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The Teenagers: Scarlett Johansson songs make baby bands famous 

Wednesday, Jan 23 2008
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If your idea of bliss is two hours of vintage German prog and psych — often referred to as Krautrock — head to the Knockout this week. Local video collective Projektor will be presenting live concert footage and conceptual music videos from such Teutonic titans as Amon Duul II, Kraftwerk, Guru Guru, and Tangerine Dream, as well as more obscure artists such as Frumpy and Birth Control. Expect to see liquid-light backgrounds, insane bellbottom fashions, and long-haired freaks galore. DJs Black Fjord, AC, and Allan from Aquarius Records will round out the evening with a smorgasbord of tripped-out rock. The Krautrock Night cavalcade kicks off on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Knockout at 10 p.m. Admission (and vegan popcorn!) is free; call 550-6994 or visit www.theknockoutsf.com for more info. — Mike Rowell

Surfing a huge wave of hype generated by their homeland media, Britain's Gallows recently crashed onto the UK music charts — quite a feat for a band so far removed from typical Britpop fops. This aggressive Hertfordshire quintet blends '80s punk and metal in the vein of Black Flag or Void with modern mathcore reminiscent of Botch and Hot Cross. In short, not your usual Top of the Pops fodder. So how'd Gallows get here? Through word-of-drooling-mouth reviews of the band's raucous and chaotic live shows. To see if Gallows' wild onstage flailings — led by scrawny, screamy, heavily tatted singer Frank Carter — will translate beyond Britain, catch the band headlining at Slim's on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $13-$15; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info. — John Graham

Three foul-mouthed Parisians a decade past prom night are taking their iPod-cum–drum machine on the road and slathering the beats with the poetry of onanism to make Americans relive the trials of puberty. The Teenagers' lyrics are entrenched in '80s camp and hinged upon hyperbolic sexual conquests. "Starlett Johansson" is one part homage, two parts stalker manual; "Tiger" is a ravaged reinvention of teen flick film scores; and "Streets of Paris" is a reminder of the joys of a parentless existence. The band's digital LP, Reality Check, is teeming with tales you could only dream up while wading through the miasma of reform school, but it's filthy fun nonetheless. See for yourself when the Teenagers perform on Thursday, Jan. 24, at Popscene at 10 p.m. Admission is $12-$13; visit www.popscene-sf.com for more info. — David MacFadden

When it comes to true rock renaissance men, forget the sophomoric scribing of Henry Rollins and his ilk. In addition to fronting the Mr. T Experience for more than 20 years, the band's singer, guitarist, and sole remaining member Frank Portman (aka Doctor Frank) published a young adult novel, King Dork, in 2006 that was universally heralded by critics. (The film rights were reportedly bought by Will Ferrell's production company.) When you think about it, the switch between songwriter and fiction author makes perfect sense: Despite the bubblegum coating of the band's music, its lyrics capture the pains of adolescence in a remarkably insightful manner that doesn't sound ridiculous at all. This is even more impressive when you consider Portman is over 40. Trust us, your dad was never this cool. The Mr. T Experience performs on Friday, Jan. 25, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. — Jonah Bayer

Cleveland's White Williams may be on the Tigerbeat6 roster, and he may have toured with Girl Talk and Dan Deacon, but he doesn't deal in glitchy electronica, mashups, or spastic electro-pop. As evidenced by the neon fog pouring from the hookah on the cover of last year's Smoke, Williams' pursuits are a bit more ... mellllloooow. Williams takes his cue from the glam-rock era, from the seductive swagger of T. Rex to the brainy incitement of Brian Eno and Roxy Music. But while Eno deconstructed pop in the studio, Williams finds his oblique strategies in the silicon guts of the laptop. Wait to exhale when he performs on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Café Du Nord at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $12; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com for more info. — J. Pace

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