Heads Up: 8 must-see concerts this week

The Ettes stick together.

Total Trash's bodacious two-day barbecue bonanza in Oakland tops the list of must-see live shows this week, but there's plenty more to see, including synth heavy beach-pop created by an ex-choir boy, beat punk girl gangs, and some Adult Swim-approved indie rock.

Of course, Fiona Apple at the Fox Theater is long sold out, but if that wasn't the case, Miss-Long-Album-Title would be here too. Enjoy it, ticket-holders. Or, squire your spots now for her Sept. 11 show at the Warfield.

But in the meantime, here are your must-see Bay Area concerts this week/end:

Crystal Stilts
Someone commented on the video below, “The Doors mixed with The Velvet Underground calling from the grave!” And yeah, that's pretty much it for the Brooklyn-based jangle-pop five-piece.
Wed/25, 8pm, $15
Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell, SF
(415) 885-0750

St. Lucia
Synthy beach-pop? Holidays on molly-days? Futuristic yacht rock? Sun-baked dream-pop? Yes, St. Lucia is all that, and then a little sprinkle of white sand more. There are sax solos over synth and pinging calypso beats here, people. Sip a fruity cocktail at the show at the show, and soak in the warmth of shiny former choir-boy Jean-Philip Grobler.
Thu/26, 9:30pm, $14-$15
Rickshaw Stop
155 Fell, SF
(415) 861-2011

The Ettes
The Ettes are like a black-leather clad girl (and token dude) gang. And bone-rattling garage revival is the name of the game for the Nashville-via-LA crew. Or wait, they call it “beat punk.” Whatever. The perpetual openers – for stadium rock bands like the Black Keys, Dead Weather, and Kings of Leon – get some deserved spotlight/headline time at Thee Parkside. Here's a weird video they made with Patton Oswalt.
Thu/26, 9pm, $10
Thee Parkside
1600 17th St., SF
(415) 252-1330

King Tuff
A few years back, before he made the move from Vermont to LA's Laurel Canyon, sleazy garage guitar wonder King Tuff recorded 30 demos in the middle of the night. It just pours out of him. The result was a self-titled Sub Pop album that stood out as something only Tuff could create. He later told me, “If I’m into something, it’ll bleed into my music...so sometimes, I don't listen to anything.”
Thu/26, 9pm, $12
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF
(415) 621-4455

Wye Oak
“Baltimore rockers Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner make up indie rock duo Wye Oak, a band with a folk foundation but contrasting distortion and dream pop leanings. Recently commissioned to write and record a song for the Adult Swim Singles Program — a series of summertime freebie downloads — Wye Oak came up with "Spiral," a swirling, poppy and decidedly darker track than previous tunes.” – Julia B. Chan
With Dirty Projectors
Fri/27, 8pm, $25
Fox Theater
1807 Telegraph, Oakl.
(510) 302-2250

Total Trash BBQ Weekend
Paint your face with tangy barbecue sauce – it's Total Trash BBQ Weekend! What better way to celebrate summer – and all things sticky and American – than with your friends from Total Trash? Night one, do the Watusi on the swanky Continental Club dancefloor with garage doo-woppers Shannon & the Clams, surf-punks Guantanamo Baywatch, and more. And on day two (Total Trash Barbecue Bonanza), invade Eli's Mile High Club with Oakland priestess Mom, fuzzy punks Pangea, colorful art-rockers Sam Flax, and so-many-more. Plus, there'll be a corn-eating contest and grills for cooking. As always, bring a napkin.
Sat/28, 7pm, $8-$10
Continental Club
1658 12th St., Oakl.
Brown Paper Tickets: Night One

Sun/29, 5pm, $8-$10
Eli's Mile High Club
3629 MLK Jr. Way, Oakl.
Brown Paper Tickets: Night Two

The Psychic Paramount
“Spiritualized minus the spacecraft? Tortoise as a bar band? Post-rock without all the drama? The Psychic Paramount is a record collector geek's dream band, reflecting countless sub-genres as it hammers away at a relentlessly Krautrockian insistence on mechanical groove.” -- Taylor Kaplan
With Phil Manley Life Coach, Barn Owl
Sun/29, 8pm, $12
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
1710 Mission, SF
(415) 800-8782


The concert to catch this week (one of them anyway) is Stu Allen & Mars Hotel at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley.

The Ashkenaz is extremely easy to get to from Highway 80. Take the Gilman exit, go 6 blocks to San Pablo and you're there (it's on San Pablo - just west of Gilman, can't miss it, big place). There's a huge parking lot across the street on SP that's always empty at night that anyone can park there after 9 pm (and plenty of parking on San Pablo in front of it). The time it takes from when one takes the Gilman exit off Hwy 80 to when one has parked the car and is inside the Ashkenaz is probably less than 5 minutes (no shit).

If you haven't seen Stu Allen and you like the music of the Grateful Dead, you're gonna kick yourself bigtime when you finally see him. You're gonna go, "I've been missin' this???!!! Why didn't anyone tell me???!!!" Well I'm now telling you. (see the vids below to know what I mean).

There' no opening band - just two heavenly, incredible sets of Stu Allen & Mars Hotel starting at about 9:20 pm Thursday for just $12 (no service charge or any other charge).

And the Ashkenaz is a killer place to see a show with tons of room to dance. And I guarantee you, you won't see a band with a better sound crew - these guys are the best. If they don't have the sond perfect from the start - they got three ppl working to get it perfect so that soon enough, it is perfect (like no other band gets).

No I don't work for Stu or anyone else in or related to the band in any possible way, nor am I friends with any of them (not one iota of financial interest by me or anyone I know). I am one thing only and that is a huge fan of this amazing musician (Stu) and the shows his bands put on. I first saw him in 2008 at the annual Jerry Day show at Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre at McLaren Park (more on that in a sec).

The guys got Jerry's vocals all the way and, believe it or not, he's got Jerry beat on guitar for post '84 Jerry (no shit). Just listen to the two youtube vids below to see what I mean.

Here's his Jerry connection. When Garcia died, not only did the Grateful Dead die but so did the Jerry Garcia Band as well. However, the Jerry Garcia Band got a second life as the "JGB" when Jerry's longtime keyboardist in his band, Melvin Seals, kept the band going (and it's still going) but it's called now "Melvin Seals and JGB". Stu took over the Jerry role and was in the JGB from at least 2006 until 2011 when he left JGB to start his own band.

(Stu's band will be playing right before JGB - both for free - on Sunday, August 5th (two weeks from last Sunday) at the annual Jerry Day (first Sunday of every August) at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in McLaren Park - the two youtube vids below are from last years's Jerry Day show in McLaren Park).

About Mars Hotel: Stu's band until a few months ago was called "Front Street" but now it's Stu Allen & Mars Hotel where not all the same ppl play every time (he's been playing about once a week, typically Wednesdays at the Ashkenaz for awhile now - but no guarantee this will continue so take the chance to catch him when you can).

Don't know who's playing with him this Thursday but I'm hoping it's most, if not all the ppl who were in Front Street. In the two vids below from Jerry Day 2011, the band is called Front Street (extremely killer band btw - great chemistry and great sound crew producing top notch sound with the amazing musicianship of Stu Allen).

If you can't make this Thursday's Stu Allen gig at the Ashkenaz, be sure not to miss the free Jerry Day show on Aug 5th when both Stu's band and Melvin Seals band (JGB) will be playing back to back for FREE (huge huge huge FUN!). It's a great amphitheatre too if you've never seen it.

Here's the website for it (just saw there that Peter Rowan is playing before Stu's band):

Here's the line up that day:
Peter Rowan: noon
Stu Allen & Mars Hotel (will be the same band in the vids below): 1 pm
Melvin Seals & JGB: 3:30 pm

The first vid below is Samson & Delilah, the opening song of Front Street's set last year at Jerry Day (check out that colorful stage backing - gotta love that!!!). It's ironic because this is the first time I've seen that Samson because I arrived last year right after the next song, Scarlet Begonia. I definitely missed a scorcher version.


The second vid is the last song of Front Street's set last year. It's them doing the Beatles' Let it Be with guest vocalist, Nicki Bluhm. Mayor Ed Lee came to the stage five seconds after that song ended (looking for votes for the Nov election) and made a really lame joke, "I thought that song said, Let Ed Be!" then laughs at his own joke.


Do not miss Stu Allen when you get a chance. Rarely do musicians with such amazing talent come along very often.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 23, 2012 @ 9:38 pm
Posted by Guest on Jul. 24, 2012 @ 9:33 am

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