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yo la tengo Phoenix, March 2 The Hoboken trio dispensed with their typically feedback-drenched noise pop for a hushed, sit-down set that wound up being just as intense.
2virginia rodrigues Phoenix, April 15That a woman of such girth could possess a delicate-flower voice was head-spinning enough. But Rodrigues's satiny, haunting Brazilian ballads, coupled with her cheeky dirty dancing, made the night a quiet stunner. Even Mary Margaret O'Hara looked impressed.
3dillinger Roxy Blu, May 6 Clad in a ridiculous flame-covered jumpsuit and with Blood & Fire archivist Steve Barrow selecting behind him, the legendary reggae deejay renamed himself Ragnampaiza and authoritatively declared to the room that he does not eat fertilizer. Worth cutting your vacation short for.
4KELLY HOGAN The Horseshoe, May 12 A spellbinder from start to finish in which the Atlanta burner wrecked the Neko-friendly house with sweet soulful flava.
5the dears El Mocambo, June 24 Good on disc, unstoppable live, with a finale that left kerchief-wearing singer Murray Lightburn down on his knees, hoarse and flailing away until his band dropped back in with a breakdown that left the crowd dazed.
6Teen CRUD COMBO El Mocambo, August 18The water war that broke out during the Crud's NXNE showcase was going to be hard to top for their final bow, but thanks to the inspiration of Spandau Ballet and a well-placed cream pie, they turned the trick.
7moby Warehouse, October 14Quoting the Doors, Johnny Cash and his own enduring Play disc, the diminutive composer showed that electronic music can successfully cross over to a performance setting. And despite all appearances to the contrary, he does have a sense of humour.
8radiohead Air Canada Centre, October 17Any doubts about whether the Oxford quintet could duplicate live the painstakingly complex suites unspooled on their Kid A disc were wiped clean in 10 minutes flat. There was a fantastic mix of old and new material and -- shocker of shockers -- a happy-looking Thom Yorke.
9The Backstabbers witH Mike Seeger Tranzac Club, November 19After Mike Seeger finished signing New Lost City Ramblers records and waved goodbye to the exiting crowd, he strapped on a banjo and swapped claw-hammer licks with the Backstabbers for over an hour while seven of us stragglers stood by wearing silly grins.
10the guess who El Mocambo, December 4Hot off a summer tour and tighter than a nun's ass, the Canuck rock vets zoomed through their staggeringly good back catalogue with jaw-dropping efficiency. You'd never know that 30 years and countless hissing squabbles had passed. *
The Hoboken trio dispensed with their typically feedback-drenched noise pop for a hushed, sit-down set that wound up being just as intense.