Heads Up: 6 must-see concerts this week

The real thing: Le1f.

Have you recovered from Hardly Strictly Bluegrass/the Castro Street Fair yet? Can you believe how hot and sticky San Francisco was last weekend? Do you need more salted caramel liquid nitrogen ice cream? These are all rhetorical questions. It’s time to move on, because this week Fuck Buttons are in town, as are the Babies, King Khan and the Shrines, rapper Le1f (at a arcade themed dance party, no less), and Andrew W.K. singing classic Ramones songs with drummer Marky Ramone. 

So, you know, even though the last few days were brilliantly sunny and full of fun performances and big, imporant moments, there’s some cool stuff coming your way tonight, tomorrow, and this weekend, as well. Live in the now, friends.

Here are your must-see shows: 

The Babies
“The Babies have been pegged as a super-band of sorts from the start, with Cassie Ramone from Vivian Girls on guitar and Kevin Morby from Woods on bass. In their latest release, 2012's Our House on the Hill, the Babies strive to break free from their lo-fi attachments in previous bands and experiment more with country, blues, and folk elements. The Babies aren't a side project, as much as an entirely new entity with something different to offer. San Francisco's Tony Molina, hardcore frontperson turned "punky" indie act also plays this show. His newest record, Dissed and Dismissed, released by Melters this year, is impressive. Loaded with undeniably catchy, fuzzy tunes, the album at times harkens back to an era when bands like Guided by Voices and Pavement were king. Get some drinks and get fuzzed out in more ways than one at the Hemlock Tavern tonight.” -- Erin Dage
With Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
Tue/8, 8:30pm, $8
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF
(415) 923-0923

Fuck Buttons
Avant-garde British electronic noisemakers Fuck Buttons haven't released an album since 2009's searing Tarot Sport, but that doesn't mean they've been forgotten: Two of the band's tracks played during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremonies ("Olympians" and the awesome "Surf Solar"). And this month's Slow Focus (ATP Recordings), the band's third album, proves it's still quite hard to ignore. Slow Focus is a jumbly, forceful mix of the elements: doomy vocals, beeping synths, keys, analog drumming, moody droning, zips, zaps, and bleeps. First single “The Red Wing" sounds like an alien spaceship anxiously hovering above the forest before cautiously zooming in for a landing. And there’s a contest with that song: build, glitter, or decorate a gold cube like the artwork for “The Red Wing” and tweet/Facebook a photo to @FuckButtons with the hashtag #slowfocus for a chance to win tickets to your local show.
Wed/9, 9pm, $20
628 Divisadero, SF

Stereo with Le1f
“Albany Bowl plays the same mix every Wednesday night. Somewhere between Calvin Harris with Rihanna and the Biebs, a familiar saxblat beat begins. "I love this song," I tell my friends, before realizing I've been fooled again: It's not actually the playfully sinister "Wut" by motormouthed rapper Le1f, but a popular knockoff. I should just get used to it. Because while some people will know what it is/what is up, there's also that larger contingent that is painfully oblivious to basic shit. (Some stores exist that sell used clothes for less money?) Catch Le1f — who just released his Tree House mixtape — with fellow Tumblr spawn, including "Wut" producer Matrixxman, at this 3D visual (first 100 people get glasses) and arcade themed dance party.” -- Ryan Prendiville
With Lakutis and WolfBitch
Thu/10, 9pm, $15 presale
119 Utah, SF
(415) 762-0151

Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg with Andrew W.K.

“On Saturday night, Ramones fans can expect a 30+ song set, borrowing from each of the Ramones' albums, from the 1976 self-titled debut, to 1995's farewell effort, ¡Adios Amigos!. Upon Andrew W.K.'s request, Marky Ramone agreed to include a rendition of "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg," from 1986's Animal Boy, a song W.K. heard in a NYC record store as a teenager, in the moment that cemented his Ramones fandom. (For the full feature on Andrew W.K. and Marky Ramone, see this week’s paper)  -- Taylor Kaplan
With FIGO, The Meat Sluts
Sat/12, 9pm, $25
628 Divisadero, SF

Play it Cool with Lovefingers

“When I'm not taking my own advice, Derek Opperman's list of top 5 parties over at SF Weekly is always my go-to for planning a night or weekend out. Likewise, if I miss a DJ that I wanted to see (or that I did see, but have no recollection), I always check out his "Lost in the Night" blog the morning after, for a more clear-headed account. It follows that I'm looking forward to hearing what Opperman and company bring to their Play it Cool parties. This inaugural event upstairs at Balançoire (formerly 12 Galaxies) features LA's left-field disco head Andrew Hogge, aka Lovefingers aka half of the Stallions, the person behind E.S.P. Institute label and the beloved but now defunct lovefingers.org.” -- Prendiville
Sat/12, 9pm, $5 (free before 10)
2565 Mission, SF
(415) 920-0577

King Khan and the Shrines
“Huzzah! King Khan and the Shrines have finally recorded a new album! After six years of silence, these psychedelic soul-punk weirdos are back and showing their softer side with Idle No More. The new album is informed not by Khan's typical crass humor and brash antics, but with a new sense of introspection. In the years he's been gone, Khan has dealt with the tragedy of losing a few close friends and has coped by spending time in psych wards as well as Buddhist monasteries. As the next step of the healing process, Khan has returned to music, his original source of salvation. While his live show is not quite as insane (or nude) as it was in his youth (he's now 36 years old) he's still a helluva performer, and we couldn't be happier to have him back in the spotlight.” -- Haley Zaremba
With Hellshovel, Slipping Into Darkness
Sun/13, 8pm, $16
333 11th St, SF
(415) 255-0333

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