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Rival Schools 

When: Tue., May 24, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $14, $16

There seems to be two kinds of people in the world: those who don't know who the hell Walter Schreifels is, and those who are rabidly obsessed with the man and whatever he touches. The New York-bred singer/songwriter/guitarist was behind such pioneering Eighties/Nineties post-hardcore bands as Gorilla Biscuits and Quicksand, not to mention a slew of others. But his most successful project came in 2001 with RivalSchools and its debut, United By Fate, a driving alt-rock album full of hooks, raw power, and Schreifels' distinct touch. Despite its success, the band broke up not long after the album release. As the years went by, Schreifels went even poppier -- both with the band Walking Concert and a recent solo disc. A few years ago Rival Schools reunited for a tour, playing before a modest crowd at Bottom of the Hill, and this year finally gave fans what they'd been dying for: a second album of new material, Pedals, released in March. While not as heavy as the band's debut, it's still got Schreifels' stamp on it: the spiraling guitar, active bass lines, and that uncanny ability to make pop songwriting sound easy. In other words, perfect. Rival Schools play Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco) on Tuesday, May 24, with Jonah Matranga and Suedehead. 8 p.m., $14, $16. Slims-SF.com

— Kathleen Richards

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