All ears - Page 3

Noise Pop 09: We chew over a few more tasty Noise Pop niblets

27, 8 p.m., $12–$14. Slim's, 333 11th St., SF.


With her pale face, crazed hair, and beautiful bone structure, St. Vincent — née Annie Clark — looks something like a classically trained musician gone a little deranged in the headspace. The sense of leashed zaniness exerts an eerie tension in her music, which is all conventional pop balladry cracking open to rushes of pure weirdness and hellcat rock outros. Strictly speaking, the songwriter makes chamber pop. But it's dissonant — with bang-a-pot dins and lyrical quirks galore. Clark centers the chaos on the strength of her deep, dark voice, bewitching in its balletic femininity. Originally a guitar player for the Polyphonic Spree and a member of Sufjan Stevens' touring band, she composes songs in layers of euphoric instrumentation. From the sleekly nightmarish "Paris Is Burning" to the hair-raising child's plea of "Now Now," the music's got harpsichords, horns, plinking piano, children's choruses, and sun-drenched synth riffs in spades. Fingers crossed that she'll show up with the whole orchestra in tow. (Li) With Cryptacize, Rafter, and That Ghost. Feb. 27, 8 p.m., $16. Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, SF.


Watch the 'craft soar. "Unplugged" and straight-up acoustic from the Hüsker Dü muck-amok and OG of noise-pop — with Eitzel joining in, accompanied solely by a pianist. (Chun) With Donovan Quinn and Jason Finazzo. Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., $20. Swedish American Hall, 2174 Market, SF.


Youthquakin' and shakin' up its hometown of Portland, Ore., Portugal, the Man loves itself a fresh blend of wide-scope pop, orchestral indie rock, and tens-of-years-after psychedelia: "I was born in 1989," wails John Baldwin Gourley. (Chun) With Japanese Motors, Girls, and Love Is Chemicals. Feb. 28, 9 p.m., $13. Café Du Nord, 2170 Market, SF.


Don't heave those stony accusations of cultural colonialism at the Los Angeles duo of Danny and Tiffany Preston. Though the project spun off on Danny's love of Middle Eastern music and his collection of microtonal keyboards from the region, the husband and wife have plundered quite varied aural booty in the past: Danny was in the dubby Pigeon Funk and Tiffany in the math rock Pink Grenade. In fact the Eastern sounds of Rainbow Arabia's The Basta EP (Manimal, 2008), inspired by Sublime Frequencies releases, will likely morph into something poppier, more "tropical new wave," more Cambodian, and more Congotronics-esque in the near future. "We're going wherever it works. We'll mix it up," Preston told me from L.A., where Rainbow Arabia finds kinship with the recently relocated High Places. Of their globetrotting musical mix, he said, "It was weird to eat sushi in the '80s — now we're eating everything, and music and film is the same. It's just weaving together, and everyone is taking pieces, just like other countries take pieces of our culture." For a more ethereal pop vibe, look to opening SF duo Boy in Static and their forthcoming Candy Cigarette (Fake Four). (Chun) With Themselves and Yoni Wolf. Feb. 28, 2 p.m., free. Apple Store, 1 Stockton, SF.


Get ready to be blown away by the experimental punk sounds of these L.A. darlings on the Sub Pop label.

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