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By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  December 14, 2011

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Paranoid Social Club

• It may be December, but some of these nights (particularly the weekends) offer so many interesting shows that we're scrambling around town trying to catch them all. If you find yourself in a similar bind, it's worth checking the Brass Cankles tumblr feed to see what you may have missed. The site is a fast-growing local archive containing hi-quality videos from local bands' live sets, which doubles as a great way to sample a group you've never heard of. Recent entries include estrogenically fierce punk band THE OUTFITS playing "Shitty Dance" at Flask, BRENDA playing "Mom's Dad" (from their forthcoming sophomore LP) in somebody's dank basement, and the excellent crust-country band BUTCHER BOY playing "Friends" from last summer's Picnic. It's a fine repository for some of greater Portland's most innovative young bands, and makes for an apt new-media companion to the Treble Treble movement. Visit brasscankles.tumblr.com with a good pair of headphones for more.

• When suggested before it was only partially true, but THE APOHADION era is officially over.

• We got a fancy press release this week offering news that party-rock band PARANOID SOCIAL CLUB's latest record, Axis IV, has been all over national radio, citing a particularly notable spin on Jonesy's Jukebox, the KROQ show of former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Have to admit we were a little skeptical after their first single, "Wasted," offered the country a particularly embarrassing, barely musical picture of Maine life, but we were pleasantly surprised. "Count On Me," by contrast, relies much less on the dufus's rally cry tactic as a recipe for success; it's a big-rock anthem with some thoughtful moments, complex songwriting, and interesting guitar work courtesy of Dave Gutter himself, and though it might borrow a bit too liberally from the Foo Fighters mold, represents a much more interesting slice of Maine music for national ears. Check the new video on their website, and consider counting down the new year with them at the Asylum, with GRANT STREET ORCHESTRA and SIDECAR RADIO.

• Off-charts, we were charmed to see the mysterious duo ALTERED G receiving some sky-high marks at Foxy Digitalis, the avant-garde online review site, this month. And for good reason; we could easily see certain local (post-)post-hip hop heads abob to their debut nine-track release, European Gees, and its somewhat revelatory fusion of deep synth psych and instrumental G-funk. Issued on 75 hand-did copies on local boutique label L'animaux Trust, European Gees contains some ultra-planar jams (like the subtly swank "I Wanna Lay You Down and Feel You Up") that are listenable in a way those might not find much of that label's other catalog. Irony high, but with a musicality that far outstrips its chintziness, Altered G are clearly the product of an inside joke gone terribly right. Makes for a much better winter sex soundtrack than Don Campbell, at the very least. Find the 69-minute cassette on the label's website or download at damp.bandcamp.com.

  Topics: New England Music News , Don Campbell, Don Campbell, BRENDA,  More more >
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