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By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  March 21, 2012

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When Particles Collide

• Bangor indie-rock duo WHEN PARTICLES COLLIDE have been all over the place lately. Aside from being instrumental in setting the infrastructure for the Bangor music scene, the male-female power poppers did an interview and studio session on the New York-based web video series Serious Business (which featured BRENDA and THE MILKMAN'S UNION months ago; check blip.tv/seriousbusinessonbtr) recently, and are putting the finishing touches on a new album. Hear five advanced tracks on their bandcamp, which remind us of a stripped-down Throwing Muses, and see them March 24 on the new and improved stage at the Empire.

• Maine had a broad range of representatives in and around last week's SXSW Festival in Austin — PARANOID SOCIAL CLUB had two shows, the latter one closing out an enormous folk and rock billing that also featured local SARAH BLACKER. So did BRZOWSKI, who played (with Seacoast rappers MC HOMELESS and ICE BOX) square in the middle of a first set of a massive hip-hop show at Austin's Frontier, which later featured Riddlore, Aceyalone, and "World Famous" Tony Williams. ARBOREA had an "official" billing, playing with fellow lo-fi folk groups Mother Falcon and Talking to Turtles and drawing comparisons to Pentangle and Alela Diane. CRANK STURGEON, whose work in noise/power electronics categories has found international devotees over the last 25 years, played a set at "Sux By Southwest," a showcase of utterly uncouth sound projects, where he was joined by acts like Olneyville Sound System and noise guru Richard Ramirez's Black Leather Jesus. Youthful Masturbation Techniques, a group whose set has involved its members playing video games while vacuuming raw bacon, closed the night. Wonder how that went.

• The annual MAMM SLAMM preliminaries kick off this weekend at the Big Easy. Without knowing what these young groups sound like, we're once again reminded what an outrageous task it is to name one's band in 2012. Is it still possible to find a name that speaks to your genre? Will JIMMY THE RATMAN be an unconscionably heavy witch house project? Are AUDACIOUS ZONE a testosterone-fueled flamenco group? RADIOACTIVE GORILLA ATTACK an unprecedented marriage of Eddie Van Halen riffs set to minimalist techno? Only one way to find out . . .

• In other festival action, next month's RECORD STORE DAY looks to be bigger than ever. Each Bull Moose location is prepping a show, and though theirs isn't announced yet, Newbury Comics is sure to get in on the action too. Look for the DEAN FORD show at the Portland store to be a high-order banger, and we'll announce the rest of the in-stores in due time.

  Topics: New England Music News , Crank Sturgeon, MC HOMELESS, MC HOMELESS,  More more >
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