All ears - Page 2

Noise Pop 09: We chew over a few more tasty Noise Pop niblets
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Helens Vietnam Band heats things up with its alchemic indie anthems. (L.C. Mason) Feb. 26, 8:30 p.m., $12. Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF. www.rickshawstop.com

KOOL KEITH

Taking the ill flow to the next level, Kool Keith, a.k.a. Dr. Octagon among other aliases, often rhymes about defecation and isn't afraid to blurt out sex-related slang. Think a rapper with Tourette's Syndrome. Still, this self-professed lyrical king comes off as silly, nonsensical, and, when his satirical content shines, poignant. His work has attracted a list of admirers and collaborators ranging from Dan the Automator to Prodigy to Esham. The Bronx native has been at it since 1984 as a founding member of the legendary Ultramagnetic MCs before breaking out on his own with 1996's Dr. Octagonecologyst (DreamWorks/Geffen), showcasing remarkable scratching from Bay Area fave Qbert. Keith has been reportedly institutionalized, which might explain his knack for multiple stage personas, albeit word has it he went in for depression, which may explain so much more. (Andre Torrez) With Mike Relm, Crown City Rockers, and DJ set by Kutmasta Kurt. Feb. 26, 9 p.m., $18. Mezzanine, 444 Jessie, SF. www.mezzaninesf.com

MAN/MIRACLE

The Oakland band has been working the local scene hard lately, providing a barrage of stinging guitars with a pop catchiness reminiscent of Modest Mouse. Even the vocals recall Isaac Brock's hysterics at times. But it would be unfair to limit these up-and-comers with such comparisons. See "Magpies" for proof that they have a creative musical range that goes beyond any formula. (Torrez) With Scissors for Lefty and Picture Atlantic. Feb. 26, 5 p.m. doors, free. Benders, 806 S. Van Ness, SF. www.bendersbar.com

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT

If life were a movie, Martha Wainwright would be a gutsy heroine with a potty mouth, an assortment of endearing underdog friends, and a ferocious right hook. Because it's not, Wainwright's merely Canadian. With three albums' worth of golden folk ditties beneath her belt, Wainwright's more than battled free from the albatross of her illustrious musical lineage, which includes big bro Rufus and daddy London Wainwright III. A medley of folk and alt-country with tendencies toward pop structures and cabaret-style torch, her newest album, I Know You're Married but I've Got Feelings Too (MapleMusic/Zoe, 2008), highlights a flair for incisive songwriting and powerhouse vocals. There's still enough feminine curve to the music to belie the lyrical content, as when Wainwright warbles in her sweetly girlish voice about a "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" — a subtle reference to her famous folk-singer father. (Li) With AA Bondy, Ryan Auffenberg, and Karina Denike. Feb. 26, 8 p.m., $12. Slim's, 333 11th St., SF. www.slims-sf.com

DEAR AND THE HEADLIGHTS

Adenoidal passion at the juncture of emo and indie from the road-friendly Phoenix, Ariz., fivesome. (Chun) With Kinch, Big Light, and A B and the Sea. Feb. 27, 8:30 p.m., $10–$12. Bottom of the Hill, SF, 1233 17th St., SF. www.bottomofthehill.com

MAUS HAUS

Grab that opp to get a taste of the proggily imaginative power-sixpiece. (Chun) With Sugar and Gold and Tempo No Tempo. Feb. 27, 5 p.m. doors, free. Benders, 806 S. Van Ness, SF. www.bendersbar.com

THE MORNING BENDERS AND THE SUBMARINES

We're all familiar with the addictively creamy indie of the 'Benders — less so with the glittering Cali pop of the co-headlining duo. (Chun) With the Mumlers and Rademacher. Feb.

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