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Formed in 1987, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282was one of this city's brightest lights during the early '90s indie-rock explosion. The quintet's performances of weird and wonderful guitar-centric compositions were often transcendent and always fun. With members now dispersed between Boston, Portland, and the Bay Area, live shows are a rarity. So it'll be a treat when TFUL282 draws from its 17-year career for the band's first S.F. show in three years this Saturday, June 12, at the Great American Music Hall, one of only two West Coast appearances. The Flying Luttenbachers open; call 885-0750 or go to www.gamh.com.
-- Mike Rowell

Over the past two decades, pianist Matthew Shipp's (pictured above) restless creativity has led to an almost schizophrenic embrace of musical extremes, from full-throttle free jazz to 20th-century classical to groovy electro-acoustic hybrids. But it wasn't until the year 2000 when he landed a gig as curator for the Blue Series, an adventurous spinoff of indie label Thirsty Ear, that he finally came to terms with his vision. His subsequent recordings, including most recently Sorcerer Sessions, find Shipp increasingly moving away from jazz, as it is typically recognized, into an open-ended experimental style that draws on a range of material, from electronic ambience to chamber-music lyricism, yet somehow the soundtracks manage to cohere compositionally. How the artist's new identity will translate into solo performance at this weekend's SFJAZZ "Mavericks" showcase is anyone's guess. Shipp may not even know himself until his fingers hit the keyboard. And maybe that's the point. Matthew Shipp performs on Sunday, June 13, at the Florence Gould Theatre; call 776-1999 or go to www.sfjazz.org.
-- Sam Prestianni

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