Dear 2 Chainz: we’d like to formally apologize on behalf of our city, if you were indeed robbed at gunpoint (details are a bit murky at this point). Terrible things happen in every city, and San Francisco is no exception. But we must trundle forward, as a city of sonic fiends who love this place called home, always exploding with new bands, and welcoming traveling acts from around the world.
This week, we celebrate a particularly beloved member of own pack: Sonny and the Sunsets has a new record, and it’s a leap in yet another direction for the singer-songwriter and his crew. There’s also a Date Palms album release, a visit from New Zealand rockers the Bats (locals the Mantles open), the return of Cold Cave, some existential slop-punk from the Trashies, and a tribute to “rock‘n’roll specialist” Buddy Holly. Music lives on, despite despair.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Sonny and the Sunsets
It’s the record release party for Sonny and the Sunsets' newest, Antenna to the Afterworld. The confessional record, which hints at Modern Lovers and Silver Jews (a shift from country break-up record Longtime Companion), opens with Sonny Smith talk-singing a call-and-response conversation, "Something happened/I fell in love/but it was weird/Real weird." "Good weird?" the voice on the other side implores.
With Burnt Ones, Cool Ghouls.
Tue/11, 8pm, $7
398 12th St., SF
What would you get if you paired those slimy Garbage Pail Kids with primal 1960s garage rock band the Monks? It'd probably turn in to something like the Trashies. A few weeks back, the Bay Guardian premiered a new video from the sloppy Seattle-and-East Bay act, featuring the band writhing in the mud at the Albany Bulb, screeching and freaking out psychedelically on guitars, and yelping "I'm a worm!/watch me squirm." If it all sounds a bit familiar, this beach squelch shimmy, it's because Uzi Rash frontperson Max Nordile also has a hand in Trashies, lending his particular style to the band's intoxicating sounds.
With Buffalo Tooth, Scrapers
Wed/12, 8:30pm, $7
1131 Polk, SF
“New Zealand rockers the Bats got their start 30 years ago, and have stayed together all this time, with all four original members still in the fold, an almost unheard of feat these days. The cult Kiwi favorites released their latest album, Free All The Monsters (Flying Nun Records) in 2011, imbued with an almost ethereal sound and feel, which could be partly due to the fact that it was recorded in a former lunatic asylum. The video for the single "Simpletons" shows haunting scenes of the aftermath of the major earthquake that struck the Bats hometown of Christchurch that year — but like their fellow countrymen, the band is as resilient as ever.” -- Sean McCourt
With the Mantles, Legs
Fri/14, 9pm, $15–<\d>$17-
155 Fell, SF
There's this sense of impending doom ever-present in any given Date Palm piece. The instrumental band — which once described its sound to me as "psychedelic minimalism with Eastern tinged melodies driven by cyclical, distorted bass patterns" — has thriller cinematic appeal. Without the distraction of vocals, the mind is left to wander in these unsettling patterns, wobbling toward the deep unknown, creating eerie visions. In this way, it's the soundtrack to the mini movies fluttering through your brain. This is never more apt than in single "Dusted Down," off new album, Dusted Sessions, out this week on Thrill Jockey. And yet, one needn't conjure a mind-flick for that particular track. There's already a video, and it's as trippy as deserved, with blurry visions of the band, analog video feedback, and a looping rainbow of madness.
With Jackie O-Motherfucker, Soft Shells, Lady Free Mountain
Fri/14, 9pm, $7
311 Broadway, Oakl.
Your two favorite parties (120 Minutes and Lights Down Low) come together this weekend for one spooky-special mashup of noise, ideas, and freaks, with live performances by darkwave duo Cold Cave backed by underground post-punk legend Boyd Rice, R&B/dance music-mixer Brenmar, and Jokers of the Scene, who are known to “craft epic nine-minute Salem remixes or rave out with their own anthemic tracks.” With 120 Minutes residents S4Nta_MU3rTE and Chuncey_CC, Lights Down Low residents Sleazemore and Richie Panic.
Sat/15, 9pm, $15-$20
161 Erie, SF
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
“Everything about the story of Aly Spaltro's transformation into Lady Lamb and the Beekeeper seems old and out of time. In the Maine town where she went to high school, she practiced in the basement of that bygone establishment, a video store, and produced her first recordings through another, an independent record store. Then there's her alter ego, the name of a Victorian woman who came to her in a dream (for real), which maybe that explains the biggest leap of time: Spaltro performs far beyond her 22 years. With her preternatural understanding of human feeling and her unique ability to sing about it, the very old and young Lady Lamb should not be missed.” -- Laura Kerry
With Torres, Paige and the Thousand
Sun/16, 8pm, $10
155 Fell, SF
"A Radio Silence Live Tribute to Buddy Holly"
With all legend surrounding his untimely death, one tends to forget the most important thing about Buddy Holly: the bespectacled kid (age 22) had a serious knack for songwriting. He was a prolific musician who wrote a bunch of timeless rockabilly-blues blended rock'n'roll juke classics in his relatively short career. ("That'll Be The Day," "Peggy Sue," "True Love Ways," "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," "Everyday.") As a small gesture to correct the collective direction of remembrance -- and to prove the music didn’t really die that day on the “Winter Dance Party” tour -- local lit mag Radio Silence presents a tribute night to the songs of Holly. There'll be Greil Marcus, an icon of rock journalism, reading from his as-yet-unpublished new book, plus conversations with and performances by Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces, Van Pierszalowski of Port O'Brien and WATERS, and singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen. As with any proper SF event, there'll be DJs and food trucks as well.
Sun/16, 7pm, $20
161 Erie, SF