5 Must-See Bay Area Concerts This Week


There’s a time and a place for getting weird. Here they are: 

Alberta Cross, Wednesday, The Independent

This New York-based but constantly traveled band is approaching the mid-career phase and finding itself in a newly realized groove. The indie rockers’ latest material, the aptly named Songs of Patience, lurks in stigmatic “adult contemporary” territory, risk-averse but fully worthy of a steady head nod. Critics love the stuff — the bluesy-alternative noise, jiving with the dark, meaty riffs, jiving with the sad, sappy sing-alongs.

Crystal Stilts, Wednesday, Great American Music Hall

Theory: Crystal Stilts are a band Doc Brown and Marty McFly brought back to the future from 1955, hell bent on blending the surf rock of that decade with the goth-psych fuzz of modern times. Lately, the Brooklynites seem to be progressing and pop-ifying their rockabilly sound, but without sacrificing their psych credo. That much is clear on the recent EP “Radiant Door,” which still pits them in a different era-less point on the time-space continuum.  

Dirty Projectors, Friday, Fox Theater

Dirty Projectors are one of those bands that make you ask yourself: what kind of person am I? The kind that prefers ideas straightforward and logical and comprehendible? Or someone who basks in formless, unstructured thoughts and situations. In short, if you like Dirty Projectors, rules and parameters aren’t a priority. Bandleader Dave Longstreth’s musical vision comes filtered through the lens of 12th-century vocal choirs and the fringes of pop music, but it all comes together in surprising, rewarding ways. Depending... 

Fiona Apple, Saturday, Fox Theater

Even at the age of 34, Fiona Apple is still an open book of emotion and model for self-examination, as evidenced by reviews of her recent live shows. One of the more consummate artists coming out of the '90s alt-rock movement, the Los Angeleno continues to surprise fans and audiences with signature, sporadic jazz turns amidst alt-rock anthems. She also has taken to the conceptual, revealed in her critically adored 2012 album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Definitely worth close examination — Apple wrings out emotions nobody knew anybody had. 

Kaskade, Saturday, Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Ryan Raddon has seemingly risen to prominence alongside fellow bro-steppers Deadmau5 and Skrillex just recently, but he’s old hat among Househeads in the know. Kaskade has been party-starting since 2001, and his profile has reached a new career high in the last few years. Now that he’s booking venues like Bill Graham, his expansive electro sound finally has the space to, well, expand, so now would be a good time to peep him, while you, errrr, he is peaking. 


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