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Listen Up: This Week's Top Concerts

Another week of great headliners lies before us. The question we must ponder is not if we will see any of these, but which ones to choose. Here are just some of the highlights for this week:

Animal Collective, The Fox Theater – Oakland, 5/26:
These four Baltimore originals, now based out of NYC have sold out pretty much every single venue they’ve been billed to so far this year. Often the artist’s choice for their innovative freak folk/noise selections, Animal Collective features an unconventional lineup all under the guise of other identities. The names of band members range from Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin (or Deacon depending on the album), and Geologist among others. They come highly recommended and we wish you luck haggling scalpers for tickets tonight.

Passion Pit, Bimbo’s 365 Club, 5/26: Couldn’t score tickets to Animal Collective? No worries, Passion Pit is here. A hit among hipsters and the brains behind the operation, Michael Angelakos is touring with a five-piece live band promoting Manners, Passion Pit’s first full album (excluding Angelakos’ Valentine’s Day present to his girlfriend aka the Chunk of Change EP). Known for their impressively unique and dancey music videos, these guys will bring the party like none-other.

St. Vincent, Bimbo’s 365 Club, 5/27:
With an impressive rep touring as the guitarist for the Polyphonic Spree and for Sufjan Stevens’ band among others, Miss Annie Clark performing under the moniker St. Vincent, dropped her new album Actor just in time for summer tour season. Her bizarre melodies and prominent use of violins, clarinets, French horns and the like were inspired and set to the tone of a whimsical fairy tale with more harsh and dominating lyrics than we’re used to out of this indie princess. One of the top acts so far this year, see her if you can.

M83, Mezzanine, 5/27: Somewhat responsible for personifying its own brand of shoegazing hits, M83’s Anthony Gonzalez (and formerly Nicolas Fromageau) were inspired by English bands like Tears for Fears and Cocteau Twins and it sure shows. M83 will be stopping by The Mezzanine flying solo before his whirlwind world tour with Depeche Mode. Expect sizably long slow-burners and the brand of “punk-funk” we have all come to know and love.

The Roots, Davies Symphony Hall, 5/30: Former underground hip-hop phenoms, The Roots are bringing it back to just that, their roots, performing a hit-studded set list for SF Jazz.  Commonly juxtaposing jazz samples next to hardcore hip-hop beats, these once unknown Phillies are now new on the payroll as the official house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and have since gone quite mainstream, not that we’re entirely opposed. They still hold a special place in our hearts.

Pretty Lights, The Independent, 5/30: For the electronic representation this week, make sure to give this Colorado-based producer (Derek Vincent Smith) and his live drummer, Cory Eberhard, a chance over at The Independent. Showcasing classic cutting-edge dance beats and rhythms to make your head vibrate, Pretty Lights will give you exactly what you want out of electronic, a completely unpredictable set that will leave you gratifyingly sweaty, if you’re up to the challenge.

The Wooden Birds, Rickshaw Stop, 5/31: The debut album, Magnolia, from Andrew Kenny’s new project has been hailed as “not significantly different from his previous band,” but when that band is American Analog Set, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Beautiful harmonies and trancelike melodies bring you through to appreciate the simple words and well thought out formations of this newbie.