Local Licks 

This week, we review Tartufi, Steve Taylor, the New Up, and pc muñoz.

Tartufi, Nests of Waves and Wire. The name of this San Francisco duo's third full-length couldn't be more apropos; its layered and looped guitar and vocal lines weave their way in and out of one another in short segments. The math-rock-inspired approach is certainly experimental, but it works — there's enough space between the instruments to maintain intrigue and enough power to carry real weight. (Southern Records)

At the Rock Make Street Festival (Treat Ave. between 17th and 18th sts.) on August 23. Noon, free

Steve Taylor, Has the Size of the Road Got the Better of You? What could've been just another singer-songwriter vanity project gradually reveals a more nebulous context. Newly minted Rogue Wave keyboardist Taylor opens his debut full-length with the fairly standard 1960s pop number "Reality," then proceeds to survey soul, psychedelic folk, gospel, and easy listening. This record about the road of life offers a journey of its own. (self-released)

The New Up, Better Off EP. With this third release and second EP, this female-fronted San Francisco quintet has grown into one of the Bay Area's most interesting rock groups. What began as anonymous alt-rock on an uncertain foundation has matured into a Radiohead-inspired hard-rock hybrid delivering as many familiar references as trademark touches. The songs aren't all winners, but the potential is palpable. (self-released)

At Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on August 21. 9:30 p.m., $12

pc muñoz, What Happened?! Some moments find this San Francisco musician and producer channeling Prince. Others, like leadoff track "Happy Hour," could be outtakes from Beck's Odelay. Spoken-word saga "The Master Thief" was co-written by avant-garde legend Joan Jeanrenaud, and three tracks later it gets the remix treatment. What happened? Only muñoz knows, but that's why we like it. (Talking House Records)


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