Do you remember rock ‘n’ roll radio? The danger and derring-do of so-called “jungle music”? The wop-bop shoo-bop shoo-bop? Two local bands - Personal and the Pizzas and Shannon and the Clams - tap a good-natured, jokey vein of garage rock that summons those sentiments. Now might be the time to catch them as they play around town – if you’re there, get up in their hair, buy ‘em a brew or even a seafood pie.
Lampooning the Ramones, the Dictators and other cartoonish Jersey boys who watch too much TV and inhale far too many slices, Personal and the Pizzas was hatched by mild-mannered San Franciscan Drew Cramer, also of the more earnest and ethereal indie-pop combo the Mantles. In the guise of idiot savant greaser Personal, Cramer is a ringer for Squiggy of Laverne and Shirley, but neither the Squigtones nor Sha Na Na would ever be able to dream up a hooky rock ‘n’ roll burlesque like “I Can Read.” Dumb? Like a fox. So have fun, fun, fun till Daddy takes P&P’s T-bird away.
Formed at California College of the Arts and out with the self-released Scuffle With the Clams, Shannon and the Clams are no less infatuated with the rockin’ sounds of yesteryear. Girl group icons like the Shangri-Las and the Crystals are starting points, as are poignant poppers like Roy Orbison and Gene Pitney and punk pachyderms ala the Cramps and Bad Brains (and who doesn’t like BB these days?). Le Difference: guitarist’s rippling guitar riffs, which explode into surfy heroics and Shannon’s shout-it-out yowls on tunes like “Warlock in the Woods.”
Personal and the Pizzas perform with Points tonight, June 1, 7:30 p.m., $5, at Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk St., S.F. (415) 923-0923. Shannon and the Clams play with Impediments and White Music Wednesday, June 3, 6 p.m., $9, at the Knockout, 3223 Mission St., S.F. (415) 550-6994.