Wednesday, December 11th
Lee Ranaldo & The Dust, Bill Orcutt & Jacob Felix, Heule at The Chapel
Spin Magazine called him the greatest guitarist ever. Sonic Youth’s secret weapon has also been the most productive member of the band since they broke up, and his solo band is amazing.
High On Fire, Kvelertak, Windhand at The Regency Ballroom
Thursday, December 12th
Ozomatli & The San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall
LA’s Ozomatli always put on an amazing show. This time, however, they are bringing it to a whole new level: A full performance by these latin funk groundbreakers alongside the San Francisco Symphony. This takes their live show to a whole new level.
Jonathan Richman featuring Tommy Larkins on drums, Daria Johnson at Great American Music Hall
Matt Natahanson, Vicci Martinez, Parachute at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts
Friday, December 13th
Cool Ghouls, Santoros, The Spyrals, Unstrung at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Every once in a while, people ask me who the best local bands are. I always make it a point to include Cool Ghouls in that list. They epitomize everything that is good about the current rock scene: equal parts punky energy with solid musicianship and a whole lot of soul. It’s been pretty chilly these days, too, and this is pretty much guaranteed to be an epic dance party.
X, The Blasters at The Fillmore
Saturday, December 14th
Kitten, The Hot Toddies, Dog Party at Bottom Of The Hill
Kitten are one of LA’s finest live acts, complete with the finest frontperson since Iggy Pop. The Hot Toddies are one of the best power pop bands to come out of the bay area in years. Put it together, and you have an excellent choice for your Saturday Night entertainment!
The Weirdos, VKTMS, The Re-Volt at Thee Parkside
Sunday, December 15th
X, The Blasters at The Mystic Theatre, Petaluma
Those unstoppable decade-spanning L.A. cowpunkers are playing a concert in Petaluma with all of the original members: Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake. Cobble together your own nom de punk, grab a jacket older than Green Day, and show up to dance. (CR)
Monday, December 16th
Andrew Bird’s “Gezelligheid” at Congregation Sherith Israel, San Francisco
Time for string music, ebullient melodies, and Christmas sweaters. This season, Chicago’s string-pop maker Andrew Bird is playing a tour of Christmas shows at churches, synagogues, and sanctuaries down the west coast. Expect violins, songs deserving handclap time-keeping, and general holiday joy. (CR)
Tuesday, December 17th
Pere Ubu at Slim’s, San Francisco
It’s avant-garage, and you don’t you forget it. David Thomas’ musical art happening happens onward, happening at Slim’s this Tuesday. With roots tracing all the way back to the 1970s and no compunction about doing their own thang, see these pre-whatever daddies yawp. (CR)