Live This Month: May 2011

In Live This Month, we sample some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing in the coming month in the San Francisco Bay Area. May features a couple of local festivals — S.S. Records’ ten-year anniversary celebration and SF Popfest (which we’ll be discussing later this month in a separate mixtape) — as well as the usual slate of touring bands coming through town. Veterans like Cass McCombs and The Raveonettes both recently put out what might be the best albums of lengthy careers; others, including Craft Spells and No Joy, are enjoying strong reviews for their recent debuts. Enjoy this mix and then go check out some shows!

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About the bands:

Nashville duo JEFF The Brotherhood (“Diamond Way”) gained a reputation as a great live band by playing over 230 shows in 2010, and the band’s new album, We Are The Champions, comes out in June. They will be at Bottom of the Hill on May 14th with The Greenhornes and Midnight Snaxxx.

King Lollipop (“Cheeseburger and Fries (demo)”) is a new project from Cody of Shannon and the Clams, whose debut album is called Woodland Whoopee Songs of Ol, Callowhee! On May 18th, King Lollipop performs at the Hemlock Tavern with X-Ray Eyeballs and Burnt Ones.

The Mantles (“Raspberry Thighs”) are one of our favorite SF bands right now, and you have no excuse not to see them in one of three (!) local shows this month. See them at the Rickshaw Stop on May 7th and May 27th, and at the Hemlock Tavern on May 22nd.

Danish duo The Raveonettes‘ (“Forget That You’re Young”) new album Raven in the Grave finds the band exploring dynamic dark pop. The band’s US tour with Tamaryn comes to Bimbo’s on May 10th.

Redeemer is the new album from Fred Thomas’s City Center (“Cookies”), out May 10th on K Records. The Saturday Looks Good to Me leader will be at Milk Bar on May 19th, alongside Thomas’ other band Swimsuit, as well as Secret Twins and Alright.

After getting laid off, Chicago’s Houses (“Soak It Up”) headed to Hawaii, where the duo recorded what would become the album All Night. Houses headlines at Bottom of the Hill on May 18th. The One AM Radio and Jhameel open the show.

SF’s Melted Toys (“Come On”) recently released the Washed & Dried EP on Underwater Peoples. You can see them at Slim’s on May 5th and at The Depot at SFSU on May 11th.

On Ghost Blonde, their debut album, No Joy (“Heedless”) blend shoegaze and rock and roll. Vivian Girls and Lilac perform with them on May 4th at the RIckshaw Stop.

S.S. Records‘ first release was from Seattle’s A Frames (“Galena”), and now the band’s final show is part of the label’s ten-year anniversary celebration. Friday, May 20th, the band headlines at Bottom of the Hill, with Liquorball, Hank IV, Charles Albright, and DJ Mitch Cardwell.

While Oakland experimental electronic rock group Clipd Beaks (“Hard Daze”) works on new recordings, they’ve been posting a bunch of great rare stuff on their Soundcloud page. See Clipd Beaks, Weekend, and Jealousy at The Independent on May 19th.

Seattle-via-Stockton band Craft Spells (“You Should Close the Door”) concludes a US tour at Slim’s on May 5th, with Beach Fossils and Melted Toys. Idle Labor is the band’s excellent debut record, out now.

Wit’s End is Cass McCombs‘ (“The Lonely Doll”) fifth full length record, and it’s really a beautiful album. McCombs and Frank Fairfield perform at the Swedish American Hall on May 5th.