Rock & Pop


When: Tue., March 13, 7 & 10:15 p.m. 2012

It was kind of an epiphany when Return To The Sea came out in 2006. It was a re-introduction to songwriter Nick Thorburn (a.k.a. The Unicorns front man Nick Diamonds), replete with brand new backing personnel and a characteristically fun, concept-y new body of songs. That album covers a lot of ground â€â€� it's wacky, experimental, hip-hop-infused, even â€â€� but in ensuing outings, the "concept band" that Islands made itself out to be seemed like more of a flimsy construction. Last month, though, Thorburn released what's probably the best Islands-tagged LP since its debut. The tunes on A Sleep And A Forgetting are a departure for him, mostly since  it's an album for adults. It's clean, easygoing old-school guitar pop that deals with raw heartbreak and sincere disenchantment -- Thorburn's famous sugar-coating sheared completely off. Even if you're only newly acquainted with the material, one of the two intimate shows at this tiny venue should be a great way to revisit Islands: At Hotel Utah (500 4th St., SF) on Tuesday, Mar. 13 at 7 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., $15,

Will Butler

Price: $15

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