While the majority of the bands playing in the Bay Area this week are up at Bottle Rock in Napa, which, yes, in an amazing looking festival, it isn’t quite the Bay Area. The following shows (with one exception) are all easily accessible via BART. So enjoy your rock n roll, and remember not to drink & drive!
Thursday, May 9th
Steven Wilson at The Fillmore
I, personally, utterly detest the genre known a “Prog Rock.” If given the choice between any Yes album and getting eaten alive by pirahnas, I pick pirahnas. However, this current project from the mastermind behind Porcupine Tree has significantly more energy and passion than your average prog rock outfit. The cheese factor has also been greatly lowered, and we are left with a beautiful, horn driven piece of work that defies it’s genre.
Chris Thile & Michael Daves at Great American Music Hall
Friday, May 10th
Kitsune Club Night at Mezzanine
Although you may not realize it, the French music and fashion label Kitsune is tastemaker. Bands you could have been first to know about if you were, like me, an avid listener of the Kitsune compilations include Crystal Fighters, La Roux, Phoenix, Yelle and Two Door Cinema Club. If you like bouncy electronic music, you should be buying every single one of the label’s releases. Lucky for us, they’re now putting their name on a series of shows they call “Kitsune Club Night,” and this Friday’s edition brings the house DJ Fred Falke to San Francisco, accompanied by Chrome Sparks and Beni. Every lineup of every Kitsune show promises plenty of dancing and several “I saw them first” opportunities, if that’s your sort of thing. And since you’re reading a music blog, I’m assuming it is. (Gordon Elgart)
Primus, Gov’t Mule at Eureka Civic Auditorium
Northern California’s own skittery funky stompy rooty rockers are playing a gig in Eureka. With Jay Lane’s urgent high-hat invigorating the inimitable interplay of thompy Les and squirrely Ler, the music of Primus lurches onward with a smile. There’s nothing like them because there’s nothing like them. (Chris Rogers)
Justin Townes Earl, Tift Merritt at The Chapel
Saturday, May 11th
Kate Nash, Peach Kelli Pop at The Chapel
Once upon a time, Kate Nash was regarded in the same breath as Lily Allen and a slew of other pop singers from the UK. Her debut record, Made Of Bricks, was a delicious album filled with bubbly piano driven hooks and witty lyrics. I’m not sure what triggered the shift, but by the next record, she pretty much let go of the piano and plugged in an electric guitar. Now she’s two records and one ep into her new sound- searing electric guitars mixed with Motown rhythms, still paired with amazing, politically conscious lyrics. If this is what Riot Grrl is in 2013, it’s definitely alive and well.
Secret Chiefs 3 at Cafe du Nord
There is no greater tribute you could pay the passing of special effects saint Ray Harryhausen than to go see the Secret Chiefs 3 this weekend. SC3 weaves glorious technicolor soundtracks for early 60s faux-Arabian films that never existed, filled with stop-motion monsters. Carefully-wrought searing guitar music approximating the winter moon glinting off an assassin’s blade in a forbidden garden. Songs of placation for the orange-eyed owl atop the accursed gate. Arabesques for the sky. (Chris Rogers)
Jay Brannan, Rin Tin Tiger, The Plastic Arts at Bottom Of The Hill
Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival at The Great Wall Of Oakland
I know. It’s not music. But doesn’t it look like the best thing ever?
Sunday, May 12th
Sarah Watkins, Kris Orlowski at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
Looks like we get two members of Nicklecreek in one week! That might not be a reunion, but it’s still nice. Of course, Sarah Watkins has been a professional fiddle player since she was 8 years old, and has shifted slightly away from her bluegrass roots on her two amazing solo records that are delicious folk pop affairs.
Monday, May 13th
An Evening With Sara Bareilles at Slim’s
Possibly the most famous resident in Eureka, CA, Sara Bareilles has been churning out ear worm heavy pop confections for a number of years now. Tonight we get a very special event- Bareilles, in a small club, alone behind a piano. This will be an epic evening.
Yngwie Malmsteen at The Regency
Tuesday, May 14th
KISSES, Sister Crayon, Astronauts, etc at Rickshaw Stop
Sister Crayon of Sacramento do dark, synth based music with an intense female vocalist. KISSES do bright, bouncy indie rock with a male voice taking lead. The emotional dynamic of this show will be extreme, but also fantastic.
Olly Murs, Before You Exit at The Fillmore
Wednesday, May 15th
Mister Loveless, Teenage Sweater, Happy Fangs, Here Come Dots at Elbo Room