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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Top Six Concerts To See in San Francisco This Week

Posted By on Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 3:09 PM

click to enlarge First Aid Kit plays the Fillmore tonight.
  • First Aid Kit plays the Fillmore tonight.

First Aid Kit @ The Fillmore, Wednesday, Oct. 17

If First Aid Kit's music is proof, Stockholm must be much closer to the American South than any maps have had us believe. In "Emmylou," off January's The Lion's Roar, Swedish sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg pay perfect homage to a bevy of Americana legends. The song croons, "I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June/ If you'll be my Gram and my Johnny, too/ No, I'm not asking much of you/ Just sing, little darling, sing with me." The aesthetics of "Emmylou" are basically classic country, pulling off the lackadaisical pace, beautifully harmonized vocals, and twangy, sunset-lit acoustic guitar with proper doses of panache and sweetness. There's a slender line between derivatively mining nostalgia and making a genuine spiritual throwback, and First Aid Kit is careful enough to accomplish the latter. -- Reyan Ali

Stars, Diamond Rings, and California Wives @ The Fillmore, Saturday, Oct. 20

Chicago's California Wives -- spoiler alert: evidently not from California and ineligible for wifehood -- released their full-length debut, Art History, in September. Like Affair, the even better EP that preceded it, it's a mannered slab of gleaming indie-pop grounded in mid-'80s post-punk precision, all wistful mantras soaring over jangling hooks, the sort of thing that sounds instantly familiar. Even the available points of comparison (Interpol? Wild Nothing? Like, Echo & the Bunnymen?) are rough approximations at best. Get there early, but stay for the favorite-sweater ministrations of Toronto's Stars, who have a strong contender for best pop lyrics of the year in "The Theory of Relativity." -- Daniel Levin Becker

Dan Deacon @ Great American Music Hall, Tuesday, Oct. 23

It doesn't matter whether you've heard Dan Deacon's excellent new album, America, or not: The live show of this Baltimore electronic mischief-maker is sure to be a looney, dance-crazy good time. The ever-affable Deacon sets up his noisemaking toys on the floor, not onstage, and proceeds to elicit absurd antics from his eager crowd: dance-offs, shuffling in circles, imitating each others' weirdest body motions, etc. So prepare for an evening of physical activity set to goofy -- but often sublime -- electronic pop. Kindergarten was never this fun. -- Ian S. Port

Calexico @ the Fillmore, Tuesday, Oct. 23

In the tradition of Asia, Beirut, Of Montreal, and A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Calexico is one of those bands not actually from the place it's named after. The group is rooted in Tuscon, Ariz. -- not the California border city 120 miles east of San Diego -- but no matter, really, as the six-piece's desert-hued aesthetic comfortably syncs with either landscape. Calexico's alt-country is a wistful and romantic thing -- always praying for goodness but destined to suffer. Trekking to New Orleans to record its seventh album, the band emerged with Algiers, which contains songs fit for moody summer dusks ("Epic"), after-supper ballroom dances ("Algiers"), and brisk horseback rides toward clear horizons ("Puerto"). -- Reyan Ali

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