Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

Pub date April 8, 2013
WriterEmily Savage

Sorry, readers. Modest Mouse at the Fox Theater and Foals and Alt-J at the Fillmore are all sold out shows, plus Lou Reed canceled his Warfield appearance (it was supposed to take place Sunday).

But there are plenty of other shows you should be checking out this week including Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester at the SFJazz Center, long-running legends like Sparks (squee!) and the Skatalites, club-ready 2 Chainz and Ewan Pearson, along with (separate) album release parties for TOKiMONSTA and Burnt Ones.

All said, it’s a rather theatrical bunch; no shoegazing here. And as of press time, there are still tickets to each show listed here, rewarding you laggers with awesomeness.

Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Sparks are experimental, futuristic, and powerful new wave freaks from the weird world of 1970s Los Angeles. Otherwise known as brothers Ron and Russell Mael, who together have released 22 rock solid yet wildly ranging albums of pop pleasures. Required listening includes Angst in My Pants, Kimono My House, In Outer Space, Lil’ Beethoven, and The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman. The Mael brothers will be going through the whole back catalog during this Two Hands One Mouth tour stop. PS: Sparks also play the Chapel Wed/10, but that’s long sold out. PPS: check out my interview with Russell here.
Tue/9, 9pm, $40
777 Valencia, SF

Vijay Iyer Trio
“Jazz fans recognize Vijay Iyer as one of the genre’s reigning superstar composer-pianists. Iyer lends a bold and dynamic style to both his original productions and live performances, an approach that stems from teaching himself to play the piano as a child and picking up works by legends like Thelonious Monk by ear. With bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore, Iyer’s trio earned critical acclaim for 2012’s Accelerando, which features clever reinterpretations of tracks by Michael Jackson, disco group Heatwave, and electronic DJ Flying Lotus.” — Kevin Lee
Wed/10, 6:30pm, $20
Hotel Rex
562 Sutter
(415) 413-4708

Is there a ska revival going on? God I hope so. More likely a nostalgia wave. At the very least, classic Jamaican and second wave 2-tone ska acts have been skanking around again as of late. The Specials played the Warfield a few weeks back. Tonight, early Jamaican ska-rock steady band the Skatalites (b. 1964) play the Boom Boom Room and next Tue/16, the Selecter and Lee Scratch Perry hit the Regency Ballroom ($29.50).
Wed/10, 9:30pm, $20
Boom Boom Room
1601 Fillmore, SF

Classically trained pianist TOKiMONSTA – a.k.a. LA’s Jennifer Lee – whipped those early technical skills into electronically enhanced R&B singles, dreamy pop mixes, and trippy soundscapes. Tonight, she plays live at the party for her new album, Half Shadows (out Tue/9). Drip drip drip, check first single “Go With It’ (feat. MNDR, a.k.a formerly Bay Area based noise artist Amanda Warner).
With MNDR, Astronautica, DJs Dials, Balance, Freefall
Wed/10, 9pm, $20
DNA Lounge
375 11th St., SF

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester
“Steeped in the seductive and sumptuous sounds that grew out of Germany’s Weimar Republic era, Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester take the songs, styles, and instrumentation of the 1920s and ’30s and bring them into the 21st century. Performing with a clever, coolly detached demeanor, Raabe at times wows the listener with his vocal abilities, and then forces laughter at others with his deadpan riffing between songs. The elegant orchestra plays both traditional German pieces and classics such as “Singin’ In The Rain,” as well as tongue-in-cheek covers of more contemporary pop tunes.” — Sean McCourt
Fri/12, 7:30pm; Sat/13, 7:30 and 10pm, $35–$85
SF Jazz Center
201 Franklin St., SF

Burnt Ones
Here’s another record release party for your weekend. The psychedelically inclined SF-via-Indianapolis garage rock trio Burnt Ones will celebrate the drop of new beyond-garage-rock Burger Records LP/cassette You’ll Never Walk Alone tonight at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall. Note that Burnt Ones will return to Brick and Mortar next weekend for White Mystery’s 4/20 Psychedelic Meltdown.
With Cosmonauts, Violent Change, Garden
Fri/12, 9pm, $8
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF

Ewan Pearson
“English-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer Ewan Pearson has been rejiggering tracks for two decades for the likes of Depeche Mode, Chemical Brothers, and Junior Boys. He’s also produced for Everything But The Girl’s Tracey Thorn, the Rapture, Ladytron, and M83. Pearson pumps synth stabs and grizzled basslines into a number of his mixes and productions, a culmination of his old-school acid house, new-school electro and techno influences. Last year, he co-founded new record label, Machinists, which skirts away from the digital and dips back into analog.” — Kevin Lee
As You Like It with Iron Curtis, Conor, P-Play
Sat/14, 9pm, $10 (before 10pm, $20 after)
Public Works
161 Erie, SF
(415) 932-0955

2 Chainz
“Let’s pretend that this College Park, Georgia rapper’s hit single “I’m Different” is real-for-real his ode to doing the game in an innovative manner. How different is the player formally known as Tity Boi (he changed his handle to be more family-friendly, although you’ll notice he rarely keeps the neck bling to two pieces)? Well, the song goes on to explain, he makes tons of money, will totally fuck your bitch, and drives convertibles. So yeah, not different at all. That being said, the Fox Theater is gonna go collectively ham when “Birthday” comes on (of “all I want for my birthday is a big booty ho” fame) and it’s sure to be a bad bitch contest. Ya may as well be in first place.” — Caitlin Donohue
Sun/14, 8pm, $35
Fox Theater
1807 Telegraph, Oakl.