Why?, The Donkeys, Josiah Wolf @ The New Parish
Yoni Wolf's living situation is a lot like his music, which can be all over the map but is never directionless. Wolf -- who, when not on tour, spent the past year crashing in Oakland, Miami Beach, and various parts of Ohio (including his birthplace of Cincinnati) -- has been seen as a hip-hop guy ever since breaking out with Doseone and Odd Nosdam as cLOUDDEAD. But over the years, his Why? project -- which began as a solo thing but has evolved into a band that includes, among others, his brother, Josiah, and Fog's Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson -- has remained loose enough to include folk and indie rock alongside electronics and rap. That said, Why?'s most recent album, last year's Eskimo Snow, is about as hip-hop as a Devendra Banhart record.
"I believe the next Why? album will be a lot more rap-oriented," Wolf says. "Each album does -- and will always, hopefully -- sound different. I think if you are making honest music, this will always be true, as humans are in constant flux."
Tonight's show at the New Parish in Oakland is the band's first Bay Area show since October, and Wolf isn't shy about admitting that he can't wait to get here. "Oakland is probably my favorite place in America," he explains, adding that he plans to stick around in the East Bay for a while after this short West Coast tour ends. "Even though I don't exactly live there right now full-time, it is the closest place to feeling like home that I have. We chose a room that we thought would feel pretty intimate and have a really good homey vibe." ($8 p.m., $16)