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When: Thu., July 21, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $59.50
This week, two bands from the Pacific Northwest that helped define "heavy" - albeit in their own distinct ways - come through town. First, Seattle's Soundgarden stops by the Bill Graham Civic (99 Grove St., San Francisco; 7:30 p.m., $59.50) with The Mars Volta on Thursday, July 21, as part of its first proper reunion tour. The band may have been known for hits like "Spoonman" and "Black Hole Sun," but it was its early melding of Black Sabbath's heaviness, Led Zeppelin's blues, and that late-Eighties/early-Nineties punk aesthetic that put it in a class of its own. Earth, also of Seattle, formed with similar homage to Sabbath, but took that influence down a decidedly less-accessible path. Led by original member Dylan Carlson, the band has become synonymous with the doom genre. Although the filter through which that sound is funneled has changed a bit over the years, the music has generally been incredibly slow, stripped-down, and droning for eons. Despite that seemingly simple aesthetic, it builds remarkable heft. See them with Angelo Spencer et Les Hauts Sommets and locals Whirr at Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco) on Friday, July 22. 9 p.m., $15.
— Kathleen Richards


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