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Brainstorm: NPR Front Row

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There was a "fire in the belly" feel when Brainstorm took the stage at TenOak in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest music festival this past March. In its best moments, the trio from Portland, Ore., has an edge that embodies both African highlife guitar and the sounds of late-'70s post-punk a la Gang of Four.
It all seems fit to burst in this new song, "Maybe a Memory." There's great interplay within the trio, and that tension — the push and pull driving Adam Baz on drums, Patrick Phillips on guitar (could have used more guitar in the mix that night) and Tamara Barnes — helps make it easy for a newcomer to fall in love with Brainstorm.

Producers: Saidah Blount, Bob Boilen, Mito Habe-Evans; Assistant Producer: Denise DeBelius; Videographers: Christopher Farber, A.J. Wilhelm; Audio Engineers: Suraya Mohamed, Kevin Wait; Special Thanks To: South By Southwest, TenOak, Apes On Tape; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins
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