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The Appleseed Cast 

When: Sat., Feb. 14, 10 p.m. 2009
Price: $12

During its twelve-year career, Lawrence, Kansas' the Appleseed Cast has been called "emo," "America's Radiohead," and "Midwest post-rock." Save for the last descriptor, most of those influences have been largely left behind on the band's latest album. As the title suggests, Sagarmatha (the Nepalese word for Mount Everest) is a heady, ambitious effort -- gorgeous hooky melodies set amidst a tranquil yet devastating backdrop of noise. Opener "So the Little Things Go" is an immediate pleaser with a hypnotic, dreamy guitar loop climaxing into epic noise rock. The other songs follow a similar atmospheric dynamic: repeating melodic lines layered with drums, bass, instrumental noise, and sparsely placed vocals floating through the ether. Dangerously addictive stuff. The Appleseed Cast plays with the Union Trade and Audio Out Send at Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Feb. 14. 10 p.m., $12. BottomoftheHill.com.


— Kathleen Richards

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