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Laure Briard 3/15 5pm 2737 Webberville Rd.

1st stop was the backyard of a home last visited for a ketchup & mustard covered, Les Marinellis show a few years ago. After Laure Briard I nearly caught the next plane home unwilling to believe I would see anything better in the subsequent 5 days ahead. From Paris with vocals mostly in French and a tight band that lands you somewhere between Stereolab and France Gall.

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Barbara Lynn 3/15 7pm Hotel San Jose

This was a Planned Parenthood fundraiser featuring all female fronted bands. Headliner, Barbara Lynn is a living legend. Despite a broken string and a mediocre band, she managed to play some of the most beautiful notes from the most beautiful guitar in history.

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A Giant Dog 3/15 815pm The Rattle Inn

Sabrina Ellis is quickly becoming my A#1 Rock Goddess - a true badass on stage. The band is also a tightly wound machine. A Giant Dog has been at it for 8+ years and will surely take over the world soon. Sabrina's "softer side" with her slightly mellower band, Sweet Spirit is also damn fine.

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Die Heiterkeit 3/15 11pm Esther's Follies

Now that we are a true fascist country, let's change the National Anthem to anything from Die Heiterkeit. One of 2 German bands that stole my heart (and mind) this year. The mostly German vocals are deep, dark and gorgeous a la Nico. The songs are powerfully gloomy in the best possible way. The English language simply can not express this emotion.

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Thee MVPs 3/16 1pm Crazy Rickys

Best shit out of London in quite some time. Having played 16 SXSW shows this year might also bring them the crown.

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Chastity Belt 3/16 230pm Sidewinder

Gaining popularity but damn they were so much better last year.

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Downtown Boys 3/16 330pm Cheer Up Charlies

Queercore ass kickers raised the roofless patio of Cheer Ups and created a swirling, sweaty mess o' political fun! From Rhode Island but the only band I saw that paid tribute to the Ghost Ship tragedy.

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Vagabon 3/16 430pm Cheer Up Charlies

NYC based, Cameroonian, Hyped up and a pretty good live show but not as good as her recordings (yet). Catch her at the Rickshaw Stop tonight!

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Riel 3/16 8pm Malverde

Fuzzy pop gems straight outta Buenos Aires! In a world now full of shitty 2 piece bands Riel stands alone as 'the only 2 piece band that matters' while giving the 3,4,5 piece bands a run for the money. Don't miss them tonight at Noc Noc on Broadway at 8pm!!

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Hańba! 3/16 9pm Flamingo Cantina

Surprise, Poland provided the most fun set of the year! Punk folk frenzy!!

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Las Kellies 3/16 11pm Tap Room

Yet another killer combo from Buenos Aires! These ladies look way too young to have started the band in 2005 but it would help explain how unfuckingbelievably good they are. Songs swerve from post punk to Sandinista style dubs to straight up rockers.

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Elvis Perkins 3/16 1am The Victorian Room at The Driskill

Armed with only a guitar and joined on a few songs by autoharp, Elvis played the best sequence of covers all weekend including Dylan's "Milk Cow Blues", Bowie's "Quicksand" & VU's "Candy Says". I only wish he would have joined the Big Star 3 tribute. I was looking forward to hearing it's holiness in a real church but the drums echoed too much off the rock walls. Jody Stephens, Mike Mills, Chris Stamey, Mitch Easter & Ken Stringfellow played and and sang their hearts out but the real highlights were the perfect, chilling string sounds courtesy of the Tosca String Quartet and the achingly inspired voice of Skylar Gudasz.

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Money Chicha 3/17 11am Brush Square Park

Every town deserves a Chicha band.

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Peelander-Z 3/17 12pm Spiderhouse

Peelander played at noon and again at 6pm. The noon show included a live art exhibit featuring Peelander Yellow, and I am told the 6pm set ended in classic Peelander style with half the band playing on the roof.

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The Regrettes 3/17 1pm Spiderhouse

Pop girls from LA.

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Teenage Cavegirl 3/17 330pm Volstead

I have nothing to say.

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Los Wilds 3/17 5pm Vegas Annex

There is something in the water in Spain at the moment. With Hinds paving the way, it will not be long before Parrots and Los Wilds show up at your local garage music fest.

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Jealous of the Birds 3/18 1pm El Sapo

Ireland represents with this fine band that also managed to color coordinate with El Sapo's fine art.

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Blind Shake 3/18 440pm Dozen Street

The Blaha brothers are simply unstoppable! They played umpteen shows for the umpteenth year. Sporting a tremendous new drummer, they tore it up at the cozy little room at Dozen Street. A few hours later they did it again at Beerland playing as both The Blind Shake and Shadow in the Cracks. Over the weekend they also performed as Jim and the French Vanilla. The only side project that didn't appear was the newest one, simply titled, Blaha.

Next door at the New Orleans place an 8 year old boy effortlessly played the best blues guitar I have ever seen since watching Buddy Guy in the 80s.

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The Octopus Project 3/18 615pm Spiderhouse

By Saturday I was floating high above the city and only taking aerial photos of theremin.

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Gurr 3/18 8pm Swan Dive

The only band I saw 4 times. The top find of the year. Every show from Esther's Follies, to Hole in the Wall, to Swan Dive to the Hilton lobby was perfect. German engineering. Like Die Heiterkeit on megadoses of Prozac. Order their music now. They closed 3 of 4 shows with an exceptional cover of "Helter Skelter".

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Die Heiterkeit 3/18 9pm Blackheart

After a fist-pumping, packed house, sing-along for Japan's top prize, Otoboke Beaver, Die Heiterkeit played an even darker set than their first show, nearly clearing the room and leaving me front and center to soak up all the delicious darkness.

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Guantanamo Baywatch 3/18 12am Vegas Patio

Chev apologized to me right before the show. They were exhausted and the show was going to be shitty. What she didn't realize is that they have been doing this long enough now that they could do it in their sleep. The set was great featuring much of their newest and bestest recording "Darling...It's Too Late".

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RIP Doug Sahm, you wouldn't want to see Austin now...

I wasn't quite lost but not sure where to go for the last of the night shows. Tempted by another Hanba show I chose the much closer Dead Boys fest at The Liberty where Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz played all the hits and people lost their minds. Out back East Side Kings served me the most delicious brussel sprouts - a much needed green vegetable after a weekend of tacos and bbq.

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T Rextasy 3/19 145pm Spiderhouse

Fun, wordy, multiracial, queer positive NYC based ladies! Yes!

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Nude Party 3/19 5pm Cheer Charlies

I first caught these North Carolina bad boys at Dozen Street with The Blind Shake and I had to see them one more time. Garage rock nuggets in line with the dearly departed Strange Boys. Only 2 of the 6 band members pictured.

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