Foxing_the_bay_abridged

In this recurring feature known as The Bay Abridged, our staff writers will provide short, witty recaps on shows they attended around the Bay Area. A scene check, a heat check, and sometimes more — stop by every Wednesday for the most comprehensive and concise recap of last week's Bay Area concert scene.

The World, Gun Outfit and Flesh World at El Rio (SF) Nov. 11
What a great fucking Wednesday at El Rio. Enticed off the couch by LA's Gun Outfit the evening delivered a rare trifecta. The World are a very new supergroup including reincarnations from the dearly departed PANG! and Uffizi, plus guitar genius from none other than Andy Human. They exist somewhere between Talking Heads & Joy Division, which transitioned beautifully to Gun Outfit's cross pollination of The Feelies & Silver Jews. Flesh World closed the night with polished post punk. Don't be a fool, get ye' to The White Horse Inn tomorrow (Thursday) to check out The World for yourself. —MBL

Joanna Gruesome, Tony Molina, Hard Left, King of Cats at The Rickshaw Stop (SF) Nov. 11
Tony Molina endured a comically unlucky set of local favorites with a different piece of gear malfunctioning every two or three songs. Joanna Gruesome returned to Rickshaw Stop for the second year in a row, this time with a new pair of vocalists who alternated between singing, screaming, and playing instruments. Complete with a small dose of self-referential stage banter, the Welsh band rescued the rocky show with a refreshingly energetic finale. —Tim Draut

Viet Cong at The Irenic (San Diego) Nov. 12
Because Viet Cong put out my favorite album of the year and because I had some miles on Virgin America, I flew down to San Diego to see the post-punk band play on Thursday night. The Canadian group’s show was part of the San Diego Music Thing, a Noise Pop-like event where attendees to can purchases passes to see bands play in assorted venues throughout the city. Performing at The Irenic, a converted church (the bouncer assured me that God was ok with music being played there), Viet Cong carried out a typically smoldering set, finishing with an epically-drawn out (even for their standards) version of their live staple “Death.” The show was amazing, and totally worth the 7 a.m. return flight back to SF and work on Friday. Well, almost totally worth it. —Will Reisman

Beach Slang, Lithuania, Worriers at The Rickshaw Stop (SF) Nov. 12
Phili based Beach Slang was quick to threaten the room with a punch straight to the heart. They easily delivered with what became part punk show and part look into the life and times of frontman James Alex. In the post-show glow, I could remember as much about witnessing my top picks from the recently released The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us and a great Jawbreaker cover as much as how many times Alex has read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and legends of where all those buttons on his jacket were accrued. In other news, bassist Ed McNulty has some solid hops. —Mike Chouinard

The New Thoreaus at Awaken Cafe (Oak) Nov. 13
Hallelujah, The New Thoreaus are back! Singer/cellist Chris Bloomfield took some time off to have a baby and learn the ukulele. The dude sang super-inspired, adding a fresh ferocity to their big hit "Sinners on the Take". Soon multiple voices came together for some church worthy harmonizing. The band presented several brand new songs (a few featuring Lauren the swishy, barefoot, bass-basher on vocals). Sara's blazing trumpet brought it all together. Don't miss their next gig — a holiday show coming up at The Octopus Literary Salon on Dec. 13th! Singer/guitarist Ian is the chef there and promises some seriously tasty treats. —MBL

Yo La Tengo at The Masonic (SF) Nov. 14
I didn't recall being patted down upon entering The Masonic in the past. Just beyond the entrance, multiple police were milling about. Paris! Heart racing now, thoughts of masked men with Uzis storming in. Only one voice in the world could tame the anxiety — fortunately Georgia sang many a calming tune during the nearly 3 hour set. They played a sweet tribute to the recently departed Allen Toussaint with "Holy Cow". The great 1990 Fakebook LP shone prominently including a Flamin' Groovies cover "You Tore Me Down" and "Griselda" from the immortal Unholy Modal Rounders. They even played a Cure cover "Friday I'm in Love". The set was super mellow and Dave Schramm strummed stunning guitar and steel. Just right. Maybe ISIS could use a night like this. —MBL

Greg Ashley and Slick! at The Octopus Literary Salon (Oak) Nov. 14
A wild night of mayhem with Nicky Slick channelling Van Morrison! Greg Ashley's solo show turned into something more when John Bros joined in on piano and clarinet for a stirring set of boozy, orgy classics. —MBL

Born Ruffians, Young Rival at Slim's (SF) Nov. 15
It's been a couple years and a lineup change since the Toronto four-piece has hit the Bay Area, but the electric connection between the band and crowd has not gone anywhere. The band is touring on their fourth record RUFF, and new songs translated just as well as the old; the set list was peppered with both, a robust mix taking from all four of their records and even including an acoustic version of "Hummingbird" as an encore. Bassist Mitch DeRosier was the vocal member of the group, expressing disbelief at the energy of the crowd. I too am always surprised at the massive and tight-knit fan base that comes out every time for the band. As a long-time fan of the band, seeing them for a second time at Slim's felt like going home. It just goes to show that fandom can endure across borders and scathing Pitchfork reviews. —Hailey Simpson

Jazz Jam Debut at The Octopus Literary Salon (Oak) Nov. 16
A new jazz oasis is born! Every Monday at 930pm the general public is encouraged to bring an instrument, play the piano or sing a song with the killer house band featuring members of Bastet — an SF based modern jazz quartet. —MBL

Alvvays, Los Angeles Police Department at The Independent (SF) Nov. 17
From talking about discovering Hippy Hill, to being amazed at the sell-out crowd (sample quote, “You guys are all here on a Monday? You are winning at life.”), it was clear that Alvvays was excited to be playing in San Francisco. Their stage banter was cute and their act was tight, highlighted by their cover of Camera Obscura’s “Lloyd, I’m Ready to Be Heartbroken,” and their own matrimonial anthem, “Archie, Marry Me.” A mix of new songs, covers, and material from their acclaimed 2014 debut album made for an engaging and entertaining night at the Independent. —Will Reisman

Alvvays, Los Angeles Police Department at The Independent (SF) Nov. 17
Night two of a cancelled Outside Lands redemption showed no signs that the indie-pop quintet were tired from the night before. Foolishly expecting a fairly quiet night, the masses danced with the welcomed help of a much more heavily distorted guitar from Alec O’Hanley. Vocalist Molly Ranking ran through most of the band's 2014 debut with ease and included a trio of new songs, two of which were as bright that beach ready pop songs could be. What else did you miss? A Camera Obscura cover, drummer Phil MacIsaac turning invisible for an entire song, and keyboardist Kerri Maclellan uttering a 'wasssup' to cheers. —Mike Chouinard

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, Foxing, TTNG, Brightside at Rickshaw Stop (SF) Nov. 17
St. Louis-based Foxing stole this show on the strength of their back catalogue (including ripping songs like "The Medic" and "Rory") and newly released LP Dealer. Lead singer Conor Murphy has a truly remarkable voice and easily moves between emo croons, yelps, and technically challenging screams. Plus the band is tight too, crafting songs that feel slightly different than what everyone else is doing. The World Is... were a bit of a letdown. Musically they sounded great, but the singing just wasn't quite on key throughout the night. Enough that it actually took away from the My Morning Jacket meets post-emo meets Godspeed! You Black Emperor experience. —Zack Frederick

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