Imagine a balmy San Francisco day spent hitting the waves on the outskirts of town at Ocean Beach, amidst the fog. The Mantles play music that's the soundtrack to our city, a metropolis on the edge of the Pacific: raucous, sunny surf pop tinged with a quest for meaning like a malaise lurking underneath all the fun.
Songs like their flowing, existentialist jam "Waiting Out the Storm" or the body-moving grooves of "Cascades", both from their latest EP Pink Information (Mexican Summer), scratch any mental itch with a warm and fuzzy pulse impossible not to feel down to your bones. If you didn't snag tickets to either of Arcade Fire's Berkeley shows or aren't into Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, catch this band, lauded by locals and a national network of indie-philes, live at Hemlock Tavern this Friday night to see what all the fuss is about.
Royal Baths & Super Wild Horses open. 9:30 pm, $8. 1131 Polk St., (415) 923-0923.