Call it the influence of witch house on the folk scene, or don't – those involved would probably hate that. But it does feel like there have been more and more “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” acts of late, in the vein of Chelsea Wolfe and Father John Misty (albeit, on opposite ends of the spectrum), and in particular, King Dude, who returns to the Bay for a set of Oakland shows this weekend. There'll also be live sets this week by Lavender Diamond, less moody but certainly as spiritual and folk-infused, and the legendary, if snappier Mountain Goats.
Unrelated, but also performing in the Bay these next few days: Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, and the Chuckleberries; Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls with her boo, Brandon from the Crocodiles; Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, and Barn Owl, at the same show. Plus, it's Chanukah, and the Subterranean Arthouse is celebrating with Yiddish bands and live klezmer. I hope for your sake you get some latkes this holiday season, my first batch was oily, crispy, and vegan – perfect.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
You know Lavender Diamond, right? The whimsical LA-based electro-folk band fronted by crystal-clear vocalist/tree fairy Becky Stark? The group plays SF's newest venue, the Chapel, this week. And as I hinted and posted about last week, Lavender Diamond will be joined on stage by actor-musician-superhuman John C. Reilly.
With Jessica Pratt
Tue/11, 9pm, $10-$12
777 Valencia, SF
Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary
It's finally here, the showcase I was blathering on about in the Tofu and Whiskey music column last week. Here are the specifics: awesomely independent Chicago label Thrill Jockey is celebrating 20 years of existence with showcases in towns they love, including ours. This was includes performances by Wooden Shjips, Liturgy, Barn Owl, Trans Am, Man Forever, and Eternal Tapestry. Thrilling.
Thu/13, 8pm, $18
628 Divisadero, SF
Subterranean Arthouse's Chanukah Party
The Subterranean Arthouse's Chanukah Party is part of Heather Klein's "Hungry for Yiddish: A Mitzvah Project" concert series, which donates proceeds from events to the Berkeley Food Pantry and similar organizations; and the event is co-presented by KlezCalifornia and the Jewish Music Festival. Acts include Klein's Inextinguishable Trio, Anthony Mordechai-Tzvi Russell, noted Yiddish dance instructor Bruce Bierman, and Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band. With instructions from Bierman, the lovely Yiddish songs of both Klein and Russell, and Goodman's brassy klezmer, this should make for a fun, frenzied mid-point party during the festival of lights — and yes, they'll light the menorah.
Thu/13, 9pm, $10-$20 donation
2169 Bancroft, Berk.
The Mountain Goats
“The Mountain Goat's dynamic leader, John Darnielle, has been writing songs about addiction, infidelity, and more sensitive subjects for the last 20 years. The group's new album, Transcendental Youth, has been an excuse for Darnielle to branch out, inviting avant-symphonic rocker, Matthew E. White, to write horns for the album and working with Owen Pallett to arrange the songs for a collaboration with the a cappella quartet, Anonymous 4.” -- Molly Champlin
With Matthew E. White
Fri/14, 9pm, $28
1805 Geary, SF
If you missed King Dude – the “darkly spiritual acoustic-folk” side project of gravelly TJ Cowgill of Teen Cthulu and Book of Black Earth – at Elbo Room last month, chin up. Dude/Cowgil is playing two shows at the Uptown this weekend, opening for Psychic TV. So no more tears, except possibly for those drawn from King Dude's bleak, dance-with-the-devil, Johnny Cash straining to meet Tom Waits ballads.
With Lumerians, Youth Code
Fri/14-Sat/15, 9pm, $23
1928 Telegraph, Oakl.
Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers, Overwhelming Colorfast, the Chuckleberries
This is an early show, and it's a benefit to help rebuild wild rock purveyor Norton Records (its warehouse was demolished in Hurricane Sandy) so it's already a win-win situation: donate to a worthy cause, catch every band, and still have time for an early dinner. But the lineup is even better; it's packed with classic Bay Area musicians: roots rock'n'rollers Roy Loney and the Phantom Movers – featuring hiccuping, rockabilly star Loney, of Flamin' Groovies fame – along with '90s pop-punk band Overwhelming Colorfast, the Chuckleberries featuring Russell Quan of the Mummies and Phantom Surfers, and more.
With the Tomorrowmen, Dirty Robbers, Rue 66, the Devil-Ettes, DJs Ruby White and Sid Presley
Sun/16, 2-7pm, $7-$10
647 Valencia, SF
Dee Dee and Brandon
OK, technically this is next week, but it's a Monday so I'm letting it slide: Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls and Brandon from the Crocodiles are in love — married, in fact, and make a rather swoon-worthy couple. Listen to Dee Dee's crooning on "Bedroom Eyes" off 2011's Only In Dreams, in which she repeats "fear I'll never sleep again" and you start to get a sense of their connection, and the pain they feel apart on separate tours. To view said connection live, in all its gushy splendor, be the voyeur at their joint Rickshaw Stop show tonight; a very special showcase, indeed, where both will perform songs from their respective catalogs and — as I can only imagine — harmonize like old lovers do.
With Gio and Stef (Young Prisms)
Mon/17, 8pm, $15
155 Fell, SF