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 V.18 No.7 | February 12 - 18, 2009 

Music to Your Ears

L Words

The "L" stands for love. And lesbians. And lyrics from hip-hop duo God-des and She—who, come to think of it, once appeared on HBO's "The L Word," cable's most prominent source of literate, lusty lesbians.

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Murder by Death. Adam Turla is second from right, sporting a madras shirt.
Birch Miller

Spotlight

Murder by Death

Bigger is better

Murder by Death knows only one size.

"I tend to be more interested in big things," explains singer-songwriter Adam Turla. "I feel like so many people write songs about simple stuff. One of the reasons why I do write such big, theatrical songs is that there’s not as many people doing it."

Epic struggles between good and evil fill the lyric sheets, and the meaty Americana that saddles up beside it gallops through sonic peaks and valleys. It could be called alt.country-noir, or cowpoke indie rock, but either way, the scent that wafts past your nostrils is robust.

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Flyer on the Wall

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

Bat Wings for Lab Rats and 1, 2, 3 Astronaut! are silver, Agency E is gold. Friday, Feb. 13, at The Agency (111 Fourth Street SW, all-ages). $5 cover, 9 p.m. (LM)

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Sonic Reducer

The Appleseed Cast Sagarmatha · Omar Rodriguez Lopez Old Money · Randy Klein Piano Improvisations

Sagarmatha is the Nepalese name for Mount Everest, and the title couldn't be better suited for this sky-scraping LP. The Appleseed Cast reaches the summit only after a lengthy climb through post-rock soundscapes that stretch for miles. Vocals show up sporadically, and when they do, they're so echoing and distorted they might as well be another guitar. The temperament stays at an even keel—there are no depressions, no high-spirited peaks. It's a kind of fog that engulfs the record and refuses to disperse, keeping a shroud of mystery over every step of the ascension. Squawking guitar sirens are your only guide as to what comes next. (SM)

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Franks and Deans
Courtesy of the Artist

EVENT HORIZON (Thursday, Feb 23)

Franks & Deans • punk rock, rock 'n' roll • Shrewd • Punctured Muffler • Silent Crush • metal

At some point during the progression of meta-ultra-postmodernism, it was only natural that a band covering Rat Pack Tunes revisioned as rambling ska paeans or blisteringly buoyant punk anthems based on the imbibing and love-making habits of dudes like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would rise from the rocanrol cauldron. We'll it's 2017 and such has indeed come to pass. The name of the band is Franks and Deans. They've succeeded by inflecting the sweepingly romantic, sometimes melancholy and nearly always self-referential ditties of these post-war, pre-rock vocal heroes with with good-natured rhythms and danceable guitar leads—as well as an updated fashion sense that seems to borrow more from ZZ Top's summer style guide than from Robin and the Seven Hoods—that adds affable nuance to legendary, mid-century American popular music. Band members Rob DeTie, Pip Ullemeyer, Hoss and Arpee Sampson III await your indulgence at Low Spirits on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the admission price of $5 sure as heck beats dropping “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
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