Foxtails Brigade, The Bread and the Bait. This album by nymph-like singer Laura Weinbach and violinist Sivan Sadeh is almost medieval in tone and starkness. Aesthetically, it recalls a song-cycle form that was popular in the Victorian age. The tunes are small, lyrical, and operatic, though they aren't part of a traditional oratorio. Most of them sound like lullabies. (Antenna Farm Records)
At The Ghost Mansion (1383 Utah St., San Francisco) on Friday, Feb. 18. 8 p.m., $5-$7.
Fishtank Ensemble, Woman in Sin. Ursula Knudson, the alleged "lonely woman in sin" of this album's title, is actually a total ham. In large part, she shapes the personality of Fishtank Ensemble, a gypsy-jazz quartet with roots in Europe and Oakland. She closes the title track with a cackle, and starts the next song, "Espagnolette," with a high, preternatural wail. (self-released)
At Ashkenaz (1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley) on Wednesday, Feb. 16. 9 p.m., $15.
Professor Burns and the Lilac Field, Orange Blossom Blinds. It's unclear what kind of statement Sean Burns wanted to make by putting a mandala on the jacket of his new EP, but the music is appropriately old-time and folksy. "Little John," by far the strongest track, has Burns' trio playing a catchy minor-key melody over handclaps and shakers. Other songs grind along, lifted only by the singer's husky tenor. (Sean Burns)
At The Milk Bar (1840 Haight St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, Feb. 2. 8:30 p.m., $5.
Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, To Hear from There. Trombonist Wayne Wallace is one of the Bay Area's most prodigious minters-of-albums. This new disc is fantastic, even if you're not big on Latin jazz. "Ogguere (Soul of the Earth)" rests on an elemental, funky groove, while "Perdido" puts a peppy spin on an old standard. Wallace fattens his horn section for several tunes, employing three extra trombonists. (Patois)
At Oakland Yoshi's (510 Embarcadero, Oakland) on Monday, Feb. 21. 8 p.m., $16.
Legalization Nation - September 29, 11:51 AM
Culture Spy - September 29, 11:07 AM
Culture Spy - September 28, 10:18 AM
Seven Days - September 28, 9:43 AM
Culture Spy - September 27, 3:23 PM