Noisepop cracks up: trading jibes with Patton Oswalt - Page 2

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Songs such as "In and Out of Love" combine roots rock, punk, and country that sound familiar, retro, and refreshing all at once. The harmonica in "Christmas Time Blues" makes me want to flee to my favorite dive bar to sulk, even on a good day. (Elaine Santore)

9 p.m. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. $12. (415) 861-2011

MARCH 2

DAVID DONDERO

If ever there were a diamond in the indie rock rough, it is David Dondero. National Public Radio named him one of the 10 best living songwriters, but he still tours in his truck and has probably served you pints at Casanova. Nick Drake may have lamented that "fame is but a fruit tree," but he checked out long before his notoriety took root and grew. Dondero, on the other hand, has worked for years in relative obscurity. His latest effort, South of the South (Team Love), was bankrolled by Conor Oberst, an overdue invitation to the feast from a man who freely admits to copping Dondero's style. Jolie Holland headlines; St. Vincent opens. (Baker)

9 p.m. Fillmore, 1805 Geary, SF. $20. (415) 346-6000

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS

Naming your band is one of the early hurdles for any would-be rock star. Ted Leo and his mates had a stroke of genius the day they alighted on the Pharmacists, arguably trumping even the Beatles for best tongue-in-cheek rock 'n' roll pun. Not that ingenuity is lacking in this outfit, which packs as much fevered punk energy into a four-minute tune as a mitochondrion does into a cell. For those who slept through freshman biology, that's the part of a cell that, among other things, processes adrenaline. And anyone who has ever attended a Leo show is all too familiar with this chemical. (Baker)

8 p.m. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. $18. (415) 885-0750

MARCH 4

CAKE

The genre-bending Sacramento band known for funky arrangements, monotone vocals, droll lyrics, and a whole set of cabaret, country, and soul cover songs (including Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and Black Sabbath's "War Pigs") finishes Noise Pop with characteristic verve and vibraslap. This indie-turned-mainstream-turned-indie quartet has gotten increasingly political in recent years — check out the band's Web site (www.cakemusic.com) if you want to see what I mean — so expect some social commentary with your catchy ditties. It's also worth showing up for the textured pop sound and cheeky lyrics of opening band the Boticcellis; Money Mark and Scrabbel also perform. (Molly Freedenberg)

7:30 p.m. Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, SF. $25. (415) 474-0365

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