MP3 of the Day - Birds & Batteries

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San Francisco's Birds & Batteries isn't just a standout local band, but one that could hit the national radar. What distinguishes it? The trio's debut, Nature vs. Nature (2006), meshes synths and drum-machine beats with a lo-fi country aesthetic for a sound that's danceable but also contemplative. On "Machines That Dream," Mike Sempert's double-layered voice meanders over a steady synth-pop beat and lonesome pedal steel guitar. The juxtaposition of electronic and organic sounds is hardly new, but the results are surprisingly refreshing. Birds & Batteries plays this Saturday, January 13 at El Rio. Listen to samples on their MySpace page. --Kathleen Richards