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Wednesday, Jan 31 2007
Remember the dance-punk explosion of this new millennium's early days? Punk rock riffs mixed nonchalantly with disco beats at sweaty shows nationwide where the kids actually danced? That trend's bubble may have burst, but bands like Moving Units certainly put a lot of thought into their roughshod, Gang of Four-emulating, four-on-the-floor anthems. After the success of their lively 2004 debut, Dangerous Dreams, the Units pretty much disappeared from the map. But according to their hot-pink MySpace page (OMG WTF LOL!!!), they've been hard at work on a new album, due out sometime this year. Will the Los Angeles trio shift its sound to match the fickle tastes of the populace? Hopefully, the group's frantic, irresistibly catchy pop-dance-punk remains intact. Decide for yourself on Thursday, Feb. 1, at Café du Nord at 9 p.m. Admission is $12; call 861-5016 or visit for more info. — Jonah Flicker

Fuelled by Texas and SoCal punk as much as by Thelonious Monk, drummer Mike Dillon played in Lone Star combos Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, later touring with Ani DiFranco and Les Claypool's Frog Brigade. Now he has his own crew — Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle — whose debut, Battery Milk, is both rough-hewn and debonair. The disc is a groove-y Twilight Zone where hearty jazz improvisations twist with dabs of metallic Sabbath-slabs over vigorous fatback-funk grooves. Here, Dillon concentrates on the vibraphone, drawing forth genteel chimes and wrenching distortion. Don't miss this gig on Friday, Feb. 2, at 12 Galaxies at 9 p.m. Admission is $10, call 970-9777 or visit for more info. — Mark Keresman

With so much noise filtering in from so many different outlets, it was easy to overlook M. Ward in '06. But everyone paying attention — including NPR, Pitchfork, and Entertainment Weekly — agreed that the understated singer-songwriter's Post-War was one of the most memorable albums of the year. Its highlight? The beautiful timeless single "Chinese Translation." Strummed with a shuffling hand, delivered with Ward's signature Cali-country drawl, it's a fairy-tale tune simple and universal enough to be passed down for years of summertime campfire singalongs and lonely lovesick reveries. Most of Ward's music possesses a similarly haunting quality — distant but confiding, stark and eerie, yet warm and comfortable. The former Portland resident is now making his home in New Hampshire, so his shows in San Francisco will be less frequent and far more special. This one's a solo show, too: Cue the goose bumps when M. Ward and Victoria Williams play on Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4, at Bimbo's. Admission is $20; call 474-0365 or visit for more info. — Jonathan Zwickel


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