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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Openers: Bands Worth Showing Up Early For This Week

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2010 at 10:31 AM

click to enlarge Blood and Sunshine
  • Blood and Sunshine

​This isn't the kind of week where you need to worry about smelling of sweat, booze, and reckless abandon in front of your boss every single morning. But some excellent acts will grace S.F. stages in the next few days, and with them a hearty selection of openers. So slide out of the office, shoot your Jimmy Beam, and do whatever else you gotta -- just get there early for:

Wednesday: Blood and Sunshine with Lime Colony and Passenger and Pilot at Bottom of the Hill. If you've ever thought electro-pop and shoegaze could use a boost of Memphis groove and soulful vocals, San Francisco duo Blood and Sunshine play for you. James Brennan and Joseph Macrino lay down taut R&B rhythms with modern tools, then layer thick gospel and soul melodies over their the beats for more in-your-face spirit than most electro-pop duos bother with. Intimate numbers like the Tom Waitsian ballad "Cigarettes and LSD" show these boys aren't all big-sound swagger, either.

Thursday: Fake Drugs with Tempo No Tempo at Milk, and Friday with Starfucker, The Butterfly Bones and Silver Swans at Rickshaw StopDrake Fugs, the latest full-legnth by Portland's Fake Drugs, is a hipster-disco treat: booming, distorted disco beats, buzzing synth melodies, reverb-y guitar cuts, and hazily seductive and self-obsessed vocals. No colors the Faint weren't already reviving with more flamboyance (albeit less edge) in, like, 1999. But if you're heading to either of these shows, you'd better not miss them.

Friday: Christopher Willits with Johann Johannsson at Great American Music Hall. San Francisco's Willits melds guitar with out-there laptop wizardry and live electronics, painting beautiful, billowing atmospheres out of bleeps, licks, and backing tracks. Mostly instrumental, his extended pieces wander from spacey post-rock to free jazz and back -- sometimes leaving a beautiful pop melody behind. Willits is playing Friday under his own name, but the ever-busy audiophile has a host of other collaborative projects also worth checking out.


Saturday: DJ Jeremiah with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars at the Independent. Most DJs simply play records, but DJ Jeremiah Kpoh, who came to this country as a refugee from brutal violence in his native Liberia, brings a percussionist or two and sometimes even a trumpet player to his Afropop spinning sessions. With a deep love for the music of his native land, and having shared stages with the likes of Femi Kuti, it's no wonder Kpoh is a fixture in the local African music scene. Regardless of whether you're a devotee to the motherland's mix of traditional rhythms and modern R&B, hearing Jeremiah's loose, tropical beats drop is an old-meets-new ecstasy all its own.


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Ian S. Port

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