Bowerbirds, Strand of Oaks, Prypyat

When: Sat., Oct. 27, 9 p.m. 2012

On Strand of Oaks' new LP, Dark Shores, the enormity of Tim Showalter's musical ambitions is reeled in to a dull roar. There's something familiar and warm about it all, likely thanks to the production of John Vanderslice at SF's Tiny Telephone Studios. "Last Grains," however, thunders out of the second half of the album at a rock 'n' roll clip, with fussy drums, piano, and the first strained vocal of the collection. Showalter's lovelorn aesthetic bends in cosmic fashion during the man-on-the-moon (literally) ballad "Spacestations," which was originally leaked as a synth-washed beater earlier in the year. It's obvious here that even a scaled-back Strand of Oaks can be every bit as grand as 2010's Pope Killdragon, and Dark Shores is an excellent lyrical wormhole into the mind of a modern-folk Bowie. RYAN J. PRADO

Price: $12-14

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