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MusicfestNW: Sloan, Bobby Bare Jr., The Minus 5 

When: Wed., Sept. 5, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $15
Among my most cherished stereotypes is the one I have for Canadians being fair, reliable, and down to earth. (It's okay, some of my best friends are from Canada.) The poster band for my oversimplification is certainly Sloan. Each of the four members write and play their own songs, and in two decades, they haven't had a single personnel change. But this heartwarming democracy would be meaningless if they weren't so consistently enjoyable. On The Double Cross, their 10th, they've made their most tasteful album yet. This is really saying something, because it runs the gamut among such seemingly at-odds sounds as folk ("Green Gardens, Cold Montreal" sounds like a Donovan cover) and disco ("Your Daddy Will Do"). An ineffable sense of warmth and generosity holds the stylistic pastiche together and puts Double Cross among the best Sloan albums, including 1994's Twice Removed, which they perform in full tonight. REBECCA WILSON

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