STS9 mixes cheese with brain-tickling charm on its latest, while FM Belfast strikes a teen truant pose
Just as deep into the woods, yet soundly rooted in terra firma, are Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore's Dear Companion (Sub Pop), a heartfelt collabo between the classically trained cellist and Peace Corps vet singer-songwriter and undercover producer "Yim Yames," otherwise known as Jim James of My Morning Jacket. This gorgeously recorded folk disc tugs at listener heart strings with all its might, for a worthy cause: the album benefits Appalachian Voices and seeks to raise awareness of the radical surface mining technique of mountaintop removal. The makers seem to summon their courage midway through and go out on a limb with "Only a Song": here, Sollee warbles like a baby-faced, non-rhymin' Paul Simon, "I get a little scared when I'm driving through the ghetto/ There's a part of me that wants to hide, there's a part of me that wants to move in/ 'cause even though I, I grew up in the suburbs/ I didn't really grow till I learned how so many others lived." Such earnestness may offend or endear, making Sollee and Moore's project that much rarer.
Sat/13, 8 p.m., $27.50
1807 Telegraph, Oakl.
CURSE OF THE BIRTHMARK
We're noise supergroupin', Bay-style. Wed/10, 9 p.m., $6. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. www.hemlocktavern.com
Like Antony in Hercules guise, only dreamier, judging from Two Dancers (Domino). Thurs/11, 8 p.m., $12–$14. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. www.theindependentsf.com