Local Licks 

This week, we review the Corner Laughers, Rupa and the April Fishes, the Chills, and the Hi-Nobles.

The Corner Laughers, Ultraviolet Garden. Lead singer Karla Kane is incapable of sounding anything but cute, even when she sings about things like space or the end of the world and the music gets a bit adventurous. But mostly she sings about the joys and frustrations of new relationships in simply romantic pop songs underpinned by the folksy flavors of her ukulele and balanced by male vocal harmonies. (Popover Corps Records)

At the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd St., San Francisco) on October 31. 7:30 p.m., $7

Rupa and the April Fishes, Este Mundo. The title Este Mundo (This World) is apropos; Rupa and the April Fishes dipped their brushes in a global palette to color this collection of upbeat pop tunes. Fans of Manu Chao will appreciate the cumbia-meets-reggae undertones, yet this San Francisco act pays equally heartfelt homage to the music of France, India, the Balkans. (Cumbancha Records)

At Mezzanine (444 Jessie St., San Francisco) on October 29. 8 p.m., $10

The Chills, Creepy Songs for Courageous Kids. Singer-songwriter Ira Marlowe shifted his attention to children's music three records ago but only recently discovered the power spooky songs yield over young imaginations. Thus was born this collection of twelve lighthearted numbers about the dark, ghosts, scary little men — even the Boogerman. Consider "Monster Mash" outdated. (Brainy Tunes Records)

At SadieDey's Cafe (4210 Telegraph Ave., Oakland) on October 30. 5 p.m., $7.50

The Hi-Nobles, Shake. It comes as no big surprise that the Hi-Nobles are new at this. Their take on Dirtbombs-esque Sixties garage soul is genuine but not always convincing — the five musicians, who have backgrounds in metal, thrash, and punk through bands like Mordred and the Avengers, try out their new sound with mixed but generally enjoyable results. (Zaentz Records)

At Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th St., San Francisco) on October 30. 9 p.m., $8

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