Dog Poison (Captured Tracks)
Listening to Thee Oh Sees is like falling asleep and waking up in the Sixties. Fuzzy, occasionally distorted, and often downright psychedelic, Dog Poison is a loving homage to California’s hippie days. With a deliciously trippy vibe, eerily pretty vocal harmonies, and what may even be a Hammond organ, this album will take you right back, even if you weren’t born till the Eighties.
At the Eagle Tavern (398 12th St., San Francisco) on January 14. 8 p.m., TBA
Corner of the World (Opus Music Ventures)
Luce makes lovely, delicate, subtle pop. With an overall feel that’s dreamy and slightly wistful, Corner of the World is a gorgeous album. Occasional folksy touches add depth, but never overwhelm the airy mood, and lyrics that are sensitive without being emo add the perfect finishing touch to this remarkably well-executed release.
At Yoshi’s Lounge (1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco) on January 3. 8 p.m., $3
At Slim’s (333 11th St., San Francisco) on January 15. 9 p.m., $15
Can’t say this is too surprising, but it’s sad nonetheless. El Cerrito cafe and record store 33 Revolutions closed its doors on Christmas Eve, citing the “challenging economy,” according to a message written by owners Dave and Taryn on their web site. The spacious store/cafe, which opened in Spring 2008, meshed a vinyl record store with the ambience of a cafe, and hosted live music as well. No word on what will happen to the space.
Words That Rhyme (Petunia Records)
Another slice of classic pop-punk from Cousin Dale. The frequent Green Day comparisons are apt — Words That Rhyme is aggressive yet jangly, bitter but funny. The lyrics have the ironic self awareness of one’s own ridiculousness that all good punk needs, and the music is both snarly and catchy. Sing along when you’re having a lousy day and restore your sense of humor.
Cossa Frenzy (Amorphous Music)
Excellent new release from local dance luminaries Bassnectar. Heavy, funky, and nasty, this is what you want to hear when you’re lost in the middle of the dance floor at 2 a.m. Clever little touches like the inclusion of classical-music samples are to be expected from a band that’s recently included a Pixies cover in their shows.
At Concourse Exhibition Center (635 8th Street, San Francisco) on December 31. 9 p.m., $75-$135
Sex in the Morning (self-released)
Light, airy pop dominates on Sex in the Morning. Not nearly as silly as its cover might lead you to think, this is a polished release from an artist who doesn’t take himself too seriously. With hints of samba, reggae, and funk, and unexpectedly witty lyrics, it’s a sound tailor-made for the kind of clever, hippie-lite adults the Bay Area abounds in.
Fault Lines and Good Times (self-released)
Solid new album from local alt-country veterans. A common thread of ironic reflection on the peril of adult life runs through songs like “Bourbon and Bile” and “I Shot My Wife (Again).” With a sound that’s a little bluesy, a lot twangy, and a whole ton of country and some damn funny lyrics, it’s a witty little slice of Americana.
A Musical Journey: Scarlatti, Schubert and Chopin (self-released)
Accomplished local pianist, teacher, and graduate of New York High School of the Performing Arts and Oberlin Conservatory, Shirley Kirsten runs through a selection of Baroque composers including Schubert, Chopin, and the oft-neglected Scarlatti. Scarlatti, in particular, is notoriously difficult to play, and Kirsten handles it with impeccable technique, gorgeous tone, and general aplomb.
On the Holiday Highway (Globe Records)
Full of witty renditions of holiday-themed tunes, this album will get anyone into the true spirit of the season. Recorded live at seven shows across Northern California, this collection featuring local luminaries like Dan Hicks and Country Joe Norton will have you giggling into your eggnog in no time. An excellent antidote to seasonal stress.
At Freight & Salvage (2020 Addison St., Berkeley) on December 18. 8 p.m., $22.50
Starting January 1, the Express is launching a new local music column, covering the week's news on clubs, venues, bands, labels, shows, and more. Send any pertinent press releases, MP3s, videos, and photos to Kathleen [dot] Wentz [at] eastbayexpress [dot] com.