Howlin’ Rain plays in their local downtown at the Uptown on Saturday (9pm, $10) with Radio Moscow and Matt Baldwin (PA). Fans of front-man Ethan Miller’s Neo-Psyche band Comets on Fire know that Howlin’ Rain is a different beast. More focused and melodic than CoF, Howlin’ Rain pares down the melodies into complex but pop-sensible tunes that try to connect the listener to the art without alienating them in the intricacies that CoF is known for.

After a long span away due to a world tour and supporting Queens of the Stone Age, this will be their first Bay Area show in nearly 11 months.  They have a few more dates around the area after their Uptown show before going on tour with Akron Family in August. Their newest album Magnificent Fiend was co-released by Birdman records (SF) and Rick Rubin’s American Recordings (L.A).