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Five SF Concerts to Put on Your Radar Now

Tristan Prettyman

Tristan Prettyman, photo via cbsminnesota

People of SF — it’s a busy, busy week on the live music beat. Before we get to our top picks, be advised there are a mess of shows going down in and around the city over the next seven days: Muse at Oracle Arena (Monday), Ben Folds Five at The Warfield (Thursday), Dengue Fever at the Independent (Thursday), Geographer at the Fillmore (Thursday), The Who at Oracle Arena (Friday), Paul Oakenfold at Ruby Skye (Friday) and many, many more. Do your best to be in two places at once.

Tristan Prettyman, Great American Music Hall, Tuesday

From the easy-on-the-ears-and-eyes corner of the music world comes Tristan Prettyman, aka the singer-songwriter who was formerly engaged to Jason Mraz. In case you missed it, word on the street is the two recently split up after a lengthy on-again-off-again history. But that’s old news by now. Prettyman is currently thriving in mid-career mode and touring in support of her recent album Cedar + Gold, which she wrote in the wake of said break-up. It’s meaningful, heart-felt songwriting across the board. And did we mention she's a former Roxy model?

Local Natives, Fox Theater, Wednesday

They’re back, and they’ve never been bigger. It’s impossible to understate the level of anticipation for Local Natives’ follow-up to 2009’s universally adored album Gorilla Manor. So far, reviews have been mixed, but we’ll withhold judgment until the new material has a chance to air out onstage. Anyone who’s seen a Local Natives show knows the vocal harmonies and myriad layers take on a new life live. Proof:

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GZA/Genius, The Independent, Wednesday

The day before GZA takes the stage at Davis Symphony Hall as part of TechCrunch’s “Crunchies” Award show (wha?), the former Wu-Tang member makes a return visit to the Indy. Last week was a big one for GZA and his former WT mates after announcing they’d be reuniting to play Coachella this coming spring. Word around the rumor cooler is it’ll be GZA, RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Kill and U-God. Oh god yes.

Porter Robinson, The Warfield, Friday

Fans who saw Porter Robinson absolutely nail his set at Treasure Island in October know why this kid is so important to the future of EDM (see below). The 20-year-old producer is widely considered one of the genre’s maverick innovators. His 2012 album Language has won praise from critics and peers and everyone with neon accessories. Mixmag.com named him Star of the Year of 2012, but expect the youngster to reap praise for the next decade.

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The Wood Brothers, Great American Music Hall, Saturday

We always appreciate unpretentious, straightforward band names such as Chris and Oliver Wood’s duo. You may know Chris Wood from other satisfactorily honest-named Medeski Martin & Wood, one of the finest jazz trios on the planet. The Wood Brothers keep a pretty low profile and direct all your attention to the music onstage. Their latest releases, Live: Volume One: Sky High and Nail & Tooth, are fine primers for anyone looking for an easy entry point. For something a bit more intimate, check this out:

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