The title track's celestial guitar melody, modulated like starlight through the atmosphere, serves as a fine introduction to this San Francisco psych-garage act's improved second full-length. That the album evolves as an homage to the record collections of Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin doesn't matter; the songs are more than strong enough to support their nostalgia.
At the Stork Club (2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on October 20. 9 p.m., $5
Many independent artists claim to shun precedent, as if that alone makes them worth hearing. When they're not wrong, they're usually unlistenable. San Francisco musician Custer, meanwhile, lets her experimentalism speak for itself by crafting appealing songs just beyond the realm of expectation that employ jazz, folk, avant-garde, and her distinctive bass clarinet.
At Yoshi's San Francisco (1330 Fillmore St.) on October 19. 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., $10-$14
The name Little Muddy evokes images of southern bluesmen picking steel guitars. Rich Goldstein, the band's mastermind and primary musician, hails from rural Illinois and was raised on classic country music. Both landscapes inform his gritty guitar instrumentals, which seem to serve as a soundtrack for some unseen film noir set in open plains and inner cities.
At Jupiter (2181 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on October 17. 8 p.m., free