Live at Oakland's Fox Theater on November 4, 2009. Photos by Hali McGrath.
The Oakland quartet - two girls, two guys - has come into its own on this sophomore record, a slightly schizophrenic mix-up of sweet pop and raucous rock tempered with new wave and noise. Following along this exploratory path is the listener's primary pleasure, as the band's direct delivery makes every moment of discovery feel firsthand.
At Retox Lounge (628 20th St., San Francisco) on November 13. 8 p.m., $5
For all its characteristic independence and experimentalism, the Bay Area music scene is rife with bands who'd rather apply indie sensibilities to a more mainstream sound. Sweedish is one such group, as this debut finds the able quartet pursuing bright, predominately acoustic pop-rock with a funky overlay. It sounds fresh, but hardly new.
At Hotel Utah Saloon (500 4th St., San Francisco) on November 7. 9 p.m., $8-$10
It was a somewhat historic occasion for Angel Deradoorian of the Dirty Projectors at Bimbo's 365 Club on Sunday night. Not only did she have the support of her family and friends from her hometown of Sacramento, but her father had played at the same venue almost 33 years ago to the day with the San Francisco-based rock band the Tubes. It was a surreal moment for her father Marty, who summed up his feelings in one word: "amazing."
The San Francisco band that doesn't seem to have a clue what kind of a band it is returns with another pleasantly confounding record. Birds & Batteries has come a long way from doing Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" in 2007 to offering a dead ringer for Beta Band via the quirky electro-pop of "Out in the Woods" on this EP. Or has it? The genius of the group is you never can tell.
At Cafe du Nord (2170 Market St., San Francisco) on November 8. 9 p.m., $12
The story goes that teenage co-founders Sierra Frost and Sam Bartos were talking smack about bands they hated when someone challenged them to do better. So they made Ego-Driven Lust Creatures, this San Francisco trio's debut statement: a five-song, eleven-minute blast of snotty rock n' roll indebted to punk, pop, and Frost's absolutely charming riot-grrl attitude.
At the Uptown (1928 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on November 6. 9 p.m., free
Thousands of Bay Area pirate radio fans are learning this week that the region's biggest illicit station, Pirate Cat Radio, has been fined $10,000 by the FCC and has taken down its 1,200-watt, San Francisco-based transmitter.