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5 Reasons to Stay Up Past Your Bedtime This Week

Five Reasons to Stay Up Past Your Bedtime This Week

Plenty of interesting shows to keep Bay Area music lovers up late this week. In addition to the following shows, we've also got Wilco at the Fox (sold out) on Tuesday, RJD2 at Manor West Wednesday, Martin Sexton at the Fillmore on Thursday, Cold Cave at the Elbo Room on Friday and The Jayhawks at the Fillmore on Saturday. Yes, it's one of those why-we-love-SF weeks.

Five Live Music Shows to Buzz About This Week

Milk Carton Kids at Cafe Du Nord, Tuesday

This minimalist duo has won praise from folks at NPR and Spinner while perfecting a specific blend of Americana, 1950s classic folk and compelling narrative. They've been compared to Ryan Adams and Iron & Wine, and it fits — their soft hush affects on multiple levels, a mind/body/soul trifecta.

'Twas the Week Before Christmas on the SF Concert Scene...

Scanning the local concert calendars on this particular pre-Christmas week is usually a good way to find some of the hardest working musicians in the game. There’s a certain amount of dedication required to brave the winter road, away from home and family. It’s also a great time to find local acts squeezing in gigs while home for the holidays. Here we are again, at the end of December in 2011, with dependable examples of both, five of which make us especially grateful for this calendarian coup de tat.

SF Sound Architect Tycho Building Buzz, Plays Independent Saturday

 Odds are, you don’t know Tycho, which is fine. But perhaps you know Scott Hansen, the San Francisco-based sound/visual artist behind the crypticism. He resides happily below the radar, where his sonic permutations can grow and change however his muse dictates.

Stone Foxes Lay Down The Law at the Independent Tonight

Here's the thing: Admittedly, I was a little late on the Stone Foxes bandwagon. But it's quite another thing to be totally sold on a band after only a few minutes of seeing them live without hearing a single recording of theirs beforehand. That's exactly what happened to me (and I suspect quite a few others) when I caught them at this year's Outside Lands. It was one of the day's earliest performances–that time when everyone's just getting back into the swing of things, their first beer of the day only half-finished–yet by the second verse of their first song, this hungry San Francisco band already had the audience sitting in the palm of its hand.

Zola Jesus Stages A One-Woman Religious Experience at the Independent

Once you get past the fact that what you're hearing–a massively commanding, operatic voice throbbing with a soul as big as the entirety of the Independent–is booming forth from a person smaller than the plague known as Snooki from Jersey Shore, you can start to experience Zola Jesus' primal goth-industrial pop music for what it essentially is in a live setting: a riveting sonic spectacle akin to a religious service conducted by a precocious girl from rural Wisconsin, dressed all in white.

The War On Drugs Fight the Good Fight at the Independent

Philadelphia rock missionaries The War on Drugs are all about dichotomies: pretty vs ugly, new vs old, subtlety rubbed up against grandeur, the home or the freeway, man vs The Man. It's an infinite-sum game they play, as they showed last night to a curious crowd at the Independent, jamming their way to abstract conclusions and somehow turning a Sunday night into a Friday night.

Cult Metal Legend Weedeater Brings Walls Of Noise to the Independent This Thursday

Band press releases get dumped in my email inbox every morning, afternoon and evening. Sadly most of them can either be categorized as thoroughly obnoxious (like those of Wavves), or straight up forgettable. Not the ones having anything to do with legendary sludge metallers Weedeater. Don't confuse them with the nation's preeminent brand of mowers, blowers and trimmers; these stoned Southern gents periodically light up my days with semi-annual reports of insane on-tour injuries, like when vocalist-bassist "Dixie" Dave Collins literally shot himself in the foot earlier this year with his favorite shotgun by accident.

Soul Revivalist Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band Inspire at the Independent

Feeling down? Lonely? Spiritually absent? Undersexed? Or — god forbid — oversexed? Feeling like you need a change? Charles Bradley has some advice for you.

The one-man answer to cynicism put on a resounding and thought-provoking soul/funk/R&B revivalist show Tuesday night at The Independent that doubled as a self-help sermon. The 62-year-old phenom has lived quite the life, and his wisdom came across matter-of-factly–sometimes in his lyrics, other times in his impromptu evangelistic addresses, imploring the audience to stop being such bastards to each other (my words). “Love each other,” he said a few times. “Let’s change the world!”

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