Local Licks


This week we review American Nomad, Beats Antique, Jim Greer, and Charles Thomas.

American Nomad, Temple Sunrise EP.

The salty love song that kicks off American Nomad's EP seems to encapsulate the group's sensibility. Singer Hassan El-Tayyab describes himself as a committed bachelor who suddenly has a change of heart. Mary Redente provides lean background harmonies, while Ben Andrews tears away at his fiddle. But for the occasional electric guitar lick from Justin Purtill, Nomad is an old-timey jug band. (self-released)

At El Rio (3158 Mission St., San Francisco) on Apr. 27. 9 p.m., $5.

Beats Antique, Blind Threshold.

With a vast arsenal of glitchy, electronic sounds at their fingertips, the members of Beats Antique manage to create a wide-ranging sonic palette. They'll happily insert a long, trancey ommm right in the middle of a dance track. Intricate, baroque orchestration gives the illusion of a larger band, though in reality, it's a mix of live and sampled instruments, stitched together by three producers. (Antique Records)

At The Fillmore (1805 Geary Blvd., San Francisco) on Mar. 25. 9 p.m., $20.

Jim Greer, Ginger Vision.

After making his name as part of The Rondo Brothers, a successful Oakland production team with a lofty CV, Jim Greer has redefined himself as a solo act. His new disc combines nostalgic garage rock with a few slick torch songs, all sung in emo-boy alto. Apparently, Greer no longer favors the nickname "Diamond Jim." His persona on this album is much more sedate. (War Chant Records)

Charles Thomas, The Colors of a Dream.

Bassist Charles Thomas is remarkably versatile. His album touches just about every part of the jazz ecosystem, beginning with an up-tempo Latin burner and proceeding with swing tunes, a bossa nova, and an old-school torch song. He's chosen an equally nimble cast of backup musicians, including pianist Matt Clark, drummer Sly Randolph, trombonist Danny Armstrong, and brazen trumpeter Mike Olmos. (Sea Tea Music) 


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