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12th Annual Murder Ballads Bash 

When: Sat., Nov. 2, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $6, $8-$12
Songs about murder are as old as song itself. A gruesome subgenre of the traditional ballad, murder ballads describe the events of a killing, often including the lead-up and aftermath. At The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) this weekend, eleven local acts will perform dark songs that touch not only on murder, but also on “misery, death, and/or despair,” according to longtime performer and current curator Paul Pot, in celebration of Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday that honors the departed. Performers include twangy quintet Loretta Lynch, psychedelic rock band The Unreal, acoustic honky-tonk duo the Heartache Sisters, and Mike Glendinning, a self-described “grunge jazz” player who was voted “Best Local Musician” in the Express’ Best of the East Bay Readers’ Poll this year. The acts aren’t required to stick to the traditional ballad format, but the majority will debut new or never previously performed material.
— Madeleine Key

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