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Gunns to town: Steven Gunn & the Outliners at Gasa Gasa 

The bandleader performs June 13

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Photo by Constance Mensh

Whether you prefer your guitar in long-form sagas or four-minute short stories, Steve Gunn has an offering for you. The Brooklyn-based instrumentalist-turned-bandleader spent years tangling strings, a yo-yo magician flicking out ear-bending tricks via time-lapse ragas that roll in and burn off like fog. His transition took place on Time Off and Way Out Weather, the fraternal 2013-14 LPs on which Gunn found in his droning mantras — literally and otherwise — an inner voice. Hearing it emerge on the former album, completely organically, is akin to witnessing a birth. On Weather, it mastered balance and mobility; with this week's Eyes on the Lines, his first for the Matador imprint, it hits the road, taking in the sights and sounds of touring life and turning them into humming rock hops from radio station to station. There's a steady progression at play: Time Off has six tracks, half of them seven minutes or longer. On Weather, it's eight tracks, only two exceeding six minutes. Lines is both a contraction and an expansion, its nine songs topping out on opener "Ancient Jules" (six minutes on the dot) but possessing as much forward momentum as his early albums swam in luxuriating stasis. The hitchhiking vagabond is still in there — he just hijacked a big rig. Promised Land Sound opens. Tickets $10.

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