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Elf Power, Minus the Bear, Calexico...

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Tuesday, May 9, 2006
by PopMatters Staff


Elf Power—"An Old Familiar Scene"
From Back to the Web on Rykodisc
Elf Power has returned with their seventh full length album, Back to the Web, a darkly orchestrated folk rock masterpiece. Back to the Web is a haunting, twisting journey, where 12-string acoustic guitars, violins and cellos weave strange and lovely melodies.
 

Shifter —"Butter"
From Shifter on spinART Records
Two Australian school friends achieve their life long dream of forming a band that screams Cheap Trick and resonates with the harmonies of The Sweet, all over raw ‘n’ rowdy, ‘70s-like rock ‘n’ roll. American icons Blondie hand pick the band to open for ‘em when they tour Australia and their off on an amazing tour.


Minus the Bear —"Hooray"
From Menos El Oso on Suicide Squeeze Records
Recorded over a three-month period in early 2005, Menos El Oso (Spanish for “Minus the Bear”) finds the Seattle boys moving fully into the production helm of their own music, with the resulting exploration allowing the band to more critically analyze, edit, and communicate their ideas. With Menos El Oso, the band’s focus on musical and personal growth continues. It’s a multi-dimensional ride through endearment, confusion and melody.



Calexico—"Cruel"
From Garden Ruin on Quarterstick Records
Garden Ruin takes into account the enlarged line up of the band, its multicultural roots, the band’s growing input into the songwriting and arrangement process, the arrival of a producer, new domestic arrangements, international affairs, broadening horizons, developing ambitions and changing scenery. Garden Ruin is definitely not the sound of a band standing still.


Hot IQs —"Firecracker"
From An Argument Between the Brain and Feet on spinART Records
Blend classic pop, fuzzed-out rock, and hints of edgy lounge and you have Denver’s premier rockers, Hot IQs. With a sound that cites influences from the Pixies, the Kinks, to Archers of Loaf, and possibly the Holiday Inn Lounge Singers’ Association of America, Hot IQs put the indie-rock chocolate in your disco peanut butter.


Pretty Girls Make Graves —"The Nocturnal House"
From Élan Vital on Matador
The Seattle quintet’s follow-up to the universally acclaimed The New Romance, and their first album since the addition of keyboardist Leona Marrs, is by far Pretty Girls Make Graves’ most ambitious, multifarious and scorching to date. Produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Destroyer), Élan Vital provides the band with a bigger, bolder canvas with which to weave their magic.

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