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Local artists put out a wealth of good music this year. Step right up and read all about it.

Zubabi
Virescence
Looks like the four young men of Zubabi eschewed the prevalent influences of indie rock, pop punk and nü-metal and went straight to their dads' record collections. Virescence echoes with the stratified, progressive sounds of the '70s: King Crimson, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd's Meddle. Alternately frantic and ethereal, these mostly instrumental songs are made up of snaky rhythms, frisky sonic experimentation and echo-rich guitar figures that slip from dense, Robert Fripp-inspired harmonics to the kind of atmospheric blues that David Gilmour made famous. The members' accomplished, even showy, musicianship is offset by a certain goofiness - songs like the genre-frolicking "Black Hills" teeter on the edge of pretentiousness without ever falling off. Nerdy and inspired, Zubabi crafts a sound that is a refreshing divergence from both uptight post-rock and stuffy old prog. -- Heller

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