This week, musicians come from far and wide, from broad plains on the other side of the spinning globe, plucked from different coasts of varying notoriety, and from our very own backyards to entertain us. It's a veritable Google Earth of sonic endeavors.
Far: exquisite Malian vocalist Khaira Arby. Around the corner: Thee Oh Sees with new Oakland act Warm Soda. Not quite as far as West Africa: Brooklyn's Light Asylum, and Manhattan's Emily Wells (different nights). Out of this word: Carletta Sue Kay. Now that's entertainment. Let's globe trot together from the comfort of our own venues, shall we?
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Supernatural goth-pop duo Light Asylum is back, this time celebrating the release of its self-titled debut full-length, out now on Mexican Summer. Both gritty and ethereal, the record is a study in straddled extremes. Light Asylum also plays Amoeba at 5pm Monday.
Mon/14, 9pm, $12-$15
161 Erie, SF
She's been hailed as “Mali's reigning queen of song,” and is revered outside of Timbuktu by fellow world acts, including the Sway Machinery, which asked her to join it on tour a few years back. She writes and sings in indigenous languages of the Sahara desert and in those, her voice has a husky, powerful draw.
Wed/16, 9pm, $10-$15
579 18th St., Oakl.
Warm Soda and Thee Oh Sees
The name brings to mind cola burps. But it's actually a brand new pop band put together by Oakland's Matthew Melton, formerly of Bare Wires. And this will be your first chance to catch it live. And of course, fellow locals/headliners Thee Oh Sees routinely shred. And that goes for the rest of the lineup as well.
With the Mallard, Burnt Ones
Wed/16, 9pm, $12
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
Her variable voice is intoxicating, as are her live-looping violin skills. Sure, the video below is old and the multi-instrumentalist/"one-woman orchestra" has a brand album (Mama, Partisan Records) that's full of endless layers and vigor. But this song's called “Take It Easy, San Francisco,” and so we will.
With Portland Cello Project
Thu/17, 8pm, $15
Swedish American Hall
2174 Market, SF
Alright, here's one off Mama
Riding a sunny art-pop rainbow of sticky, digitally-enhanced highs on newly released sophomore record Candy Salad (French Kiss), Suckers – whom you may know from previous single “It Gets Your Body Movin'” – journey to our coast this week from their adopted-home base of Brooklyn. Collective thanks again, Brooklyn, these Suckers are stuck in our heads.
With Young Man, Vanaprasta
Thu/17, 9pm, $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17 St., SF
Carletta Sue Kay
Carletta Sue Kay vocalist Randy Walker has a fancy new (and if you can believe it, debut) album out this week – Incongruent (Kitten Charmer, May 15) – but is already something of a local legend, having opened for the likes of Kurt Vile, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Girls, the Fresh & Onlys, and Kelley Stoltz. Oh, and recently got a damn profile in the New York Times. Go, hear that silky, bluesy four octave vocal range once more, and rightfully fete the singer-songwriter. Carletta Sue Kay also plays Amoeba at 6pm Thu/17.
With Avengers, Erase Errata
Fri/18, 8pm, $15
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
Black Sabbath's Paranoid
The next round in a creative ongoing series from UnderCover Presents, “Black Sabbath's Paranoid” pits more than 50 Bay Area musicians against one monumental heavy metal record. Each band covers one song, then on to the next. Note: there will be heavy metal-themed sandwiches sold outside, courtesy of Brass Knuckles.
With Extra Action Marching Band, Uriah Duffy with the Memorials, Sabbaticus Rex & the Axe-Wielders of Chaos, Tiger Honey Pot with Max Baloian, and more
Sat/19, 9pm, $20 (includes cover CD)
628 Divisadero, SF
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