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Sound and the Fury 

A week on the scene

Sound sanctuary

Unquestionably the brightest news for the SA club scene in recent months has been the emergence of the Sanctuary at the Main Street spot that used to be Communion.

On Friday, September 24, Sanctuary hosted an outstanding underground-rock showcase led by Elektra newcomers The Format and Western Tread flagship band Reubens Accomplice. Before a small but unwaveringly energized crowd, these groups demonstrated the possibilities for new-model guitar-pop in 2004.

Coming after Reubens' elliptical constructions, The Format were a happy revelation, looking like true American heirs of the early Squeeze, XTC Brit-pop tradition. In this cynical age, it's not easy to make contagiously life-affirming pop without sounding willfully naïve (calling Polyphonic Spree) or creepily messianic (stay on the line, Polyphonic Spree). At the Sanctuary, The Format accomplished the improbable.

One of the best things about the Sanctuary is the way it's deliberately crossing genre boundaries. On Friday, October 15, the club (and the local collective Prhymemates) brings the much-admired Philly hip-hop crew Jedi Mind Tricks to town, and the following Friday, they'll follow with artsy West Coast rapper (and cousin to Ice Cube) Del Tha Funky Homosapien. Between such shows, they're also focusing on national indie-rockers (The Shocker, featuring L7 alumnus Jennifer Finch) and a slew of local bands. Here's hoping they keep mixing it up.

Hardcore convergence

In what should be a bonanza for fans of so-called metalcore, Converge, one of the defining bands of this high-volume, ultra-aggressive subgenre for more than a decade, will be at Sin 13 on Wednesday, October 6. The veteran Boston quartet, best known for its 2001 album, Jane Doe, is currently touring to supporting its Epitaph Records debut, You Fail Me.

Blues challenge

The San Antonio Blues Society has set a date for its upcoming International Blues Challenge competition. The event will feature local bands in a performance contest, with the winner representing SA at the 21st annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis. San Antonio's contest will take place on Sunday, October 31 at Sam's Burger Joint. It'll be followed by a multi-band jam and - in keeping with its Halloween date - a costume party.

Compiled by Gilbert Garcia

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