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When: Fri., April 26, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $TBA

Presented chronologically, a partial list of the descriptors used in Oceanography's three-paragraph official bio: "brooding," "lost," "heav[y]," "distorted," "world weary." And yes, the band -- which is fronted by Livermore native, self-described "sad bastard," and, full disclosure, Express art director Brian Kelly -- does have its heavy moments, both musically and existentially, its December EP, Parachutes of Plenty, is much more interesting and much more variously influenced than that description implies. Take, for example, "Reggie Jackson," the EP's opening track and perhaps the best distillation of why, exactly, Oceanography works: It's named after a debt collector who used to be after Kelly, abstractly references a period Kelly described to the Bay Bridged as "a low point," and starts off expectably slow, just a steady, slowish, unadorned drum beat. But soon enough, it's morphed and metastasized into something wholly different: something marked by triumphal, U2-but-better builds; driving, giddy drum work; and a catchy, compelling, singing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-with-the-windows-down chorus -- something bizarrely uplifting, even. See for yourself when Oceanography plays with Couches, Mosshead, and the There There at the Night Light (311 Broadway, Oakland) on Friday, Apr. 26. 9 p.m., $5.

— Ellen Cushing


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