As wonderful as a masterfully produced studio record can be, there’s something about raw mastery of a single instrument that can pack a greater punch, particularly when it avoids being too noodly or structureless. Berkeley’s Sean Smith writes melodic guitar compositions and improvisations that that, to my mind, meet this challenge, displaying his talents over on his MySpace page.

Smith recently announced, however, that he is leaving the Bay Area, and on Thursday night plays his final San Francisco show. It’s a strong, eclectic bill featuring two of our favorites, Little Teeth’s Andy Tisdall, who we last saw live here, and Kyle Williams, formerly of Bay Bridged featured band Volunteer Pioneer:

Thursday, August 23rd
The Argus
w/ Andy Tisdall, Kyle Williams, The Southern Ocean (Jeff Ray/Katrina Lamb)
9PM, $5

On the subject of Kyle and Volunteer Pioneer, in our last update about the release of that band’s EP, we promised to stay abreast of the development of the new musical project from Kyle and VP’s Jason Byers. That project, called Lady Genius, plays its first show this Sunday night at the Make-Out Room. The two songs on their MySpace page suggest more of the excellent indie pop-rock we’d expect from these guys and we’re excited to hear more. Details about Sunday’s show below:

Sunday, August 26th
The Make-Out Room
w/ El Olio Wolof and Skybox
9pm, $6

Lady Genius goes on first.