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Hooligans in Wonderland: Bruno Mars and Janelle Monae 

When: Wed., June 8, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $37.50

Bruno Mars, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, launched his singing career as an Elvis Presley impersonator, and he retained the haircut - if not the baritone (he sings in a swoony falsetto register). In many ways, he's a perfect foil for futuristic pop singer Janelle Monae, whose perfectly coiffed hair - like that of Mars - adds several inches to her silhouette. That said,Monae easily one-ups Mars in terms of musicianship. Her concept-driven Metropolis EP was a huge critical success, even if it foundered commercially. Equally mesmerizing are her interpretations of old standards like the Charlie Chaplin ballad "Smile," which she renders with elegance and grace. The Mars-Monae combination makes for an enticing double bill, and that's not to mention the supporting act, Stonesthrow crooner Mayer Hawthorne. At the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (99 Grove St., San Francisco) on Wednesday, June 8. 7:30 p.m., $37.50. APEConcerts.com

— Rachel Swan

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