map out seeing a hundred and thirty seven bands in four days while catching up with friends that you only get to see a few times a year over BBQ and beer paid for by companies you might have heard of. Instead, I'm just going to give you a list of the 40 best (also add Margot and the Nuclear So and So's to this list and check back Tuesday when the record comes out on Artemis/V2). I'll also give my top two performances in terms of intense energy to Apollo Sunshine and Immortal Technique.

The Song List:
"Kissing Families" - Silversun Pickups, "Lord" - Apollo Sunshine, "Tip My Canoe" - Dengue Fever, "The Blues Are Still Blue" - Belle and Sebastian, "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" - Of Montreal, "Wrecking Force" - Voxtrot, "Even Rats" - The Slip, "Lights" - I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, "So Come Back, I Am Waiting" - Okkervil River, "Two Days Short Tomorrow" - Two Gallants, "My Gun" - The M's, "Wake Up" - Dr. Dog, "Like You Know" - Film School, "Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth" - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Juicers" - The Capitol Years, "Breet" - Film School, "Mardy Bum" - Arctic Monkeys, "Get Real" - Hockeynight, "Mercy, Me" - What Made Milwaukee Famous, "In the Corner Where It All Began" - Milton Mapes, "Where the Devil Don't Stay" - The Drive-By Truckers, "And the Rest Will Follow" - And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "The Point Of No Return" - Immortal Technique, "Don't Turn Away" - Sound Team, "Dance 4" - Kiss Me Deadly, "You Have Killed Me" - Morrissey, "a better day" - Backyard Tire Fire, "Bells" - The Bats, "Valentine" - Bobby Bare Jr., "Oh Lately It's So Quiet" - OK Go, "Spine" - Page France, "Pieces Of Sky" - Beth Orton, "Wicked Gil (Album)" - Band Of Horses, "Song For The Sunshine" - Belle and Sebastian, "I Hate Pretending" - Secret Machines, "Love Train" - Wolfmother, "Glasgow Mega-Snake" - Mogwai, "Twin Cinema" - New Pornographers

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Dave Chappelle's Block Party (soundtrack)
?uestlove coordinated the live arrangements for Dave Chappelle's concert movie about his musical party in Brooklyn, and his fingerprints are all over the earthy jams, socially-conscious lyricism and neo-soul. The snippets of artists' phone conversations scattered throughout emphasize the familial vibe, though shoddy sound quality and the omission of The Fugees' historic reformation are glaring flaws. - Sam C.

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Donald Fagen | Morph The Cat
Donald Fagen and his brainchild Steely Dan record so infrequently (seven brilliant albums from 1972 to 1981, before the Two Vs. Nature and Everything Must Go latter years) that it doesn't matter if it's hard telling the two apart or not. Thankfully, Morph the Cat is top-shelf, mixing perfectionist musicianship (as always) and pop-savvy with Jersey-bred cynical lyrics made just for these times. "Security Joan," about a commuter who gets off on the airport babe who searches him, is priceless. - ND/TK

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Jens Lekman | "Oh You're So Silent Jens"
Preceding his successful debut full length, When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog, Jens Lekman released into the world three little gems. Gems that didn't reach as far as the LP...but damn, were those perfect nuggets. On "Oh You're So Silent," the Swedish troubadour sings songs of loneliness and the perpetual difficulties of men and women communicating. Perfect example, on "Maple Leaves": "She said it was all make believe/ But I thought she said maple leaves." A good mellow listen for a rainy day. - TK

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Matisyahu | Youth
Roots reggae meets Jewish orthodoxy on Youth. Matisyahu sounds more confident and comfortable here than on previous releases, which seemed to lean heavily on the Jewish singer's inevitable novelty factor. Avant-garde legend Bill Laswell's production, which relies on dub's loopy sonic logic, is also solid, though the rap-rock of the title track is painful. Bottom line, kid's got a great beard and a high message. - SC

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The Secret Machines | Ten Silver Drops
Two months before the physical street date, please immediately drop everything and rock out to this outstanding new album by The Secret Machines, called Ten Silver Drops. In it's entirety, more than just the single. TSD is more outstanding darkness from this Texas trio, both gentle power-pop and extremely intense space-rock, yet all the while easy to digest. Don't be scared, stare into the lights. - TK
The Single: "Alone, Jealous and Stoned"

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