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Shannon and the Clams Get Steamy



    In an interview with, Shannon Shaw explained why she decided to name her backing band the Clams: "They are clams because I dug them out of the beach one day and loved them so much I kept them forever."

    That origins story could just as easily apply to Shannon and the Clams' music. With their surf-rock riffs and beach-party vocals, the Oakland band's songs feel as if they were washed ashore in the '50s, buried in the sand and only recently unearthed. If not for Shaw's slurred and surly presence, the songs would feel perfectly at home in a Gidget movie.

    That simultaneously innocent and sleazy sound makes Shannon and the Clams' new album, Sleep Talk, an unrelentingly fun time. Tracks like "Baby Don't Do It" and "The Cult Song" will get stuck in your head for days, and Shaw's guttural wail on the tipsy waltz "Tired of Being Bad" will stick with you even longer.

    You can check out the songs in person on Nov. 2, when Shannon and the Clams play the Casbah. The trio will be joined by two other girl-fronted punk groups: Japan's rock veterans Shonen Knife and San Diego's own Jungle Fever. Don't miss it.

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    Chris Maroulakos is a writer and managing editor for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.