Critic's Choice for the week of May 2-8, 2007 

Catholic combs, bright eyes, and the faces of indigenous North Africa.

Psychedelic Rockism

Modern psychedelic rock gets a bad rap; endless comparisons to the genre's pioneers and apathy among general audiences plague its artists, who must fend off irrelevance at every turn. Yet San Francisco's The Love X Nowhere, a quintet of experienced local musicians, keeps fighting the good fight while earning quiet credit from fans and critics. And yes, they sound like Pink Floyd. Friday, they play the Oakland Metro with support from the Catholic Comb, 2006 Express readers' pick for best band, and Walnut Creek alt-rockers Mister Loveless. 9 p.m., $10. (Nate Seltenrich)

Triple-Axe Jazz

Marking their fifteenth year as the nation's steadfast preachers of the Gospel of Django Reinhardt, the fleet-fingered string-slingers of the Hot Club of San Francisco celebrate the recent release of their ninth CD, Yerba Buena Bounce, at Yoshi's on Monday. With no fewer than three guitarists grooving front and center, plus a steady-thumping acoustic bassist and a deeply lyrical violinist, the quintet channels the high-times spirit of Gypsy swing and other string-rich jazz modes of the 1930s with an infectious exuberance that smokes much of what passes for upbeat jazz today. 8 and 10 p.m., $10. (Sam Prestianni)

Greasy Riffs

After a brief misstep into white-boy blues, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club returns to gassed and greased rock 'n' roll form with Baby 81, the Los Angeles trio's fourth album. Though not quite as dirty as the band's much-heralded debut, Baby 81 nevertheless sees the leather-clad boys employing the trademarks that put them on the map: distortion-soaked reverb, foot-stomping acoustic intros giving way to torching guitar riffs, and choruses with clenching hooks. Expect plenty of drunken fist pumping when the band returns to its birthplace, playing with the Fratellis at the Fillmore on Wednesday, May 9. 8 p.m., $28.50. (Kathleen Richards)

British Folk

Fairport Convention didn't start the British folk revival, but its 1969 album Liege and Lief made folk music popular with wide audiences. Since the group's inception, 25 members have cycled through its ranks, a veritable who's who of the folk world. As they celebrate their fortieth year as a touring band, they're as vital as ever. The stripped-down Convention that plays the Freight this Friday includes founder member and singer-guitarist Simon Nicol, fiddle and mandolin player Chris Leslie, and fiddler Ric Sanders. 8 p.m., $25.50/$24.50. (j. poet)

Golden Conor

Critics of modern art (and modern music for that matter) often lament the absence of a classical aesthetic. But perhaps more lacking is the patience needed to construct those masterpieces — no doubt due in part to the lack of time to appreciate them. On Bright Eyes' latest effort, Cassadaga, songwriter Conor Oberst and his band seem to take all the time in the world to build their forlorn, country-tinged folk rock. But it's the subtleties — echoes of distant trains, whistling, lonesome pedal steel — and Oberst's lyrical craftiness that embellish the straightforward simplicity of the tunes. Bright Eyes play with Gillian Welch and My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James at the Greek Theatre on Friday, May 4. 7 p.m., $35. (K.R.)

North African Celebration

Although North Africa was their homeland for thousands of years before Muslim and European conquest, the Amazigh (Berber) people continue to struggle for rights and justice, expressed in their music. Two Bay Area-based Berber bands fill Berkeley's all-ages Ashkenaz this Friday with their music: Algeria's Moh Alileche and his international octet, along with AZA, led by Moroccan natives Fattah Abbou and Mohamed Aoualou. Alileche's recent short film celebrating his people's culture, From Kabylia to California, screens before and after the music. 8:30 p.m., $15/$10. (Larry Kelp)

Horny Black Metal

"Success" means something entirely different to bands that play obscure, specialized, ultragenrefied music like black metal. To that end, San Francisco's Horn of Dogoth has made quite a name for itself. After releasing a six-song CD-R a couple years ago, the band (featuring members of Subarachnoid Space, Takaru, Mastery, and Crebain) takes a big leap with a 7" EP on Burlingame's Unholy Horde label. Treading the "melodic" death-metal path, Horn of Dogoth churns out broken-record, strobe-light speed riffs, and howling, ghostly vocals that sound as if they were borne from a cavernous warehouse. The band opens for Oakland's Elk with Sands and Rutah on Sunday, May 6 at the Oakland Metro. $10. (K.R.)

And Don't Forget>

Oakland-based, New Orleans-style jazz and parade brass band Blue Bone Express and SF dance troupe Hot Pink Feathers will somehow cram themselves into Oakland's Cafe Van Kleef Saturday, May 5. $8.


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