Starf****r at New Parish in Oakland, Wednesday (and also Great American Music Hall Friday, The Independent Saturday)
They've got a naughty name and lipstick on their faces. They're from Portland. They're a bit of weird mixed with a bit of musical genius. Yet they make some of the sweetest electro-pop on this side of the divide. STRFKR’s tricked-out synths, sugary guitars and dueling drums make a sound that could easily find its way to a radio station near you, if only F-bomb-involving band names were kosher in such places. They’ve got a new album coming out called Jupiter, and if last year’s ambitious but accessible album Reptilian is any indication, it will be worth seeing live first.
Return to Mono at Rickshaw Stop, Friday
This SF-based trio pairs intricate dance pop dynamics with Tanya Kelleher’s haunting, Beth Gibbons-esque vocals. Their latest album Framebreaker is an atmospheric and occasionally poppy walk in the post-apocalyptic park. Guitarist J.G. Paulos and multi-instrumentalist Andy Sybilrud have a solid idea of where they want to take this band’s sound, with a specific identity and mood running through all their tunes.
Dick Dale @ Uptown Oakland, Saturday
The King of the Surf Guitar and American rock legend brings the sounds of the beach to NorCal this week. Son Jimmy Dale has become of a staple of the live Dale set, but this is all about the elder guitar trailblazer, whose racing reverb is a hallmark of surf montages and dreams.
Tornado Rider at Rickshaw Stop, Saturday
Bay Area rockers Tornado Rider play a brand of music (and theater, really) we should probably call WTFcore (or in their words...). More a cartoon character than a person, lead singer/cello shreddist Rushad Eggleston has the onstage presence of someone who has just won some sort of world championship, bouncing from stage left to stage right in clothes meant to trip us out. Eggleston regularly subjugates his cult following to a sound at turns proggy, New-grass, surf rock, avant-polka, cello metal and much more. Eggleston speaks in muscular tongues, like a lutrador wrestler that just took his 100th hit of acid.
Hot Tuna at Fillmore, Saturday
The local heroes of the '60s/’70s and former Jefferson Airplane members recently reconvened from a 20something-year recording hiatus with the wondrous Steady As She Goes. Leader Jorma Kaukonen, bassist Jack Casady and company seem like they haven’t missed a beat or a rhythm 40 years after they took a number in the blues-folk-rock scene. When these rock legends take the Fillmore stage, their home turf for decades, expect goosebumps.