The nerds of San Francisco have some incredibly tough choices to make this week when it comes to their live entertainment. They could be comedy nerds, seeing all of what SF Sketchfest has to offer. Perhaps they’re film nerds, and they’ll be spending the week at The Castro Theater for Noir City. But what of the music nerds? Where should they be this week? Read on to find out!
Thursday, January 22th
The Wombats with Ivy Levan at Rickshaw Stop
The first of two excellent nights from Popscene at Rickshaw Stop sees the Bay Area return of The Wombats, a consistently excellent British band that unfortunately gets tossed in with all the other British “The” bands. I don’t think this group has written a bad song.
G Love & Special Sauce with Matt Costa at The Fillmore
Admit it. You have a soft spot in your heart for G. Love.
Friday, January 23rd
Mates of State with Fictionist at Bottom of the Hill
A fantastic double bill is in store for anyone lucky enough to have tickets for this show at Bottom of the Hill. Mates of State, who formed in the Bay Area, and now bring a loving, devoted fan base to every area show, are always a joy to watch and sing-a-long with. Fictionist opens the show, and their press materials like to pull out a quote that they are like “Peter Gabriel in the garage.” I can’t get that quote out of my head when I listen to them — it’s clearly the aesthetic they were going for.
Spandau Ballet at The Warfield
I said I would go to this show if I listened to the band’s greatest hits album and knew more than two songs. I didn’t. Others will. But oh man, those two songs. So good.
The Coup at The Independent
Saturday, January 24th
Patti Smith at The Fillmore
If you missed the legendary Patti Smith in her two previous shows this week at The Fillmore (Jan 21&23), you get one last chance. Don’t miss it! I’ve seen the poster. It’s fantastic. Grab me one on the way out, please.
Waters with Hot Flash Heat Wave at The Independent
Sunday, January 25th
Rockapella at Yoshi’s Oakland
Styx at Graton Resort & Casino
It’s Sunday night. Maybe it’s time to see a throwback act without many original members. You could go up to the new Graton Casino to see Styx, which is always a fun time. Or you could stay local and see acapella pioneers Rockapella do it at Yoshi’s. Pentatonix ain’t selling out two nights at The Fox without Rockapella having paved the way to keep acapella in front of audiences for the last 30-odd years. The lineup has no original members, but still performs “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?” You don’t even have to ask nicely.
Monday, January 26th
Periphery with Nothing More, Woven War, and Thank You Scientist at The Fillmore
I can recommend any of the bands on this show. If you are going to see the aggressive prog metal of Periphery, good on you! What jumps out at me from this bill is Thank You Scientist. Here’s a band that everyone should know about. They play every instrument under the sun — strings, brass, saxophones, guitars — it’s all in there. They write excellent songs, play them perfectly, and their live show blows people away. Don’t get there late!!!
Pierce the Veil at The Warfield
Make it Warped Tour every day!
Tuesday, January 27th
Ethan Miller of Howlin’ Rain at Stranded Records
I am a regular customer of this record store, on Telegraph in Oakland. I have absolutely no idea where they could possibly put a stage in here, so this is my advice. Get here early. Buy some records. Feel free to buy me the used copies of Use Your Illusion I and II that they have in their bins right now. I won’t pay you back. Presents! And then stay to here Ethan Miller of Howlin’ Rain play a set. Then buy his album, too. I’m sure he’ll sign it for you.
The Vaselines with Loch Lomond at The Independent
Remember when The Vaselines came back, and everyone thought “better catch them now” because this sort of late period reunion never seems to last? Well, it did, so if you haven’t caught them yet, what are you waiting for?
Wednesday, January 28th
Knife Party at Mezzanine
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. And don’t bring Knife Party to a quiet night at home. These are the only rules I know. Otherwise known as “the guys who make the beats in Pendulum,” Knife Party are noisy and original, and even funny at times. This will be an extremely raucous show. Don’t wear any extra layers; they won’t survive the night.