The Grammys are over – did you watch? I was busy with a very important tiki cocktail at Smuggler's Cove at the time of the actual broadcast, but I got all the pertinent data and watched all the non-lip synced performances post-show. Another year of meh, with some ostentatious pop sprinkled throughout. I'm more excited about Future|Perfect with Holly Herndon, and live shows by Beak>, Graveyard, and EELS, all of which take place in the Bay Area this week.
Go, support oddball creative talent at its finest, and perhaps next year we'll get the weirdos on the main stage.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Beak> is at one once unsettling and charming; its Krautrock backbone and angular guitars create eerie, paranoid grooves, à la Silver Apples — you know the itchy, building beats — but those mumbly vocals soothe the senses. Drummer-singer Geoff Barrow, keys-guitarist Matt Williams, and bassist Billy Fuller, are all members of other bands (including Barrow's Portishead), so they split their time between acts, but have already released two albums in the few short years they've been able to get together, including critically-lauded 2012 full-length, >>.
With Vex Ruffin, Peanut Butter Wolf
Wed/13, 8pm, $20
628 Divisadero, SF
“Launching into experimentation from strong roots in blues, the Stone Foxes plays a range from the catchy interpretation of Edgar Allen Poe's gothic, "The Tell-Tale Heart," ("Everybody Knows") to the elegy in minor, "Battles, Blades and Bones," which repeats, "We need someone to sing/'Cause we've turned everything/To battles, blades, and bones." In their third album, Little Fires (out Tue/12), collaboration with Girls' producer Doug Boehm proves that polish doesn't mean sterility, that good production doesn't mean overproduction, and that good old rock'n'roll lives on.” -- Laura Kerry
With Mahgeetah, Black Cobra Vipers
Wed/13, 9pm, free
579 18th St., Oakl.
There will be plenty more on experimental electronics manipulator/hushed vocalist Holly Herndon in this coming issue (Feb. 13). But for now, you just need to know this: the “Movement” singer is blowing up, and this party should not be missed.
Future|Perfect with NGUZUNGUZU, DJs Marco de la Vega and Loric Sih
Thu/14, 9pm, $10-$15 (pre-sales)
161 Erie, SF
Scuzzy Swedish foursome Graveyard is playing two nights at Slim's, in what should be an impossibly loud and raucous weekend – especially considering openers like thrashy LA punk band the Shrine and new local psych band, Golden Void. The fried-'70s-rock-meets-early-heavy-metal band, which sounds Southern, but again, is full of Swedes, returns on its third full-length, Lights Out. This is an actual quote from the Wall Street Journal, forward by Graveyard's representation, too amusing to ignore: “Wall Street Journal says '[Lights Out] rips by like a boulder kicked over a cliff.' What does that mean? Go find out.
Fri/15-Sat/16, 9pm, $20 ($33 for two-day pass)
333 11th St., SF
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Funky Louisiana jazz ensemble the Dirty Dozen Brass Band – formed way back in '77 – has been going strong strong for 35-plus years now, and will showcase its stamina with two spirited, wailing-horn-filled shows this weekend at the Independent. Note: Fri/15's show opens with Toubab Krewe – which mixes “rock, Malian rhythms, surf-rock and Appalachian folk.”
Fri/15-Sat/16, 9pm, $22
628 Divisadero, SF
When you see E live, you just want to give him a hug. The scruffy leader of long-running poetic indie rock band EELS, E has an openness and vulnerability about him that undeniably draws in listeners with softly croaked classic lyrics like, “you're such a beautiful freak/I wish there were more just like you.” The band followed up '96's Beautiful Freak with deeply personal Electro-Shock Blues (a record about E's sister's suicide and his mom's cancer), Souljacker, a handful of fuzzy, lovely records in between, and most recently, Wonderful, Glorious (Feb. 2013).
With Nicole Atkins
Sat/16, 9pm, $30
1805 Geary, SF
Johnny Render is: “a longtime Hollywood-based musician and entertainer,” “[The] President of Rock and Roll,” and sounds like “the Ramones meets the Carpenters.” Most importantly, I have a bunch of cardboard coasters with his face on them, if any of you desire such a cockamamie treasure? First person to email me with the sentence “I need Johnny Render coasters,” gets 'em.
Sat/16, 9pm, $7
1131 Polk, SF