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Five Can't-Miss Live Shows

This is usually the time of year when music fans hibernate until NoisePop rears its eclectic, beautiful head. Not this year. Here we are, in the middle of December, and venues are still spelling out recognized and beloved names on their marquees. Here’s this week’s roster:

SoundCloud, the YouTube of Audio, Opens Up the Next Internet Frontier

As he travels between his company’s offices in Berlin, London, and San Francisco, SoundCloud’s Swedish born CEO, Alexander Liung, wears a leather jacket with the company’s logo sprayed on the back.

“It’s amazing that people come up to me all over the world, in Japan, Singapore, everywhere, and ask me if I work at SoundCloud,” he says. “And when I say yes they are so excited to tell me how they use it.”

Holy Ghost! and Jessica 6 Sound Off at Slim's

There are few better endorsements in the world of electronica than an opening gig for LCD Soundsystem (obligatory “long live James Murphy” mention) and/or Aussie dance party heroes Cut Copy. Theirs is the word of godly dance saints, so it was written, or possibly decreed, probably rumored, until death do us part, amen, the father, the son, and—

Dance Rock Darlings Handsome Furs Renew Their Musical Vows at Slim's

Call it the Yoko Ono effect, but the husband/wife rock ‘n’ roll tag team has long been an endangered species, as if to be married in life and song were a surefire way to career and personal carnage. But boldly and perhaps blinded by the love, a few musical couples march forth without regard for the sometimes-toxic business/pleasure tonic. And a few do it with such astounding vigor and energy that it reinstills a bit of faith in the quasi-Faustian bargain.

Memory Tapes Defy Genre at Slim's

Can chillwave really be all that “chill” in the live setting? With apologies to the kids too baked to move, live instrumentation has a way of turning blissful ambiance into head-thrusting, dance-pop affairs. We saw it a few weeks ago with Washed Out at GAMH, which turned trippy pop experimentation into an orgiastic dance affair. And last night at Slim’s, The Memory Tapes inspired something similar, winning dancing hearts and head-bobbing minds with a sound more rooted in tradition pop ideas than any new genre-of-the-moment branding would suggest.

Cinco de Mayo Plan B: Beach Fossils & Melted Toys at Slim's

Don't feel like shot-gunning beers and slurping tequila shots tonight? Do your Cinco de Mayo thing at Slim's with a powerhouse lineup sporting 2K11 indie heavyweights Beach Fossils, Craft Spells, and SF's own Melted Toys to cool your sweaty selves down with their chilled-out (but not chillwave) tunes that feel as deliciously warm and pulse-quickening as this sudden Springtime glory. And it's not as if Slim's can't make a margarita for you, if you've got the craving.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore with The Wronglers at Slim's

We all know Warren Hellman as the guy behind the annual Hardly Strictly festival, but bet you didn't know that the bluegrass aficionado was also a lean, mean, banjo-playing machine. That's right, Hellman is a member of The Wronglers, who will have their big debut at Slim's this Sunday. The old-time band, which formed back in 2006, has performed all over the Bay Area (including at Hardly Strictly)—opening for the likes of Steve Earle and Gillian Welch—as well as at SXSW.

San Francisco Too Harmless For A "Mancation?" Please.

CNN ran a piece today that essentially cornered San Francisco as a bland, too "healthy" destination for a proper "mancation"––a new breed of vacation described by author Brendan Francis Newnam as "a trip taken by a bunch of guy friends to blow off steam and remember why they are better off home with their families."

As Mr. Newman has obviously forgotten how to actually get torn up, we'll help him with some alternatives to his chosen route.

Winter Residency @ Slim's: Shows in January for $5

If your post-holiday wallet's feeling a bit depleted and you're hankering for a music fix, let (((folkYEAH!)))'s Winter Residency at Slim's come to your rescue. The program features a series of cheap (as in $5 cheap) concerts, showcasing mostly-local bands on Tuesdays in January.

Ludacris at Slim's This Sunday

Normally, Sunday nights are for hanging in, but when word hits the streets that three-time Grammy winner Ludacris is rolling into town for an intimate show at Slim's, exceptions must be made. The rapper-come-actor-come-philanthropist is in town for one night only and will surely play out this year's controversial album Battle of the Sexes along with old favorites like "Stand Up," "Get Back" and "Money Maker." If you're lucky, you may even get a preview of his already-in-the-works next album Ludaversal. Tickets are on the steep side ($45), but when an act like this hits the area, you just do it.

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