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Churches 

When: Fri., Sept. 28, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $5-$15

Caleb Nichols endeared himself to many rock fans in the East Bay by combining anxious, self-effacing, melancholy lyrics with well crafted balladry -- which, together with his autobiography (a perfectly hewn "coming out" narrative about growing up gay in Los Osos, California), made him stand out among hipsters, albeit in a fairly innocuous way. The band name "Churches" could be seen as a provocation, except that it's not: Nichols is not a pious person by nature, but he often writes about existential angst and a desire for salvation. It's not "church" in the traditional sense, but it's definitely church in the abstract. Moreover, he's got a fabulous cast of backing musicians, including drummer Pat Spurgeon and bassist Dominic East. Churches performs alongside Talk Hot, Cerfs, and Dempsey at The Night Light (311 Broadway, Oakland) on Friday, Sept. 28. 9 p.m.,. $5-$15 TheNightLightOakland.com

— Rachel Swan

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