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Monday, September 3, 2012

Shows to see: Stone Temple Pilots, Shivas, Oren Ambarchi

Posted By on 09.03.12 at 09:00 AM

Oren Ambarchi
  • Oren Ambarchi
Today is Labor Day, and that means it's time to look forward to fall. The festival season is drawing to a close, along with its sprawling mult-stage musical smorgasbords. But if you ask me, the best way to hear live music is in smaller, more intimate venues—when the weather gets chilly, that's when things get serious. As this week's Soundboard proves, there are already plenty of options on tap. Read about a few of them after the jump.

Tue 9/4: Stone Temple Pilots at the Vic
Most people saw Stone Temple Pilots as grunge carpetbaggers, at least at first, even though singer Scott Weiland acted like a has-been before he ever was. But Miles Raymer thinks time has been kind to them: "Their reputation as poseurs has mostly evaporated, leaving behind songs that are equally indebted to classic rock and straight-up pop—it's surprisingly easy to imagine 'Sex Type Thing' done in the style of Like a Virgin-era Madonna—and way better than slacker snobs were willing to give them credit for."

Tue 9/4: Shivas at Burlington Bar
Kevin Warwick understands why you might lump Portland's Shivas in with Bay Area post-psychedelic garage champs like Thee Oh Sees and Fresh & Onlys, but he says there's much more to their game: "The Shivas' propensity for doo-woppy, 60s-oldies-station asides—where vocalist Kristin Leonard sings lead, not backup—adds another welcome wrinkle to the band's already free-spirited aesthetic." Magic Milk headlines.

Wed 9/5: Oren Ambarchi at Empty Bottle
Inventive Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi, who's played in Sunn 0))) and collaborated the likes of Jim O'Rourke, Mats Gustafsson, Keith Rowe, and Keiji Haino, seems to delight in flouting expectations, and he's done it again on his excellent new album, Sagittarian Domain (Editions Mego). Though Ambarchi usually occupies himself with microscopic explorations of sound, the new album's "single 33-minute track relies on big, forceful gestures," as I write this week. "Its muscular, hypnotizing groove recalls the heyday of This Heat, with Krautrockish live percussion, cheap drum machine, throbbing Moog bass, and shifting layers of guitar. "

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