Waiting for the second manicure of my life, flipping through trashy magazines with my excitable fellow preeners, I came upon a photo of glittery purple monster Katy Perry; the conversation switched to her skills as a pop singer and place in the cultural zeitgeist (general consensus: the candy-coated songs are terrible guilty pleasures, her candy-coated bosom and infantilizing sexuality are kind of ick). We flipped the page.
Fast-forward several hours and – tickled by intense declarations of love and copious champagne at an intimate ranch wedding – the preeners and I are ecstatically throwing our whole selves into this “Teenage Dream.” Limbs in the air, with broad toothy smiles, we were in it, and without any trace of remorse or snark.
Music does that to you. We all seek out the challenging works of the genius craftspeople, but sometimes, it’s all about that quick and thrilling release, of both endorphins and mind. Letting it all go for the moment. Soaking up the sound. Musicians and bands below such as Naytronix and Father John Misty – and even genuine pop-star-in-training Maria Minerva – have both the challenge and the release. Why pass up the chance to see that live?
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Let's get this out of the way: Naytronix is actually Oakland's Nate Brenner, tUnE-YaRds' bassist, who has her tripped out mixing sensibility, and is also a member of experimental East Bay act Beep! That said, he's clearly on his own path with the robotic-dance-party Naytronix project, with dense synth samples and shiny disco pop grooves. Plus, I'm partial to Bay Area-heavy outputs. Check out the video for his single “Baby Don't Walk” off his debut album, Dirty Glow (Oct. 9). It'll make you want to Frankenstein twist in Golden Gate Park like some kind of Lynchian character.
With Sonnymoon, Bells, B. Lewis
Tue/25, 7:30pm, $8
Cafe Du Nord
2170 Market, SF
Father John Misty
This Father John Misty appearance comes before the long-sold out show later this week at the same venue. The absurdist LA folk singer-songwriter (a.k.a Fleet Foxes drummer J. Tillman), with strong vocals, a dapper sense of humor, and cocked hips, sent electrifying ripples through the Outside Lands crowds last month; one can only imagine how he'll creep indoors. Silver lining: if this one does indeed sell out, there's always the Jansport/Noisey Bonfire Sessions party thingy this weekend on Treasure Island – it's free with RSVP and he plays alongside the Dodos, Geographer, and White Fence.
With Jenny O
Wed/26, 8pm, $15
628 Divisadero, SF
Oakland's Dreamdate could have been born of the 1990s Pacific Northwest. The trio, led by singer-songwriter Yea-Ming Chen, is lo-fi but poppy, minimalist but warm and sweetly melodic. A stripped down garage rock effort worthy of both tween swooning and headbanging. The trio has been bopping around the Bay for a few years now, and tonight, it shares the stage with some more melodic up-and-comers, the She's.
Thu/27, 9pm, $7-$10
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires
Self-described noir pop six-piece Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires is set to use its Amnesia performance as an opportunity to release a new video. Not just any run-of-the-mill, song-to-performance video, this is the visual version of a song suite based on Hitchcock films including Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho, and Frenzy. A brow-raising undertaking indeed. But this talented local group – which includes the use of a washboard, clarinet, cigar-box guitar, and organ – doesn't seem to shy away from a challenge. Plus, Amnesia says there will be a “lingerie fashion show” that night, whatever that means, presumably not the bands in their delicates.
Sat/29, 9pm, $7-$10
853 Valencia, SF
“Like a '90s TRL countdown as envisioned by Peaking Lights, Maria Minerva's fuzzed-out hypnagogia is the stuff of bygone pop anthems, filtered experimentally and relentlessly through Macbooks, cheap software, and a boatload of filters and effects. Commended by The Wire for her contribution to the blossoming meta-pop movement, the elusive Estonian producer strikes a captivating balance between high art and radio trash, traditional top-40 conventions and anarchic nonconformity. “ -- Taylor Kaplan
With Father Finger, Bobby Browser, EpicSauce DJs
Sun/30, 8pm, $12
155 Fell, SF
Under the Central Freeway: A Live Music Festival
The main room will have locals Kelley Stoltz, Religious Girls (who just dropped new album I Want to Believe last week), Sweet Chariot, Will Sprott, the Wrong Words, Shalants, and Super Natural. And in the loft, DJs the Selector DJ Kirk of Sweater Funk, TS and OddznEndz, PASystems, and Dr. Linder. This one's kind of a no brainer. Spend all day under the freeway at Public Works, then squint when the doors open and release yourself into the night.
Sun/30, 2-9pm, $15
161 Erie, SF