Live This Month: December 2011 (Podcast #262)

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.

For a month when few new records are coming out and music journalists spend a lot of time meticulously crafting numerical lists of their favorite albums of the year, there are still a wealth of great live shows hitting the San Francisco area in December. Bands that had big years in 2011 – including Other Lives, Cass McCombs, and Baths – are making return visits, while locals like The SHE’S, Trails and Ways, and High Castle celebrate recent releases with nearby concerts. Finally, we highly recommend you attend The Bay Brewed, a rock and roll beer festival we’re pleased to be throwing at the Verdi Club on December 3rd.

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About the bands:

Marc Bianchi is currently on his final tour as Her Space Holiday (“Ghost in the Garden”). The band heads to Bottom of the Hill on December 16th. Silver Swans and City Light open the show.

The Baths (“I Just Saw”) song we’ve included in this podcast is a cover of tourmate/labelmate Raleigh Moncrief. Both electronic pop craftsmen perform at Slim’s on December 15th with the equally-skilled Dntel.

Tamer Animals, the second LP from Stillwater, Oklahoma’s Other Lives (“For 12”), is a lush, moody record that’s one of the year’s standout releases. The band headlines Cafe Du Nord on December 6th.

SF dream-pop band Papercuts (“Do What You Will”) top a compelling Rickshaw Stop bill on December 3rd. Dominant Legs and Tim Cohen perform in support.

Local indie-pop band The SHE’S (“Jimmy”) has been winning crowds over at live shows for a while now, but the band’s first LP just arrived in November. The quartet’s record release show is December 3rd at Bottom of the Hill with Tijuana Panthers and Melted Toys.

In support of A Turn in the Dream-Songs, Jeffrey Lewis (“Cult Boyfriend”) and his band are headed on a West Coast tour in December. On the 6th, he’ll play at the Rickshaw Stop with SF’s The Yellow Dress and Tortured Genies.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin‘s (“Yellow Missing Signs”) new album, Tape Club, collects 26 rarities and B-sides from the Missouri indie-pop band. The band plays a sure-to-sell-out show at Hotel Utah on December 8th.

Trails and Ways (“Chills”) is a newer Oakland band crafting some dynamic, layered pop songs. Catch the group on either side of the Bay this month, at The Stork Club on December 1st and Kimo’s on the 7th.

Cass McCombs (“The Same Thing”) released two terrific albums this year. He’s returning to SF for a December 4th show at the Great American Music Hall with White Magic and Liza Thorn.

Singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler‘s (“The Sun Always Reminds Me of You”) new self-titled album has received uniformly strong reviews. On December 18th, she will be performing alongside Emily Jane White at Cafe Du Nord.

Races (“Big Broom”) is a young Los Angeles band set to release a full length on French Kiss Records next year. You can see the group December 14th, supporting the terrific White Arrows at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall.

White Fence (“The Pool”) performed one of our favorite sets this year, and rock and roll fans should seek out the chance to see them live. The band caps off 2011 at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall on New Year’s Eve with The Fresh & Onlys.

Young Prisms (“Weekends and Treehouses (acoustic)”) has been touring like crazy over the past several months. The local shoegaze-pop band’s latest jaunt is a series of dates with Ganglians that arrives at The Independent on December 8th.

East Bay art-punks High Castle (“Crustaceans Demise”) perform at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records on December 17th with Uzi Rash and Lenz. The show follows the recent release of the band’s debut LP, Spirit of the West.

Synth-punk band Total Control (“Retiree”) includes members of Australian acts Eddy Current Suppression Ring and UV Race. The group’s US tour with Thee Oh Sees concludes at The Verdi Club on December 4th.