San Diego quartet the Donkeys are the latest up-and-comers in the crowded field of California folk-rock, updating the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield for indie nation. The Donkeys released second album Living on the Other Side this week on Austin's Dead Ocean label; first single "Walk Through a Cloud" has strong (almost too strong) overtones of Crosby, Stills & Nash and Bob Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue." But the music is chiming and melancholy, with traces of surf and flamenco, and just enough grit to keep things from getting too morose.
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Anyone who ever loved Austin's Lil' Cap'n Travis, bought Mudcrutch's album this year or is currently in the thrall of beard-folk bands Okkervil River, Band of Horses or Fleet Foxes would be a jackass not to go to this show. Houston's similarly pitched Listenlisten opens with selections from its own modest new CD, Hymns from Rhodesia. - Chris Gray