thebayabrdiged

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.

Family of the Year at The Independent (SF) Dec. 1
I arrived with an open mind, appreciating the overly catchy hooks that make shitty bands popular. They were a sight to behold with dramatic arm gestures straight out of a beer commercial. Rhyming "ocean" with "love potion" made me want to spray suntan lotion in their eyes. I suppose if Trump can run for president, Family of the Year can fill the Independent. Scary times. —MBL

FIDLAR at Slim's (SF) Dec. 2
The cheapest band on the skate-punk block, FIDLAR were still willing to dig out mostly older tracks from their self-titled debut, rather than the more polished songs from their 2015 LP Too. The rabid mosh pit made clear that I, and everyone else, appreciated that move from the four-piece. Impressively, they still sound almost exactly like the record — shredded vocals and catchy melodies spilling through the venue at the same pace as beer flew across the room. A true night for the young, dumb, and full of scum. —Zack Frederick

Samara Lubelski & Tara Jane O'Neil at SANTO (Oak) Dec. 4
SANTO Recording Studio has been hosting shows for just over a year in their new location (just a stones throw from the Ghost Town Gallery). Drawn in by NYC's brilliant Samara Lubelski, we also fell in love with Tara Jane O'Neil. Tara covered Gene Clark's "Polly" and melted our frozen hearts. It was fucking cold in there! —MBL

Extra Classic, Heron Oblivion at Conservatory of Flowers (SF) Dec. 4
After talking to the staff, I gathered that this was the first show at the Conservatory of Flowers in a long while. For $25, we all got to see two great local bands play and explore the flower-jungle inside the Conservatory. The actual show was in a tent just outside the main building, usually reserved for weddings and special events. A cold winter night proved harrowing for the under-dressed (there was no heat), but the bands played through it and the sell-out crowd stuck around. We've got high hopes that the Conservatory can keep throwing these great shows. You can never really have too many new, unique venues. Next stop: the tea garden. —Zack Frederick

Maximum RockNroLL Fundraiser at The Octopus Literary Salon (Oak) Dec. 5
Books shook in fear for this torrential downpour of punk! Oakland's Butanna, brought on an actual slam pit in the tiny cafe. LA's La Equi were not even on the 4-band-bill but added last minute. They delivered a fierce set sung mostly in Spanish including the perfect winter anthem "Justificar". ¡Increíble! Syndicate, Nasty Dilemma and Strange Faces kicked yet more ass for this perfect party. Best of all $$ was made for the amazing MRR — "covering the international punk and hardcore underground since 1977". Subscribe at store.maximumrocknroll.com. —MBL

Ezra Furman, Guy Blakeslee, The Damn Fanatics at The Rickshaw Stop (SF) Dec. 6
The quiet Sunday night ended upon entering the Rickshaw halfway into The Damn Fanatics set. The crowd was already won over by the local troupe at this point with some wobbly knee shaking set to a fresh set of tunes off last month's release of The Damn EP. If you fancy yourself a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Unicorns fan, check them out. I would suggest going straight for "Irish Sea" to start but given the reaction of the crowd "Find Someone To Love" is their showstopper live. Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends was a spectacle and will simply need a real review, all I can say before I fully collect myself is their performance will find a place in my Top 10 of 2015. Despite this, my personal highlight of the night came form Guy Blakeslee's emotional cover of "Green Rocky Road". —Mike Chouinard

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