This week, most of the crucial shows are hella local (as is that faux pas slang). What can you do? We're all cogs in the Bay Area machine. And we happen to have a lot of impressive musicians within spitting distance. There are cheap shows spread across the hyper-local map starring Religious Girls, French Cassettes, Midnite Snaxxx, Thee Oh Sees, and Il Gato.
A few non-locals made the list too, we can't all be #based here, of course – where would the fun be in that? Visiting out-of-towners Polyphonic Spree, Caroline Chocolate Drops, and more, remind us that bands like to tour here too. Give them your hard-earned cash to support the ubiquitous hard-wrought traveling musician travails.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Reach for the light with the colorful, cultish goodness of joy-poppers Polyphonic Spree, still spreading that spaced out cheer.
With New Fumes
Tue/3, 8pm, $20.
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
Baroque pop excellence returns — for those playing along at home, Il Gato graced the cover of the Guardian’s fall preview way back in 2011. Now the band is hard at work on its next album, and it recently set up a Kickstarter campaign to help ease the costs.
With Passenger & Pilot, Red Weather, Drew Victor
Thu/5, 8pm, $10
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
Religious Girls, Mister Loveless, B Hamilton, French Cassettes
Not only are these all delectable Oakland acts (save for French Cassettes: SF) – including returning GOLDIES champs/tribal percussionists/weirdo synthsters Religious Girls – but this show is an Art Murmur freebie. Show up early to catch all the acts, and remember to tip your bartenders.
Fri/6, 6pm, free
1928 Telegraph, Oakl.
Thrones is just one dude: Seattle’s Joe Preston, the metal-grinding doom bassist/Moog-enthusiast who’s spent time on tastemaker labels Kill Rock Stars and Southern Lord, and played alongside Earth, the Melvins, and High on Fire.
With Helms Alee, Grayceon
Fri/6, 9:30pm, $10
1131 Polk, SF
ALL THE CHILDREN SING: Adobe Books Benefit Concert with Thee Oh Sees
Psych-garage rock experts/locals Thee Oh Sees swoop in to support Adobe Books — the event is a fundraiser for the beloved shop suffering an imminent rent increase. The benefit also includes more real live rockers, a silent art auction, and stand-up comedy by local comedians George Chen (whose own experimental noise band, Chen Santa Maria, plays Bottom of the Hill Mon/9) and Anna Seregina.
With Sonny and the Sunsets, the Mallard
Sat/7, 8:30pm, $10-$20 sliding scale
2948 16th St., SF
Facebook: All The Children Sing
Carolina Chocolate Drops
This Grammy Award-having old-time string band from North Carolina just released its seventh joyous, foot-stomping blues album (Leaving Eden) and has a song ("Daughter's Lament") on the lauded Hunger Games soundtrack.
Sat/7, 8pm, $20
333 11th St., SF
Check this killer banjo-and-fiddle cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style”
Bear in Heaven
“In the kaleidoscopic video for the album’s charming lead single, “The Reflection of You,” cameras zoom in and out on [Jon] Philpot, guitarist Adam Wills, and drummer Joe Stickney at a rapid pace as strobe lights flash beneath them. It’s a hyper-stimulating, entirely accurate depiction of the band’s sound; once the rollercoaster ride is over, you can think of nothing but jumping back in line and doing it all over again.” (Frances Capell).
See Frances' full story in this week's issue.
With Blouse, Doldrums
Sun/8, 8pm, $15
628 Divisadero, SF
Oakland’s favorite punky, lo-fi garage rockers, Midnite Snaxx — featuring Trashwomen’s Tina Lucchesi, and the Guardian’s Dulcinea Gonzalez, formerly of Loudmouths — return to the cavernous inner Knockout sanctum.
With White Murder, Glitz
3223 Mission, SF