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WARM FUZZIES: he Fruit Bats flit down to Big Sur on Saturday.

Music Calendar

July 28 - August 4, 2010

Wednesday | 7/28


The electro house genre, with its big beats, enormous bass and punk sensibilities, has pushed electronic music back into mainstream pop culture thanks to acts like Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT, Justice and deadmau5. Representing Sin City's contribution to the electro house movement, the Las Vegas duo Afghan Raiders have done nothing but get bigger since they first hit the scene in 2007. Using strong elements of hip-hop and rock, the two DJs employ a classic four-on-the-floor tempo to lure people out, only to blast them with subterranean bass lines and electronic power chords that test the structural integrity of any eardrums in the vicinity. Motiv; call for price; 9pm. (Curtis Cartier)

Thursday | 7/29


Indie rock bands don't break up, they go on hiatus. During Wolf Parade's break, frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner enjoyed just as much success with their vanity projects Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs as with their original collaboration. Fortunately they reunited—Krug and Boeckner's decadently disheveled work in Wolf Parade is always more than the sum of their parts—and the band's newest album, Expo 86, is the most focused and refined iteration of the band's shambling yet epic vision. It's a set of songs built for the stage, as evidenced by their triumphant set at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, which could barely contain the band's stadium-rock ambitions. The Catalyst; $20 adv/$22 door; 8pm. (Paul M. Davis)

Friday | 7/30


With atmospheric tracks that inch forward at a glacial pace, Ontario's Memoryhouse produces the kind of frigid, crystalline soundscapes one might expect to rumble naturally out of the Canadian tundra itself. Led by songwriter and neoclassical music aficionado Evan Abeele and augmented by videographer and cherubic vocalist Denise Nouvion, the group also incorporate a full psychedelic visual show with their multilayered lo-fi live performances. Also on the bill are local prog rock dream team Mountain Animal Hospital and Chatsworth glitch-hop experimenters Baths, making this far from your typical jazz night at the Kuumbwa. Kuumbwa; $13; 8pm. (CC)


In the nigh-quarter century since he told us he didn't want to let us go till we saw the light, Eddie Money has shaken up crowds in '80s nights across the country, and the results are in: we think we're in love. Some epic pop-rock has come out of the New York cop-turned-rocker: chorus-heavy peaks satisfied by intense musical buildups. It's felt in the hands and inspires air-punching. Legendary songs like "Take Me Home Tonight," "I Think I'm in Love" and "Two Tickets to Paradise" are catchy and simple, and a live show after years of radio listens isn't something to pass up. Beach Boardwalk; free; 6:30 and 8:30pm. (Kate Jacobson)


A rocker famous for his instrumentals, Montrose doesn't attempt to write songs for singers. Where he's going, he doesn't need words. His background is from the land of incendiary guitar riffs and experimental tones, making him a solo artist who gives his acoustic blues a blend of power lifted from years in front of an amp. Often stamped as a guitar virtuoso, Montrose has put out some pretty jazzy rock while remaining as technically impressive as during his heavier years. For a show as natural as tonight's acoustic concert, all he tones down is the headbanging. Don Quixote's; $16 adv/$18 door; 8pm. (KL)

Saturday | 7/31


For the past decade, the Fruit Bats have been building the rubric for mellow, bucolic indie-folk. Considering the band's influence on any number of threads of Aughts indie, it's shocking it doesn't receive more credit. Bandleader Eric Johnson served time in Fruit Bats–inspired outfits like the Shins and Vetiver to pay the bills, but it's high time he earned a bit more of the spotlight for continuing to turn out perfectly crafted bittersweet morsels of folk-pop, most recently on 2009's The Ruminant Band. Johnson hasn't changed the formula much over the years but has instead honed his signature sound into something stunningly pure and affecting. Henry Miller Library, Big Sur; $20; 7:30pm. (PMD)

Monday | 8/2


James Lewis Carter Ford, a.k.a. T-Model Ford, is the kind of blues musician other blues musicians write songs about. Unable, apparently, to remember his exact age or how many nights he's spent in jail, this leathery guitar strummer might be described as B.B. King meets Hank Williams Jr. His music combines the storytelling grit of Delta blues with the Chicagoan boot-scooting style of juke joint. And if his age suggests an in-bed-by-8 approach to touring, think again, because this nonagenarian can still toss back cold ones with the best and chase skirts with the worst. Crepe Place; $10; 9pm. (CC)

Tuesday | 8/3


In the decades following the '60s folk insurgence, folk musicians have resorted to any number of affectations to grasp at relevance. More often than not, this has resulted in dated gimmickry. Credit Dar Williams for following the first rule of quality writing: keep things stripped down and avoid trickery, and your distinct voice will emerge. Williams isn't doing anything radically different from many of her peers or forbears, but she commands the form so completely it's as if she invented it whole cloth. Williams' observational skills, wit and melodic gifts mark her as a songwriter of the first order, lending an ageless quality to her considerable body of work. Kuumbwa; $25 adv/$28 door; 7 and 9pm. (PMD)

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