Critic's Choice for the week of March 28-April 3, 2007 

The Hellmouth of Akron, some escapees from Chile, and one local dance-punk antelope.

Springing Into Action
Ten-ton punk from local act Triclops at 924 Gilman; top-ranking DJ Miguel Migs album release party at DNA Lounge (Friday, March 30); Led Zeppelin soul-stealers the Mars Volta at a sold-out Berkeley Community Theatre (Saturday, March 31); and punk hellraisers the Thermals ignite Bottom of the Hill (Monday, April 2).

Moby Dick's Mouth

Drag Mastodon through molasses or make Isis sound a lot more dirgey and you'd get the gist of Akron's Mouth of the Architect. Crunchy, brooding, and full of apocalyptic sluggardly despair, the quartet is currently touring in support of The Ties That Blind, its second album released last year, after overcoming a near-breakup just prior. A check of the band's latest tourmates Rob Crow and Mastodon gives an indication of the crowd you can expect: plenty of black hoodies. With Book of Black Earth, Floating Goat, and Devil's Son in Law at the Uptown on Thursday, March 29. 9 p.m., $10. (Kathleen Richards)

Chilean Folk 'Fugees
On tour at the time of the 1973 military coup in its homeland, Chilean folk ensemble Inti-Illimani became the best-known musical representative of its people through music that combined European classicists' attention to perfection and detail with the Andean folk roots of many of the group's instruments. Inti-Illimani's music reflects a wide range of styles, from the nueva canción (new song) sung in gorgeous harmonies expressing daily life and hope, to instrumentals conjuring the pastoral splendor of its mountains, through to the haunting sounds of zampoñas (panpipes) and kena (wood flute). Long a local favorite, Inti-Illimani returns to Zellerbach Hall in a concert copresented by Berkeley's La Peña Cultural Center, itself founded by Chilean refugees. Saturday, March 31. 8 p.m., $20-$32. (Larry Kelp)

Built for Each Other
San Francisco's Built for the Sea and Minipop share. For one, Built for the Sea's Lia Rose got her start in Minipop. Both bands were asked to play the prestigious Noise Pop festival this year. And musically, their strengths lie in their luscious, memorable pop songwriting crafted around sublime female vocalists. If you tire of the same ol' Bay Area indie-rock, these bands break out of the mold, demonstrating that "independent" doesn't mean "crappy." At the Oakland Metro on Thursday, March 29. 8:30 p.m., $10. (K.R.)

Hip-Hop Smoothie
Let's face it: Hipsters like to dance, which is why the Brooklyn duo Ratatat's palatable hash of gigantic revving electronica hooks ("Lex"), ironic bedroom beats with ridiculous effects ("Wildcat"), and dirty-rock remixes of retro hip-hop (Biggie Smalls' "Party & Bullshit") seems to go down the throats of young urbanites so smoothly. But really, can you blame them? (The hipsters, that is.) At Bimbo's 365 Club in SF on Friday, March 30. 9 p.m., $16. (K.R.)

The Fabulous Measha
She's a joy to behold: statuesque, frequently barefoot, with a blond Grace Jones buzzcut and huge, welcoming smile. She's also blessed with such a glorious, colorful voice that she drove a recent San Francisco Symphony audience wild and earned a recording contract from Deutsche Grammophon. Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman makes her Cal Performances debut at Hertz Hall Sunday, April 1. 3 p.m., $42. (Jason Victor Serinus)

Animal Instinct
If this is the first you've heard of Antelope, don't fret. The band has been together for six years now — forming in 2001, just as the dance-punk revival was taking off — yet up to last month it had released only eight songs. The DC trio's excellent debut album, released a week ago, trundles through ten tracks of hypnotic postpunk in 25 enduring minutes. Local groups Black Fiction and Tussle set the mood. Sunday, April 1 at the Uptown. 9 p.m., $6. (Nate Seltenrich)

Real Swingers Only

Stompy Jones was born during the short-lived swing revival of the late '90s, but unlike many of the bands that made their onstage style more important than the music, the cats in Stompy Jones can really blow. They re-create the frantic drive, freewheeling musicality, and effortless swing of a bygone era without sounding retro or jokey. Their regular Tuesday night stomps in San Francisco have been going strong for nine years, and their Ashkenaz gigs are famous for their sweaty, nonstop energy. Friday, March 30. 9:30 p.m., $13. (j. poet)


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