Yes, Outside Lands is back this weekend in Golden Gate Park. So that’s a given, especially if you’ve already got tickets to the sold-out festival. But there’s also night shows plus unrelated evenings out with White Fence, King Tuff, Glass Candy, Icky Boyfriends, Paige & the Thousand, and Lightning Dust with Louise Burns and Spells. So be sure to check those out as well, you over-committers.
Also this week, the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass guess-the-lineup game came buzzing back to the web. Listen here to make your guesses.
Here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:
Lightning Dust, Louise Burns, and Spells
There seems to be an uptick in occult fascination lately, or am I just now really paying attention? This whole lineup — a free show through Wood Shoppe — has the witchy vibe, with Vancouver’s Lightning Dust and Louise Burns, and SF’s own Spells. Lightning Dust’s Amber Webber (of Black Mountain) and Josh Wells began as a whispery folk duo in 2007. However, their spooky third LP, June’s Fantasy (Jagjaguwar), is said to be inspired more by “skeletal synth pop, modern R&B beats, the films of John Carpenter and…absolute minimalism.” Louise Burns has that chilled ’80s darkwave thing down. And Spells, the newest project from songwriter Jennifer Marie, incorporates synth and vintage organs into eerie, lovely nightmarescapes (check locally appropriate “Fog”).
Tue/6, 8pm, free
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
“MC Chris marches to the beat of his own drum machine. The pint-sized Chicago-area rapper is technically a hip-hop artist, but this is likely not the kind of hip-hop you’ve heard before. In his characteristic chipmunk chirp, MC Chris raps about Star Wars, DQ Blizzards, and lots of computer geek nerdiness. In addition to being the world’s unlikeliest rapper, he has also worked as an animator, voice actor, and songwriter for a handful of Cartoon Network Adult Swim shows, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force. In his free time (ha) MC Chris is working on a recently Kickstarted comic and acts as an advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He and his hyper-dedicated fans have raised over $100,000 for the cause.” — Haley Zaremba
With Dr. Awkward, Jesse Dangerously, Tribe One
Tue/6, 8pm, $15
333 11th St., SF
Listen to White Fence’s psych-folk track “To The Boy I Jumped In The Hemlock Alley,” off the spring-released full-length Cyclops Reap, and it may renew your faith in classic songwriting. Or at least make you feel like you’re listening to the Beatles for the first time on acid. The woozy tune has a consistently mellow flow sliced through with glistening pysch riffs that sound like a flaming saw singeing through campfire wood. The album picks up quicker elsewhere, in blistering, boiling Nuggets-fashion on electrifying “Pink Gorilla.” But this much is now expected from LA/SF songwriter-guitarist Tim Presley — he’s the main force of White Fence — a consistently compelling and inventive musician, and frequent collaborator with the likes of Ty Segall. The show tonight includes essential openers like local singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt and Foxygen’s Bob Dylan-esque singer Jonathan Rado performing his solo work, Law and Order.
Wed/7, 8pm, $12
155 Fell, SF
Ew, gross, Icky Boyfriends are back. JK, each successive grave-rise from the trashy ’90s-born Bay Area “noisefuck” band is worth mentioning because the local band is just that entertaining live. To get the full lo-fi freakout inherent in the Icky Boyfriends experience, listen to 2005’s 61-track career retrospective A Love Obscene, which features tracks such as “Burrito,” “Passion Assassin,” “Kids in Fresno,” and “King of Zeitgeist.” You might also note the band features current Hemlock booker/guitarist-singer of Hank IV, Anthony Bedard, on drums. Also, I’ve recently uncovered the fact that Bedard and burlesque legend Dixie Evans once went on the talk show Maury, for the episode “My Sexy Lover Is My Complete Opposite.” YouTube it, immediately.
With Wet Illustrated, Violent Change
Thu/8, 9pm, $8
3981 12th St., SF
Rotfest IV with 3 Stoned Men, Cameltoe, UKE Band
Sat/10, 5pm, $10
1131 Polk, SF
Paige & the Thousand
Paige & the Thousand has roots similar to Lindsay Paige Garfield’s previous seven-piece band Or, the Whale but now solo, she also travels to different offshoots of twangy folk, country, and Americana, even dipping into Celtic traditions, and showing similar chord progressions to her own rich history of Jewish music, which she long ago sang in synagogue choir as a child. (For more on Paige & the Thousand, see this week’s paper.)
With Robb Benson & the Shelk, EarlyBizrd & the Bees
Fri/9, 8pm, $7
1429 Broadway, Oakl.
The synth-heavy, electro-punk group that is Glass Candy returns to San Francisco this weekend, fresh off a jarring slot at that oh-so-hip Pitchfork Music Festival. The broader crowds still, after all these years, seem not quite sure what to make of the amorphous, experimental, and ever-evolving duo. And that’s precisely what keeps it interesting. Producer Johnny Jewel (also of Chromatics, and co-owner of dance label Italians Do It Better) and casual, Nico-esque vocalist Ida No have been doing this whole Glass Candy gig since ’96, yet each tour, each new release (2003’s Love Love Love, 2007’s B/E/A/T/B/O/X) brings some different flavor of stimulating Italo-disco glitter cut with speed and Kraut. This is also why those who’ve fallen in line behind the duo have long been itching for a new record, the promised Body Work, which is purportedly coming out soon, after a teaser single of “Halloween” released on Oct. 31, 2011.
With Omar Perez, Stanley Frank, Bus Station John
Fri/9, 9pm, $20
444 Jessie, SF
“King Tuff, the man, the myth, the guy with the “sun medallion” is coming along with his pals and bandmates to play at Brick and Mortar Music Hall the day before his Outside Lands performance. Mixing glam and garage rock, King Tuff crafts music that makes you want to shuffle on the dance floor. He’s come into success with career milestones such as being added to the lineup at OSL — he’s usually known for playing smaller fests like Burger Record’s Burgerama and 1-2-3-4 Go! Records’ Go! Go! Fest. The artist has also reached #8 in Billboard’s Heatseeker Albums with Was Dead, after its late May reissue on Burger Records. In short, come see this animal before it disappears into the vast expanse known as Golden Gate Park (for Outside Lands, duh)!” — Erin Dage
With the Men, Twin Peaks
Sat/10, 10pm, $20
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF