Heads Up: 7 must-see concerts this week

Queen of scene, Miss Wanda Jackson.

Lots of big name, sold-out shows this week. Swedish indie folk sister duo First Aid Kid at Slim's is officially out of tickets, as expected. As is Pulp and Refused (separate shows) at the Warfield, and Childish Gambino and Danny Brown (same show) at the Fox. SBTRKT at the Independent, M83 at the Fillmore, Bon Iver, and the following day, Wiz Khalifa with A$AP Rocky, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium are all full – and sure to be packed, sticky houses.

Though you do still have a chance to see awkwardly sincere Peter Gabriel-Sting lovechild Gotye, who whispered through the first half of “Somebody That I Used To Know” on Saturday Night Live this weekend and starred in one of the few funny sketches (albeit, a digital short, most endearing thanks to Terran Killam’s cherubic painted cheeks). He's also at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium this week.

So that pretty much wraps up the megawatts, old and new. In the still available, and mighty worthwhile, must-sees column I'm leaning pretty heavy on the punk this time around, along with the somewhat arbitrary legend/icon status, but that's the way the vegan cookie crumbles. (In my fantasy world, all cookies are vegan and all bands have a punk icon at the helm.)

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Okay it’s true; half of these shows are also sold out (sorry), but Canadian post-rock legends Godspeed (tiresome masters of the long-slow crescendo) and GAMH prepared for that by booking nearly a week of nightmarish classical explosions.
Tue/17-Fri/20, 8pm, $21
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF
(415) 885-0750

Wanda Jackson
The fact that this 74-year-old rockabilly queen – who more than a few times bedded greased pomp heyday Elvis Presley – is still making titillating new music (This Party Ain't Over with Jack White) and touring off it is reason enough to check in on her fiery live show.
With Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Tues/17, 8pm, $30-$40
Regency Ballroom
1300 Van Ness, SF
(415) 673-5716

Wild Flag
Led by the Sleater-Kinney/Portlandia powerhouse Carrie Brownstein out front – truly wailing on guitar, high-kicking past your shoulders, and noodling sexily with Helium’s Mary Timony – the quartet bleeds down dirty rock’n’roll “Romance.”
With EMA
Wed/18, 8pm, $20
1805 Geary, SF

Sonny & the Sunsets
The big news here isn’t so much that local garage rock icon/visual artist/man-about-town Sonny Smith is playing, it's that his band is playing the relatively intimate stage at Amnesia. Should make for a very San Francisco evening.
With Range of Light Wilderness, Nightgowns
Thurs/19, 8pm, $8-$10
853 Valencia, SF
(415) 970-0012

Do I really need to explain influential British ‘70s power-punk, “Orgasm Addict”-s, Buzzcocks, to you? I didn’t think so, so let’s all save some brain cells. Just listen for the moans.
With Images, Emily's Army
Fri/20, 9pm, $35
1928 Telegraph, Oakl.

Birds & Batteries
This experimental local indie pop act (part synth, part folk) should be riding high on the release of indescribably sublime new EP Unfold. Get into it. Not legendary –  yet.
With Mwahaha, oWNERSHIP
Sat/21, 9:30pm, $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF
(415) 621-4455

Noh Mercy
To celebrate the release of new LP, Noh Mercy’s Esmeralda and Tony Hotel will play their first show together in more than 30 years, which makes this show a rather rare opportunity. And the minimalist punk duo, which often performed at influential, long-gone SF venue Mabuhay Gardens, was once know for its intense bursts of costumed energy.
With Erase Errata
Sun/22, 7:30pm, $12
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
(415) 861-5016

Also from this author

  • Love rumbles

    Who is Charlie Megira? A Berlin rebel with a Bay Area connection

  • Down at the Rickshaw

    One of our favorite independent music venues celebrates 10 years of rockin' -- with a week of great shows

  • Rockin' New Year's Eve

    Let 2013 all hang out at these musical blasts