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    Oasis Kick Off U.S. Tour

    The first stop of Oasis' North American tour was unusually calm: no onstage sibling scuffles, no crazed fans, just a few clouds of pot smoke and a slightly less-than-ecstatic crowd -- save for the requisite 12-year-old boys who weren't even born when "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" was released. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals opened the show at Oakland's 19,500-seat Oracle Arena with 40-minute set that included an up-tempo "Everybody Knows" and an especially rousing rendition of "Let It Ride." And no, he didn't play "Wonderwall," though not for lack of time -- Adams left fans scratching their heads when he abruptly ended the set with a curt "We're the Cardinals" and walked offstage. At 9 p.m. promptly, Liam Gallagher walked onstage, tambourine in mouth, sporting an almost comical version of his classic Britpop mop top a la Paul Weller.

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    Mirah Goes Buggy in San Francisco

    In a school play-like setting with wooden foldout chairs, hardwood floors, and a walk-up stage, Mirah and Spectratone International performed the entirety of Share This Place: Stories and Observations, a multi-media tribute to insects based in part on the writings of French scientist/poet, Jean Henri Fabre. Sounds weird, right? It was, but Mirah's stunningly sweet soprano accompanied by the plunky stylings of a lute, cello, accordion, and hand drums made the creepy crawlers onscreen, well, quite interesting and -- dare I say -- benevolent. Strikingly similar to Portugese folk act Madredeus, Mirah and Spectratone International played the 12-song set, partially inspired by a summer that cellist Lori Goldston spent "sitting in her garden," to a nearly sold-out crowd of about 250 at San Francisco's Swedish American Hall Monday.

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    Hot Water Music Boils Over in S.F.

    They may not be the youngest punk rockers around these days, but Hot Water Music still serve up a killer dose of youthful adrenaline... which you might expect from a band that has died and been resurrected more times than Bob Saget's career. At one hour and ten minutes, which included a three-song encore, last night's show at San Francisco's Regency Grand Ballroom was nothing short of the punk band's late-'90s heyday. Aside from one botched intro, the group was tight. Keeping immaculate tempo, drummer George Rebello, who seemed to own each song's intro, transitions, and finish, hardly paused between numbers. Bassist Jason Black, at center stage, acted as the 11 on Hot Water Music's amp -- not that guitarists Chris Wollard and Chuck Ragan weren't also pushing the limits.

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