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Thursday 15
From Ameritown (somewhere between Philly and L.A.), indie power-pop trio Eastern Conference Champions defends its title at Bar Pink. ECC’s best known for its takes on the blockbuster Twilight series soundtracks, but the collections I’ve checked (Ameritown and the Santa Fe EP) suggest punk’d-up radioheads with more’n a bit of piano rage. Dig up “Yuppie Hipster” at dailymotion.com. Roxy Jones and Bangladesh kick this one off.... Soda Bar stages live Teengirl Fantasy oh my with Total Freedom and the Illuminauts. The Teengirls are a dub/house duo with a penchant for droning 4/4 beats, redefining electronica with tried-and-true rock-steady grooves.... San Diego’s dialed-in dame Rosie sets up a garage-pop threeway at Casbah with Eveready, the Bertos, and the Regressions.... And Belly Up books Aussie MC Pogo and SanFran one-man band That 1 Guy, whose stage show rocks the “Funky Bean, Buttmachine, mustaches, and laser beams.” Positively Seussian.

Friday 16
Does anyone look at Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and think of that dude Andy from Parks & Rec, the shoe-shine guy who fronts acoustipunks Mouse Rat? Me too! I’m thinking separated at birth.

Bon Iver (feat. the guy on the left) brings their new thing to Spreckels Friday night.

Anyway, the Bon Iver one plays Spreckels Friday night behind this year’s smash s/t sophomore set, which is one sweet suite, if you haven’t heard. It’s subtle, like debut For Emma, but jarring at turns in texture, tone, and voice, like a world- and word-wise folkie ghost. I can’t wait to see how it plays out on our finest stage.... Best of the rest has Strat slinger Sonny Landreth sliding into Anthology...UK shoegazers the Horrors spook Casbah with this year’s Skying, their third on the notable XL Recordings label...and Tower Bar fills a satisfying sound-art bill with Upsilon Acrux, 2Up, Innerds, and Randy Chiurazzi.

Saturday 17
This Saturday sees another one of them Bike the Boulevard events, starting at Til-Two at 12 and ending at the Lafayette pool and Live Wire later in the day. The whole enchilada’s layed out at theboulevard.org, where they encourage you to “drink moderately, pedal responsibly”.... “Greetings from Texas” and psychobilly badass Jimmy Heath, aka Reverend Horton Heat. Heat’s “country-fed punkabilly” trio will follow Atlanta G-A’s Southern-metal perennials Nashville Pussy into 4th&B for one greazy feast Saturday night. Slick it back, drop on a button beanie, and get ready to rock your holy socks off.... From NY, NY, deep-space rockers White Hills land at Soda Bar with Plant Tribe and Joy. Dave Good mapped the Hills for you in one of this week’s “Of Note”s, so check in with him for more on their “paranoia on a platter” patois.... Eleven will host a Bloody Mary BBQ with the Schizophonics for some supper-time fun, and then it’s Bullet and Barbara’s birthday bash with hard-rockers the Long and Short of It, Archons, In the Red, and Mirrors. Make a wish.... Old-school punk club Shakedown stages L.A. rockabilly rowdies the Grims with San Joe’s Ghost Town Hangmen.

Sunday 18
Eighties anarcho punk Jack Grisham and his True Sounds of Liberty (T.S.O.L.) hit Brick by Brick behind Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads, the hardcore vets’ self-described “30th anniversary album.” Junk and Unit F open the show....

Hardcore vets T.S.O.L. play Brick by Brick on Sunday night.

Shakedown cooks up Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti, who’s out to tout this year’s classic rock-and-country fusion Sundowner. This solo effort continues Mr. Spaghetti’s run of “impeccable song choices and uncanny ability to sing the drinking songs for drinkers who like to drink the drinks.” Behind the Wagon rolls in first.... South Park bar Whistle Stop throws a Slumberland Records party, featuring London-based goth-pop quartet Veronica Falls and DJ Mario Orduno spinning ’round sets.

Monday 19
Soda Bar pops the top on Country Bucks, “a straight-up rock band with dashes of Texas psychedelia and Mississippi swamp action.” The Bucks’re guitarist Mark Deutrom (Melvins), Corey Cottrell (Megazilla) on bass, and Russel McAllister (also in Woodgrain, which opens the show) on drums. They are based in Austin, Texas. Hometowners Heavy Glow are also on the bill.... Tin Can Ale House puts on Fuzzy Cloaks, featuring Seattle act Pharmacy’s Scott Yoder and Stefan Rubicz. I haven’t heard the Cloaks, but I really dig Pharmacy’s lo-fi pop-rock jams on their Park the Van debut Weekend (myspace.com/pharmacy). Northern Tigers and Shiva Trash blow in first... And Southern rock ’n’ rap act Rehab rolls into Bay Park bar Brick by Brick behind their latest Welcome Home.

Tuesday 20
Sketchy Black Dog is a piano trio plus string quartet that plays unique spins on Bowie, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and more.

Sketchy Black Dog will jazz up your classic-rock faves at Dizzy's downtown on Tuesday night.

They’ll be jazzing up rock standards at Dizzy’s downtown. Click on this for sights and sounds of this unusual group: sketchyblackdog.com.... From the multitalented Neville family of New Orleans, Ivan Neville and his “mo’ funk than junk” Dumpstaphunk’ll be at Belly Up.... Else: New York new-waver Twin Shadow follows Diamond Rings into Casbah. Flip or click to Will Crain’s “Of Note” for the down-low on this show...Seattle punk and ex-Briefs Steve E. Nix’s Cute Lepers infect Shakedown with Jungle Fever...and from Brooklyn-via-Long Beach, indie blues-rock trio We Barbarians attack Soda Bar with ANR.

Wednesday 21
Seems it’s been a while since a Soma show caught my eye, but this one (on paper, anyway) is one of the more interesting double bills we’ll see this year:

Bright Eyes brings The People's Key to Soma Wednesday.

Bright Eyes with Kurt Vile and the Violators. Like ’em both, but for different reasons — Oberst for his earnest, folksy voice and sonsgsmithing, Vile for his organic psychedelia and throwback radio-rock tendencies. Thing is, Oberst’s tapping into trad-rock territory on this year’s People’s Key, and Vile’s tempered his freak on his latest Smoke Ring for My Halo. Two artists passing each other on pendulums? Let’s go see.... Udderwise, country punk Hank 3’s at HOB with A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Domination)...Zach Smith (Three Mile Pilot/Pinback) will be at Casbah with his solo show, Systems Officer (“pretty with an edge,” says he)...and northward, folk-rocking Loverboy Brett Dennen swims with the fishes at Birch Aquarium’s outdoor Tide Pool Plaza...and Belly Up brings us Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy, who at 75 years young just won a Grammy for best contempo blues record Living Proof — his highest-charting album ever.
Barnaby Monk

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