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PAST RECOMMENDED SHOWS:
11/03/12 @ Auditorium Shores
Fun Fun Fun Fest Saturday: Refused, Girl Talk, Wavves, Real Estate, Seaweed, Surfer Blood, Saul Williams
Refused (Black stage, 8:50pm)

In 1998, mainstream pop-punk met with a traditionalist backlash from the genre’s established heroes. At the same time, an obscure Swedish hardcore band broke through with the innovative The Shape of Punk to Come, an anarchistic masterpiece of angular post-hardcore exploding in and out of techno/jazz interludes. Refused folded shortly after its release and stayed dead until reassembling now to finish the tour they started 12 years ago. – Kevin Curtin

Girl Talk (Orange stage, 8:50pm)

What do the Grateful Dead, Flo Rida, and Pat Benatar have in common? Each was sampled on Gregg Gillis’ latest, All Day. The mash-up artist, who performs under the name Girl Talk, takes your favorite guilty pleasures and mixes them into a heady concoction. Sweaty, loud, and a guaranteed sing-along for any crowd, his sets have become festival favorites subsequent to his 2008 major label debut. – Abby Johnston

Wavves (Black stage, 7:10pm)

San Diego snot-punk trio Wavves counts many incarnations. Back in 2009, Nathan Williams wrote songs about skateboarding and sun rays, but a year later, breakout LP King of the Beach found him ditching the reverb, snagging a studio, and blasting bigger hooks. Wavves now hedges on the same demographic Blink-182 once owned. It makes sense with water bed bangers “Super Soaker” and “Post Acid.” – Luke Winkie

Real Estate (Orange stage, 6:05pm)

Brooklyn via Jersey quintet Real Estate masters atmospheric, lofty guitar work, reminiscent of the shores from whence they formed. Its self-titled LP and 2011’s Days strike as both lush and shockingly simple, the latter landing on countless year-end lists. Languid and sparkling, the band takes an effortless approach to surf-pop ideals, so there may be a salty breeze blowing through Auditorium Shores. – Abby Johnston

Seaweed (Black stage, 5:30pm)

Early-Nineties Sub Pop exemplars Seaweed road-hogged their way around the planet on the strength of growling pop-punk and hard rock hooks sluiced through producer Jack Endino’s Northwest grunge outflow. The Tacoma, Wash., quintet jumped to the majors after 1993’s self-produced Four, even showing up on Beavis and Butt-head, but stardom proved elusive. They split up in 1999, but reunited in 2007. Last year’s single “Service Deck” doesn’t miss a step. – Greg Beets

Surfer Blood (Orange stage, 4:25pm)

South Florida quartet Surfer Blood loads up with gigantic hooks. Breakout track “Swim” slabs crunchy, power-pop guitars on tape-hiss magenta. None of them surf, but 2010 debut Astro Coast is still bouncy, brain-dead, and absurdly magnetic. Surfer Blood writes songs to start riots, race hearts, and start parties. It’s not smart, yet wise. – Luke Winkie

Saul Williams (Yellow stage, 3:35pm)

Whether stroking hip-hop’s intellectual wing with The Dead Emcee Scrolls poetry anthology or reinventing David Bowie’s alter ego to explore themes of liberation as Niggy Tardust, Saul Williams constantly skewers convention. The slam poet turned MC turned Afro-punk headliner will rap, sing, and scream over sonic madness or recite free verse a capella. – Thomas Fawcett

01/25/11 @ Emo's CLOSED
Young Prisms/Best Coast
If weed isn’t “technically” legal in California yet, you wouldn’t know it by the wealth of heavy-lidded bands stumbling out of its hills and valleys. Here’s a West Coast doubleheader of blazed proportions. San Francisco quintet Young Prisms just released its swirly debut, Friends for Now, on reverb stable Kanine Records, full of well-scrubbed psych and the requisite waves of loud/quiet/loud. Fellow San Franciscans Melted Toys open with homemade distorto-pop; likeminded locals Ringo Deathstarr, who have a new album out in March, and Pure Ecstasy chime in too. Los Angeles trio Best Coast rolls into town the next night, touring behind last year’s sunshine pop debut, Crazy for You, as well as a new 7-inch, Summer Is Forever, with tourmate Wavves. Singer/guitarist Bethany Cosentino’s impeccable harmonies are part girl group, part L.A. brat pack. Labelmates No Joy make it a Mexican Summer.

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From the Archives:
X Offenders (Music Story June 5, 2014)
Weirdos, freaks, and even musicians race for the prize at this weekend's X Games
Day Party Crawl (Music Story March 20, 2009)

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