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Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music

EDM song engineer Robert DeLong plays The Independent this week. (Photo courtesy of Robert DeLong)

Grammys have you pumped for some live music? After seeing Kendrick Lamar go HAM with Imagine Dragons, we’re thirsty for more moments of artistic brilliance. Let's just watch that one more time.

Robert DeLong, The Independent, Tuesday

In an increasingly pre-programmed world, Robert Delong is a novelty. While many EDM artists press play and dance, DeLong builds songs from scratch onstage, looping live instrumentation until it crescendos. Then he dances. Few have mastered live song creation in the EDM realm as well as he has, and fans are taking note. The result is crazed party-sets —  ask anyone who saw him at Treasure Island Music Festival last year.

Yuck, The Independent, Wednesday

Thank goodness for Yuck. The English band responsible for breathing new life into ‘90s noise rock might be the most trusted carriers of the flag once carried by the Dinosaur Jr.’s and Sonic Youths of yesteryear. BBC gave the band’s debut album a similar designation, saying “Yuck appear to be the only band around reaching these neglected parts of the brain. How we have been starved.” The ‘90s are alive, and you don’t even have to go to Portland to find it. Just go to the Independent on Wednesday. Added bonus: The band has been treating concert goers to cuts from their new EP, which is slated for a release presumably sometime soon. Treat yourself.

Islands, Great American Music Hall, Saturday

It's been a long, curvy, thrilling road for Nick Thornburn, aka Nick Diamond, aka the lead man to legendary cult buzz band The Unicorns, aka vocalist for Michael Cera's supergroup Mister Heavenly, aka good music guy. Thornburn’s Islands project has turned into muuuuch more than a project for the mid-career indie rocker. The band claims five proper albums in a little over seven years, the latest of which is 2013’s brilliant Ski Mask. It’s a mature collection of songs that know what they are, something of a departure from Islands’ initial breakthrough 2006 album Return to the Sea. The bold, curious, desperate Nick Diamond found on Return to the Sea is more confident and direct and restrained now. Songs stick to outset plans rather than turning on a dime. We like it both ways.

Reggie And The Full Effect, Bottom of the Hill, Saturday

You may not remember, but emo rock once had a sense of humor. Still does. It came in the form of Reggie and the Full Effect, the solo project of The Get Up Kids keyboardist James Dewees. Reggie’s debut album was called Promotional Copy and the album art looked exactly like that of a promotional CD. Their 2003 album Under the Tray placed the CD literally under the tray. You can’t not appreciate that from a band dwelling in a genre oft-criticized for its wimpy self-seriousness. Some 10 years later, Reggie and the Full Effect is a (slightly) more evolved organism, but still has its tongue firmly planted in cheek. Their latest album is called No Country for Old Musicians, and it’s as catchy as the title is clever.

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