Gimme 5: Must-see shows this week

Pub date June 16, 2014
WriterEmma Silvers

Happy Monday, y’all. I know, it’s rough. I hope at the very least that your weekend was better than this guy’s.

If not, don’t despair! Here are some rad shows to look forward to this week from the Bay Guardian team. As the late great Casey Kasem (aka Shaggy) would say, keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. Keep your friends close, and your pizza closer. (Okay, that second part’s just me.)


Zara McFarlane
You’ve got to be plenty ballsy to venture a cover of “Police and Thieves,” the immortal 1976 reggae track by Junior Murvin (produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry, no less) and transformed into a rock classic by the Clash on their debut 1977 album. But this fascinating Jamaican-British singer’s version, a hypnotic cabaret-jazz version floated by a voice clear as a bell, earns the praise heaped upon it. Included on McFarlane’s new album, If You Knew Her, “a tribute to women, from the alpha female to the housewife,” it puts a feminist spin on the spooky lyrics that decry “scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition, from Genesis to Revelation.” With her classic poise and lucid style (Roberta Flack springs to mind), it’s easy to see why global soul guru Gilles Peterson snagged McFarlane quick for his Brownswood label — Marke B.

8pm, $18 advance
Yoshi’s SF
1330 Fillmore, SF.
(415) 655-5600


Ten years ago Philadelphia’s experimental post-hardcore outfit mewithoutYou released their sophomore album Catch For Us the Foxes. Now, a decade and three albums later, Foxes is still a beloved fan favorite and the defining album of mewithoutYou’s lyrically rich and musically unique career. The album, which borrows its name directly from the Song of Songs, tackles the band’s usual themes of spirituality, nature, and literature in their trademarked spoken (well, shouted)-word vocals over beautifully melancholy, churning instrumentals. In honor of the record’s tenth birthday, mewithoutYou will be playing the entire record front to back, followed by a set taken from the rest of their catalog. — Haley Zaremba

With The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Dark Rooms
8pm, $16
333 11th St, SF
(415) 255-0333


Dean Wareham
While his sharp tenor has gotten a bit lower and his hair is noticeably grayer than it was during his days fronting Galaxie 500, Dean Wareham has remained astonishingly consistent since his burst onto the burgeoning indie rock scene almost 30 years ago. His eclectic and minimalist guitar work and profoundly detached lyrics are on display once again on his eponymous first solo album, which came out in March. To celebrate the occasion, Wareham has embarked on a tour of intimate venus along with his stellar four-piece band. Wareham’s wife and frequent collaborator Britta Phillips, who was an instrumental creative force in Wareham’s post-Galaxie 500 group Luna and on several duet albums since, will also perform with the group. The Chapel, with a capacity of a few hundred, provides the perfect venue to examine Wareham’s instrumental and emotional subtlety a set that he has promised will include tracks from throughout his career. — David Kurlander

9pm, $20
The Chapel
777 Valencia, SF
(415) 551-5157


Nightmares on Wax
With a career that now spans two and a half decades, producer George Evelyn (aka DJ E.A.S.E., aka Nightmares on Wax) is credited with being among the first to merge early New York hip-hop with the British B-boy and graffiti scenes of the ’80s, forming what would come to be known as trip-hop. Work with greats like De La Soul followed, but Evelyn has evolved with the times — he’s still considered a go-to inspiration and dream collaborator for today’s up-and-coming hip-hop, dub, and funk hopefuls. He also just released a two-disc “best of,” N.O.W. Is the Time, so this show should be a good time to time-travel a bit — while dancing your ass off, of course.

With Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist
9pm, $22-$25
Regency Ballroom
1300 Van Ness, SF


Fresh from an appearance at Hickey Fest in up in Medocino County, the psych-garage quartet will bring their grooved out, British Invasion-influenced swagger to the stage at GAMH. It makes sense that three of four Allah-Las members met while working at Amoeba in LA; their sound comes off like they’ve absorbed the entirety of the ’60s soul and pop sections of a record store, thrown in a healthy handful of ’70s psychedelia and surf-rock, mixed them all together, and now can’t help but have the dark-tinged, dreamy result basically leaking out their musical pores. It doesn’t hurt that lead singer Miles Michaud channels Jim Morrison eerily well (in vocal tone, hopefully not in recreational drugs of choice).

With Dream Boys, Old Testament
8pm, $16
Great American Music Hall
859 O’Farrell, SF