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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Rodrigo Y Gabriela at The Electric Factory, Illinois at Hard Rock Cafe, Joey Sweeney, Judson Claiborne, and Lewis & Clarke at Ortlieb’s, The Mighty Paradocs at Kung Fu Necktie

04.12-Rodrigo-y-Gabriela-@-Chicago-TheaterHailing from Mexico, Rodrigo Y Gabriela makes for an incredible acoustic duo, playing an acoustic fusion of flamenco, metal, folk, rock and so much more. Gaining popularity in Ireland, the duo has since received wide critical acclaim for their prodigious musical skills.  Last winter, they released their fourth studio album, Area 52, which included a Cuban orchestra.  Tonight, the group plays The Electric Factory.  Click here for ticket info and get a taste of the two musicians’ guitar skills below.

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Listen to Against Me!’s True Trans Rebel EP (Laura Jane Grace plays Milkboy 8/10)

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Last week, the first new Against Me! material in a few years saw the light of day.  While a full concept album Transgender Dysphoria Blues is in the works, Against Me! released a two-song EP on Tuesday featuring two brand new acoustic songs, “FuckMyLife666″ and “True Trans Rebel Soul.”  The two songs are incredibly intimate acoustic ballads featuring nothing more than frontwoman Laura Jane Grace and her acoustic guitar.  This is perhaps some of the group’s best work to date and you can download it for free below.  And if you want a chance to see these songs performed live, Laura Jane Grace is embarking on a small solo tour specifically built around the new album, which includes a stop at Milkboy on August 10th.

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By Surprise strip things down to record a Switchboard Session via telephone (playing The Fire on 6/28)

South Jersey punks By Surprise make it their goal to play for fun over progress.  The group rarely performs live shows, and have been gradually releasing music over the last seven years (recently on Topshelf Records).  Yesterday, Switchboard Sessions released some acoustic songs they recorded with the band over a telephone.  The acoustic versions of the songs from the group’s EP Criteria really show By Surprise in a new light.  Instead of drums, bass guitar and vocals, this set is a fuzzy mix of just two acoustic guitars and vocals.  But what the songs lose in electrified energy, the band regains with raw sound of just words and simple acoustic riffs.  The four songs seems to take on a Daniel Johnston honesty in this session.  Check out a few of the songs below and download the full session from Switchboard, and catch a rare appearance from the band at The Fire ]on June 28th.