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Ozric Tentacles will blow your mind, but Chromeo will have you dancing your ass off

Pioneers of the English space-rock underground, the members of Ozric Tentacleshave been rearranging brain cells since 1982, when their expansive instrumental workouts drew comparisons to better-known space cadets like Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. Champions of the continually pretentious album title (Pungent Effulgent anyone?), the merry minstrels have racked up an impressive back catalog since their experimental heyday of cassette-only releases. Still chasing fractals and elves to the delight of New Age crusties and blotter casualties alike, OT showcases founder Ed Wynne's bold, heavily processed virtuoso guitar -- arguably the missing link between Joe Satriani and Buckethead. The band is augmented by quasi-classical flutist John Egan, bassist Pazza, drummer Schoo, and the celestial organ licks of new OT keyboard wizard Hal Waters (son of Floyd visionary Roger Waters, and Ozric veteran Seaweed's heir apparent). Touring in support of their umpteenth release, Spirals in Hyperspace, the Tentacled Ones bring this fierce live unit to the Fillmore on Friday, July 23; call 346-6000 or go to www.thefillmore.com.
-- John La Briola

Analog synths, rock guitars, 808 drum machines, Fender Rhodes, and a Frampton-style talkbox inform the work of Canada's hottest beatsmiths, Chromeo. The music's seemingly disparate elements are a reflection of the group's internal dynamic: Dave 1 (vocals, guitars, programming) is studious, currently earning his Ph.D. in French lit at Columbia, whereas P-Thugg (talkbox, synths, bass), as his name suggests, is more likely to be found in a crack shack than a coffeehouse. While the duo began as a hip hop production team, there's a boundary-defying looseness to Chromeo's music, which privileges instinct over formalism, momentum over nuance. The result is a post-millennial pop potpourri, with big bass lines juxtaposed against crunching guitar riffs, trashy '80s synth lines leading into syrupy-sweet hooks. Expect a live show that pulls you onto the dance floor on Saturday, July 24, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or go to www.theindependentsf.com.
-- Sam Chennault

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