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Dom Dolla

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Dom Dolla

Dom Dolla is a massive EDM producer (and artist) back in Melbourne, Australia. With his throwback soft R&B vocals (replete with tape-echo vocals, '70s-era Johnnie Taylor), the big update is a hollow mid-to-low range synth and heavily emphasized calypso/world beat pulse. Whether programming tracks himself, like the popular "You" or collaborating as a producer, such as with Go Freek for Australia's chart-topper "Define," Dolla is picking up where Seal left off 20-plus years ago, adding up-to-the-moment electronic touches to radio-friendly love-pop nostalgia (see '70s Johnnie Taylor). As with many international sensations, there's the chance to see possible greatness in an intimate Tuc-town venue, one is used to closing EDC-level events in his native land. This is soft-groove sex-sway, melodic and comforting. A re-embrace of the sensual versus the current head-crank grind, and its popularity perhaps explains there's a heartbreak beat in all of us, still. Saturday, Aug. 4. Gentle Ben's, 865 E. University Blvd. 7 P.M. $10-$18. —B.S. Eliot

click to enlarge Sad Baxter - COURTESY
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  • Sad Baxter

Sad Baxter: Deezy and Alex are a pair of lifelong friends who dated and broke up and still play in a heavy sludge-pop band together. With phrasing lifted right off an early Hole or Veruca Salt (or Runaways) record, and guitar spliffs that get bigger and more vacuous with each passing reverberation, Sad Baxter is an angst-stunned band seeking catharsis through noise. They're trying to love the world even and especially when it blows. "I love you," spits from Deezy's mouth like, "You piss me off," would for most of us. Yet she continues to plead. Dig "Believe me," "Love Yew," and "Big One." From Nashville via Jersey, Sad Baxter mix the trash with the cosmopolitan, and would be at home supporting, say, Dandy Warhols. There's a deeply wound tightness that happens between the melody and rhythm, endless guitar loops and restrained drums that could only result from bffs. All the togetherness with none of the fucking. Therefore, angst. With Whispering Wires, Tuesday, Aug. 7. Café Passe, 415 N. Fourth Ave. 9 p.m., Free. All ages with parent or guardian. —B.S. Eliot

click to enlarge Long Neck - COURTESY
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  • Long Neck

Long Neck (aka Lily Mastrodimos) writes unrequited love songs because the person she loves is dead. Her most recent LP, Will this Do?, is a musical attempt to continue living and make her lost love proud. Originally a lone singer/songwriter recording on an M Box, Lily's Dolores O' Riordan pipes and open-palmed honesty attracted a full rock band. Long Neck is now picking up where Hum left off 20 years ago, spinning sonic black stars of effects-rich guitar around Lily's plaintive vocals as she struggles to believe in something greater. "Counting stars and slowly speaking/But the stars were just truck lights on the ceiling." The deliberate choice to avoid sentimentality—be it the half-step down to deny chorus resolutions or the intentional lack of melody in favor of singular pitch—leads to unexpected gut punches by song's end. This is a band and an album of harnessed raw emotions, summoned and woven and ultimately hopeful, because with every grieving note, Lily is still very much alive. With Fern Mayo on Thursday, Aug. 9. Owl's Club, 236 S. Scott Ave. Doors at 6 p.m. Free. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

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