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Picks for the week of September 10 - 16, 2008

Sunday Sept. 14
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
307 Church St.
Santa Cruz

The Black Crowes

SINCE the band's initial conception in the 1980s, the Black Crowes have gone through several lineup changes (16 to be exact), before settling on their current six-member ensemble. The band formed in 1984, by brothers Chris and Rich Robinson, under the name Mr. Crowes Garden. In 1990, the Atlanta-based rock & roll group released their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker. Characterized by their bluesy Southern rock sound, their following albums spawned hits such as "Remedy," "Blackberry," "Kickin' My Heart Around," "Go Faster" and "Lickin'." After the release of their 2001 album, Lion, the Black Crowes split as lead singer Chris Robinson embarked on a solo career. Earlier this year the Black Crowes triumphantly returned to the music scene with Warpaint, their first album in seven years, praised for being their strongest album yet.

Steel Pulse
Thursday Sept. 11
the Independent
628 Divisidaro St.
San Francisco

Sister Hazel

IT'S recently become cool to be an '80s or '90s band with a comeback tour. Acts that were popular for a nanosecond are still selling out concert venues and raking in the big bucks, often on little more than the nostalgia factor. Not so for twangy rockers Sister Hazel, who topped the charts in the late '90s and early this decade with the singles "All for You" and "Change Your Mind," and also earned some points for "Your Winter," a track from the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack. The Gainesville, Fla., natives quickly rose to fame and petered out just as fast, but the group never stopped touring and releasing albums, it just continued on under the radar, much like fellow '90s one-hit wonders the BoDeans and Del Amitri.

Saturday Sept. 13
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St
San Francisco

Xiu Xiu

ORIGINATING in San Jose, it's no wonder that Jamie Stewart is so depressed. Stewart's music, much like his hometown, is depressing and catchy at the same time. As the main songwriting force behind electro-experimentalists Xiu Xiu (pronounced shew shew), his lyrics regularly explore the uplifting themes of suicide, death, AIDS and war. Even his band name comes from what many consider one of the most emotionally draining movies ever, Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl. Touring constantly with his cousin, Caralee McElroy, since 2003, Stewart will play his favorite venue, Bottom of the Hill, in support of Xiu Xiu's latest release, Women as Lovers.

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