Tucson terrors Bob Log III and Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout play the Hemlock Tavern

The future of rock: Bob Log III in his custom-made microphone helmet.

In a land farther away in attitude than in miles (Tucson, Ariz.), there resides a surprisingly large cadre of talented music-makers with a collective sensibility perhaps best described as skewed. The Pork Torta, Al Foul, Al Perry, Giant Sand, the list goes on and on.

Who knows what it is about Tucson that makes it a breeding ground for guitar-toting contrarians with a penchant for the outré; something tells me that arid desert climate might be partially to blame. In any event, they don’t get much more skewed than Bob Log III or Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout – and the prospect of seeing both in the intimate confines of the Hemlock Tavern tonight is an appealing one.

Whether you go for the Frank Zappa-esque yawp of the eponymous Mr. Free or the sensory-overload experience of watching Bob Log III play all his own instruments (and the crowd) with all the frenetic energy of both Blues Brothers combined, enhanced with the solid slide guitar skills of a heavy-hitting Delta Blues axman, the evening’s entertainment will be anything but boring.

The loopy ensemble known as Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout embraces a sound that borders on the psychedelic, yet manages to eschew the more obnoxious, jam-band-y aspects. And the crowd-mingling, costumed stunts of Mr. Free pointedly deconstruct the habitual segregation of performer and audience.

Bob Log III, the alter-ego of Robert Reynolds III, is a veritable juggernaut of natural showmanship and unnatural charms. Clad in a jumpsuit and a customized helmet rigged with a microphone, Log sits behind a kickdrum, slide guitar in hand. His absurdist, mammary-fixated lyrics, lady “bouncing,” and wicked licks combine to make the Bob Log III experience one of those indie-rock pilgrimages that all true music-lovers must make at least once in their lives — like a trip to a holy land, but a whole lot less holy. Sort of like Tucson.

9 p.m., $12-$15
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF

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