Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

Pub date October 8, 2012
WriterEmily Savage

With the xx – at Treasure Island Music Festival – and Nouvelle Vague both in town this week, there’s a whole lot of sexy, sex-making music coming. Also popping up in the Bay in the next few days: Dinosaur Jr., Grave Babies with 2:54, Saint Vitus, and Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby.

These shows, as of press time, still have tickets. Lucky you. There is another band in town, however, whose Bay Area stop is long-sold out: Grizzly Bear, the Brooklyn act that was featured in the much-discussed New York Magazine cover story last week, “Is Rock Stardom Any Way To Make A Living?”

The main crux of the story’s thesis is that more than ever, bands have to tour (and license songs) to make ends meet. So, go support your favorite musicians live, their livelihood depends on it. Also, actually buy the album. As Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste puts it in the article, a record costs about as much as “a fucking appetizer, a large popcorn at the movie theater, and you’ll have it forever, and they took two years to make it.”

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

Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby
English rocker Wreckless Eric first found Amy Rigby when he happened upon the singer-songwriter covering his classic, whisper-to-shout post-punk love song, “(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World.” (She was playing in the wrong key, but he got up on stage and joined in.) They’re now married and play adorable acoustic sets together and are about to release another joint record, A Working Museum (Southern Domestic, Oct. 30). 
Tue/9, 8:30pm, $10 
Hemlock Tavern
1131 Polk, SF
(415) 923-0923

Saint Vitus
The legendary LA doom metal band, Saint Vitus, comparatively molasses slow and full of despair, has played together in some form or another since 1978. This week, it plays the Independent, which is so out of wildly character for the venue, it’s got to be good. There will be headbanging.
With Weed Eater, Sourvein
Tue/9, 8pm, $25
628 Divisadero, SF
(415) 771-1421

Il Gato
This week, local baroque pop trio Il Gato released Tongues and Teeth (self-released), a folkier follow-up to last year’s All Those Slippery Things EP, and 2010’s All These Slippery Things LP. “The main themes are regarding the truth we hold inside us — from our bodies internal wisdom, to our intuition, to our patterns and rituals — and the beauty and struggle of being able to both think and feel,” says spiritual singer Daimian Holiday Scott.
With Immanu El, Wolf and Crow
Wed/10, 8pm, $10
Rickshaw Stop,
155 Fell, SF.

Dinosaur Jr.
“We don’t need to tell you that Dinosaur Jr. was one of the most influential alternative rock bands of the 1990s or that these dudes can really shred. We’ll just let their 28-year career attest to that. What we will tell you is that their new album is not to be overlooked or underestimated. I Bet on Sky, their 10th full-length, is a loudmouthed snarl of a record. It features all the best quirks of Dinosaur Jr.’s extensive catalogue: frightening amounts of fuzz, weirdly engaging hooks, and deep dark lyrics in J Mascis’ disengaged nasal yowls. Don’t forget to bring earplugs.” –Haley Zaremba
Wed/10, 8pm, $32.50
1805 Geary, SF
(415) 346-3000

Grave Babies
Seattle’s “scuzziest goth rockers,” Grave Babies, recently got the remix treatment for their haunting new wave song “Fuck Off” by Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young, which resulted in an even spookier, deeper-in-to-outer-space trip.
With 2:54
Thu/11, 9pm, $10-$13
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
(415) 371-1631

Sic Alps
The best and biggest surprise from local garage rock band Sic Alps on its newest self-titled full-length (Drag City, Sept. 18) was the inclusion of a string section. It adds a sparkly additional layer to an already textured and loopy blanket, er, release.
With Thee Oh Sees, Sonny and the Sunsets, the Mallard.
Fri/12, 8:30pm, $15
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF

Treasure Island Music Festival
This year, I’m most curious about luminous Beth Ditto’s Gossip, to see how they work this glossy new dance-pop sound live, Grimes, to hear if her tiny voice can carry, and Public Enemy, because, it’s Public Enemy. There’s also M83, Joanna Newsom, and Divine Fits. Also, Sunday’s headliners the xx just released shimmering new LP, Coexist, which should create a sexy, foggy atmosphere. Though the best part about Treasure Island — besides the outstanding views — is the lack of set-time conflicts.
Sat/13-Sun/14, noon, single day $75; two-day, $129.50
Treasure Island, SF

Nouvelle Vague
Nouvelle Vague has the ability to turn anything – moody ’80s new wave (the band’s namesake), post-punk grinders, Dead Kennedy’s “Too Drunk to Fuck” – into a sexy French pop classic. Everything they rework and perform turns into Françoise Hardy over bossa nova arrangements. Past covers include “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),” “Heart if Glass,” and “Master and Servant.” This makes it difficult not to purse your lips and sing along in a faux-Francophone tribute; but you’d look silly, please leave it to these experts.
Sun/14, 8pm, $25-$28
1025 Columbus, SF
(415) 474-0365