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Best Bets This Week in Live Bay Area Music

Julianna Barwick’s otherwordly a capella soundscapes are like nothing you’ve ever heard. She plays The Chapel this Tuesday. Do. Not. Miss it.

It’s time to show all of those out-of-town friends back for the holidays how remarkably hip you are. You live a thrilling Bay Area existence and knowing about these shows proves it. Study up, young’un.

 

Paws, Cafe Du Nord, Monday

Emotionally honest, catchy punk rock will never go out of fashion. Paws pours its heart and id into each 2-3 minute burst of simple chords and chaotic percussion. This is how punk rock should be. The Glaswegian trio’s debut album Cokefloat! reflects that mentality and working ethos, with a few slow jams sporadically present. And not to speak poorly of any of the songs — they’re all exhilarating — but the slower jams show the promise of a many-trick band. Like “Get Bent”:

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Pearl Jam, Oracle Arena, Tuesday

First thing: let’s hope Eddie Vedder can still do Eddie Vedder as well as this reality show contestant:

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Of course, there’s no questioning Pearl Jam’s resolve at this point. Of call the bands to make a splash in the ‘90s alt-rock zeitgeist, Pearl Jam has assembled the most impressive resumé. Two decades in, Vedder and company have produced 10 straight studio albums debuting in the top 5 of the Billboard charts. Twenty-two years after their debut album Ten hit Wherehouse Music Stores (remember those?), the band is selling out arenas across North America.

Julianna Barwick, The Chapel, Tuesday

Julianna Barwick’s otherwordly a capella soundscapes are like nothing you’ve ever heard. Live, it’s equally novel. Barwick builds her songs looping vocal tracks, with the occasional backing instrumentation and heavenly lyrics. Each song expands and crescendos like a growing lung, and the result is an ambience on par with Sigur Ros (with whom she has toured, naturally). Certainly an artist you have to hear and see to believe:

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Jon Hopkins, The Independent, Friday

Work off that Thanksgiving mess of a meal you had on Thursday and dance the night away to the fine beat craftsmanship of Jon Hopkins. The UK sound engineer has tapped into an audience that appreciates attention to detail in electronic dance music. Audiophiles everywhere should have Hopkins on their radar, if for nothing else than to marvel in his never-ending studio maze. They’ll also revel in Immunity, his tour de force 2013 album, which critics are calling bold, beautiful and brilliant, albeit in much longer synopses. And do yourself a favor and listen to this magical, stunning music video for “Light Through the Veins”:

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Naughty By Nature, Yoshi's, Saturday/En Vogue, Yoshi's Jazz Club, Sunday

I mean, why not, right? Let’s get nostalgic this weekend and re-live some of the finer moments of ‘90s hip-hop and R&B. Those moments would be the first time you figured out what “O.P.P.” really meant, watching the music video for “Feel Me Flow” (see below) and wondering how Treach got all those people in his snow globe, and being genuinely fascinated by En Vogue’s vast collection of leather.

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