Yep, you too are essential to the band, especially your super-sweet triangle solos. But roughly speaking, garage rock be it in, out, or lurking merrily on the fringes often comes down to one visionary or prime mover, though in the tight local music scene, one never rules out the cosmic convergence of several git-'er-done leader types.
GREG ASHLEY THE GRIS GRIS, THE MIRRORS, SIR LORD VON RAVEN
The Gris Gris may be dormant, but the life this producer, solo artist, and guy-with-seemingly-a-jillion-bands-up-his-sleeve pulls out of his organ and guitar with Oakland's psychy-garage Sir Lord Von Raven makes us sit up, rub our eyes, and wiggle our bee-hinds a little harder as we fetch ourselves another PBR.
DREW CRAMER THE MANTLES, PERSONAL AND THE PIZZAS
"I Can Read" an excellent reminder. Personal and the Pizzas is not only the funniest joke band and Dictators jab/mash note in town, but Mantles dude Drew Cramer can't stop writing catchy songs, even in the service of a Bowser-riffic group that began as an idea for a TV show. "We were going to do a sitcom The Young Onesstyle," Cramer told me this fall. "It just turned into a band. The idea is we sit around all day eating pizzas, listening to the Stooges, and drinking beer." Makes you wonder about the next warp in the more ethereal weave of the Mantles.
ANDY JORDAN THE CUTS, THE TIME FLYS, BUZZER
The Cuts appeared to go out with a bang following From Here on Out (Birdman, 2006) and the Time Flys seemed to have flown, but don't lose hope for this manic son of a record-store man: Buzzer takes its cues from the wild-child kicks of '70s glitter punk and messes with hole-in-the-head stranger dangers à la "Trepanation Blues."
Buzzer with Photobooth and Die RotzZz. Sat/31, 8 p.m., call for price. Knockout, 3223 Mission, SF. www.myspace.com/buzzeroakland
TINA LUCCHESI THE BOBBYTEENS, THE BACI GALOOPIS, TOP 10
The lady keeps the up-dos swinging at Down at Lulu's, but she also finds plenty of time to pour a lotta love into the rock scene. Top 10 makes us wanna mix cornrows in our pop charts.
MATTHEW MELTON SNAKEFLOWER 2, PHOTOBOOTH, BARE WIRES
Photobooth is now in the mustachioed, Oakland-by-way-of-Memphis rock 'n' roll maven's past, Snakeflower 2 is still simmering, and Bare Wires the Jay Reatard photog's old band with his River City Tanlines cohort Alicia Trout has risen once more, peopled by Paul Keelan and exTime Flys member Erin Emslie. Looking forward to BW's Artificial Clouds LP (Tic Tac Totally).
Bare Wires with Static Static and Fun Blood. Feb. 5, 9 p.m., $6. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. www.myspace.com/thebarewires
RUSSELL QUAN THE MUMMIES, THE DUKES OF HAMBURG, THE BOBBYTEENS, THE COUNT BACKWARDS, THE PHANTOM SURFERS, THE FLAKES, THE MERSEY WIFE BEATERS
He's the OG of garage rock in the Bay, a madman on drums and the dude can also whip out a mean rock 'n' roll DJ set. Does he get extra points because he's a genuine garage rocker? Auto repair is his forte when he isn't bashing out beats and generating positive vibes.
TY SEGALL TRADITIONAL FOOLS, THE PERVERTS
The one-man rock-out machine fronts the Traditional Fools, temped in the Mothballs, and recently saw his super-energized self-titled solo debut come out on John Dwyer's Castle Face label.
Feb. 6, 5 p.m., $5. University of San Francisco campus, SF.