This intellectual black metal band from Olympia, Washington goes way beyond those tired stereotypes depicting angry Nordic dudes burning down churches; their music channels the gloom and doom of the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest's landscapes and is so intense and emotionally complex that it can start to feel like a kind of hypnotic meditation session. Their most recent album, Celestial Lineage topped many a 2011 "Best Of" list, so now's the time to catch this material live. $16, show starts at 8 pm.
Thankfully, you don't need to be a part of MacWorld iWorld event (although we can't wait to go!) to catch Modest Mouse this week. We have a feeling that, since they're currently writing their long-awaited new album, Isaac Brock and the boys might just unveil some new stuff for a very welcome test run–which might just be totally worth the $35 ticket price. Show starts at 8 pm.
The Avengers, Thursday, Bottom Of The Hill
One of the most significant punk bands ever to come out of SF, The Avengers are still known for their balls-out live shows 35 years after the prime days of their initial reign of terror over our live music scene. Their singer Penelope Houston has since become a local folk singer (superfans, keep an eye out for her upcoming release On Market Street), so when she gets to revisit her punk days, she completely kicks out the jams. Bonus: this show will be prime people watching for all the diehard old-school punks that'll be in the audience. $12 in advance, $13 at the door, show starts at 9 pm.
Rising soul pop band Fitz & The Tantrums (I nominate them for cleverest mainstream band name) sport a classic shake-down sound reminiscent of Motown and Stax Records ruled the airwaves–just take a sample of infectious tracks like "Moneygrabber." Nightowls, you may have already caught them on a slew of late night shows such as Conan, Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel, but their live shows are the real deal, featuring a full on horn section and gospel-style organ work. $23, show starts at 8 pm.