San Francisco has been a big town for Britpop since before they called it Britpop. I don't know why; my guess is that it has something to do with the fog. Ordinarily, this simply means a lot of play in dance clubs (the semi-regular Britpop dance party Popscene has been running for more than a decade) and large audiences whenever British acts come to the Bay Area. Occasionally, however, a band tries to sound like their idols from across the pond. More rarely, a local act manages to rise above mere imitation and create something of its own. More rarely still, one of these bands is good enough to attract attention across the States and in Europe.
Scissors for Lefty is just such a band. In fact, I lump the five-piece in with Britpop more out of convenience than anything else. Singer Bryan Garza sometimes does a bedroom-
voice murmur that reminds me of Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, but what I'm getting at mostly is that Scissors for Lefty's ease with a well-constructed pop song and their sense of humor fit in better with British bands than with the self-serious artistes of American indie. (Hmm...wasn't that stereotype supposed to work the other way around?)
The infamously snarky website Pitchfork was vicious in its review of Scissors for Lefty's album Underhanded Romance from earlier this year, comparing them to "the Killers, OK Go, the Bravery, and boring, latter-day Hot Hot Heat," but it's an unhappy person who can't find something to like in all those bands. Frankly, if Scissors for Lefty's "Ghetto Ways" doesn't make you smile, you might want to change the dosage on your meds.
Juliette & The Licks also perform.
SCISSORS FOR LEFTY, The Casbah, Thursday, December 6, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $17.