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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The 5 Best Concerts in San Francisco This Week

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Dum Dum Girls
  • Dum Dum Girls

Dum Dum Girls @ Fox Theater, Thursday, Dec, 6

Kristin "Dee Dee" Gundred's yelping on Grand Ole Party's stomping blues-punk already cemented her as an indie rock lifer (and worthy Beth Ditto successor). But with Dum Dum Girls, Gundred ushered back into the fold girl-group pop that would pave the way for Vivian Girls and Best Coast, plus droning retro-fuzz that resuscitated the Raveonettes and Pretenders alike. Itching to stay on top, Dee Dee's shucked a new husk with every release. This year's End of Daze peels off the distortion for a back-to-basics move concerning basics before her own time. Listen for "Lord Knows," which evokes no certain decade, just ageless beauty. -- Dan Weiss

David Bazan at the Independent, Monday, Dec. 10

For the most part, Pedro the Lion's discography glosses as a litany of soft-spoken parables about the ties that bind everyday people to the decidedly sub-divine realm of modern life. But Control, which came out in 2002, and which Wikipedia helpfully describes as "a concept album about a businessman who is having an affair on his wife, who kills him," will knock you on your ass if you're not prepared: this is austere, lumbering toolshed rock, seething and sneering its way to Pyrrhic victory. You may find that the album's bumper-sticker-ready lyrics are showing their age, but its alternately gorgeous and punishing songcraft remains as vital as it ever was. Lucky for you, David Bazan Band (Pedro's post-Lion guise since 2006) takes you through the soaring highs and terrifying lows in person this week. -- Daniel Levin Becker

John Cale at the Regency Ballroom, Sunday, Dec. 9

You don't really think of John Cale as just one of the other guys in the Velvet Underground, do you? Because it turns out that while, yes, Cale did co-found the Velvets with Lou Reed, he's also made some incredible music outside of that partnership, from his avant-garde experiments with legends like La Monte Young and John Cage to a body of solo work that's sometimes elegiac and sometimes brutal. Cale's latest album, Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood, finds him roaming through some rather diverse territory: He collaborated with Danger Mouse for beat-heavy opener "I Wanna Talk 2 U," but makes "Living with You" into the kind of swirling, psychedelic ballad for which Cale should be way more famous. -- Ian S. Port

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