Critic's Choice for the week of January 3-9, 2007 

Stroke your Incubus with the help of a few Men of Porn and some hillbilly String Ticklers.

Stroke Your Incubus

Call it "The Nights of Guitar Rock." The Strokes' guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. and late-'90s rock best-sellers Incubus set up shop at the Warfield in SF for two dates this week. Both have new albums kicking around — Hammond supports his October release Yours to Keep, while Incubus tours behind its new top-seller Light Grenades. Selling 156,000 units in the first week, Grenades' hit song "Anna Molly" offers an uptempo, radio-friendly banger dissed by elitists, but loved by the masses in Calabasas. Tuesday and Wednesday January 9 and 10. 8 p.m., $40. LiveNation.com (D2)

Big Baller, Dance Caller

It's a rarity these days to find live music aimed at both children and adults, but Saturday's Breakin' Up Xmas Square Dance at Ashkenaz starts early to get the kids involved, and features two live bands and a caller. Hillbilly band Thompson's String Ticklers play American roots music with dance rhythms: old-time, blues, country, and Cajun, with lots of fiddling by Suzy Thompson, in an all-string band including guitars, banjo-uke, and cello. The evening's square-dance caller Evie Ladin (Stairwell Sisters, Crosspulse) also sings and plays in opening band the Knee Knockers. The earlier music is made for beginners and those who have never square danced. Saturday, January 6. 7 p.m., $12. Ashkenaz.com (Larry Kelp)

Indie Electric

Praise the booker of Friday's show at the Cafe du Nord in SF. An incredibly strong lineup of local bands, starting with the ten-year-running shoegaze pop of Dora Flood (which has a new album out in February), followed by the sublime, Smiths-influenced French Disco, followed by the passionate rock of Elephone, and topped off with the electrifying darkness of Rykarda Parasol. Whether you're new to Bay Area music or an old, jaded fan, this show is sure to satisfy. Friday, January 5. 9 p.m., $8/$10. CafeduNord.com (Kathleen Richards)

The Dope Show

The credits of the members of Oakland's Eldopa read like a who's-who of the Bay Area punk and metal scene: Econochrist, Samiam, Grimple, Watch Them Die, Kalas, and the Men of Porn. The band — formed in 1995, disbanded in 1998, and reunited briefly in 2001 — has once again reunited for the release of The Complete Recordings on Tee Pee, a compilation of its singles, demos, and recordings under the moniker 1332. Combining equal parts punk and metal, Eldopa's songs are at once sludgy, ferocious, and magnificent. See the band before it breaks up again, with Saros and Stormcrow at Annie's Social Club in SF. Saturday, January 6. 10 p.m., $7. AnniesSocialClub.com (K.R.)

Rock the Office Park

How fun is this: a storefront in a Brentwood office park that doubles as a house of worship and a place for all-ages punk and metal shows? Only that kind of collision between teen angst and suburban euphoria can produce a band like Antioch's Malicious Slaughter — all Cookie-Monster vocals and double-bass-drum hammering. Check it out when the band plays with Vivisection, Raze the Living, and Bonded by Betrayal at the Epidemic on Saturday, January 6. 8 p.m., $7. Info: MySpace.com/theepx (K.R.)

Beats del Sur

Cumbia is the dominant rhythm of Colombia and the basis of that country's pop music. It's a syncopated rhythm that sounds a bit like Jamaican ska, but Martin Vejarano and his compadres in Cumbiamba eNeYé have transformed it into something brand-new. The New York City-based band of Colombian expats plays a roots-heavy kind of neo-traditional cumbia accented with other Afro-Colombian rhythms and jazzy brass charts. There's a hint of the Andes in their flute work and plenty of Afro-Cuba in their backbeat. With locals Aluna Wednesday, December 10 at Ashkenaz. 9 p.m., $15. Ashkenaz.com (j. poet)

Bridge to Classical

In a slow week for classical music lovers, San Francisco comes to the rescue this week when the San Francisco Symphony, guest-conducted by Kurt Masur, features Grammy-nominated violinist Sarah Chang with Bruch's First Violin Concerto. Masur brings in the light with Mendelssohn's Third Symphony "Scottish," and Richard Strauss' delightful Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks. Wednesday, January 10 at Davies Symphony Hall in SF. 8 p.m., $25-$110. SFSymphony.org (Jason Victor Serinus)

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