Noise Pop: Hot shots - Page 2

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The Blacks take the simplicity of '70s punk and garage rock and jump-start the attitude: the concept isn't new, but then, a combo doesn't need to be entirely original to rock. (Felsinger)

With Cursive, Darker My Love, and Judgement Day. Feb. 29, 8 p.m., $18. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF. www.gamh.com

Jeffrey Lewis

Crass saved punk. They never fit the part, never ripped off the Rolling Stones, and never tried to become famous, because they genuinely wanted to create a better world and thought they could do so through music. But in the past four years every kid with a leather jacket has picked up an acoustic guitar to sing against the war and capitalism, recorded some songs on their PowerBook, then thrown them up on MySpace. Folk punk has swept the nation's underground to the point where 924 Gilman Street Project hosts a monthly Acoustic Night. Bringing it full circle, New York City's Jeffrey Lewis recently released 12 Crass Songs (Rough Trade), composed entirely of acoustic versions of Crass numbers, including some of the group's best. Lewis came out of his city's so-called antifolk scene — a Crass cover LP ought to be deemed anti–folk punk, right? — and his vocal patterns have a hushed, somewhat raplike flow. The CD's best track has to be "Punk Is Dead," which Lewis delivers as a wistful ballad. Hearing a folk singer recite the lyrics 25 years after the first recorded incarnation makes more sense than ever — because the words are certainly truer today. (Felsinger)

With the Mountain Goats, OKAY, and Aim Low Kid. Feb. 29, 8 p.m., $18. Bimbo's 365 Club, 1025 Columbus, SF. www.bimbos365club.com

British Sea Power

Do You Like Rock Music? is the provocative title of British Sea Power's new Rough Trade LP. Well, sure, but do I like their brand of grand indie? Their engorged drums and highly dramatic overtures just might get them discounted as the Big Country of the '00s, though their quieter moments and more experimental textures hint at increasing — and welcome — complexity and nuance. (Chun)

With 20 Minute Loop, Colour Music, and Off Campus. March 1, 9 p.m., $14. Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., SF. www.bottomofthehill.com

Immigrant

These SF vets of Evening have come a long way from would-be bell-ringing bouts, taking on an epic yet poppy, synth-dappled alt-rock veneer with the self-released Novakinesis. (Chun)

With Panther, Wallpaper, and Distraction Fit. March 1, 9 p.m., $10–$12. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. (415) 861-2011

Port O'Brien

One might note that the flowing harmonies between the four members of Port O'Brien work so well onstage that the audience would be doing a disservice to the band if they joined in. But that would be an unfair request. Port O'Brien's music emits the instant atmosphere of a warm campfire sing-along. The group's more intimate acoustic concerts are now only rare gems, and their recorded efforts tend to fall short of capturing the same level of energy, yet their glowing personalities and dedication to the crowd are still evident at their amplified full-band performances. (Felsinger)

With Delta Spirit, What Made Milwaukee Famous, and the Mayfire. March 1, 9 p.m., $10–$12. Cafe du Nord, 2170 Market, SF. www.cafedunord.com

The Virgins

Imagine Julian Casablancas with a freshened-up adenoidal approach and jaded 'tude intact, backed by sloppy-cool disco-rock rats. Equipped with a taste for that tatty late '70s intersection where punk and disco met, snarled, and duked it out on the train on the way back to the boroughs, these New York City decadance-kins seem likely to outshamble Babyshambles and their louche ilk.

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