kurt vile - photo by shawn brackbill

Live This Month: May 2013 — an audio guide through SF concerts this month (Podcast #305)

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.

Few recent artists have transitioned from lo-fi to hi-fi better than Kurt Vile, whose latest album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is another winner from the Philly-based musician, full of long, languid songs that feel spacious but not aimless. A sense of space also guides Clinic‘s psych-pop offering Free Reign; in fact, the group just released an alternate collection, Free Reign II, with the original album’s songs reconfigured in an appropriately mind-expanding fashion by Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin. More tightly constructed is Shout Out Louds‘ album Optica. The Swedish band’s new release fuses elements of disco and chamber pop into lively, addictive tunes.

Like Vile, Mikal Cronin is also making the move from low to high fidelity look easy. Cronin’s been making great music for a while now, solo and as a member of Moonhearts and Ty Segall’s band, but MCII, arriving on Merge Records, feels like the big screen debut of a real power pop talent. Meanwhile, Sacramento’s Tera Melos just released a new album of frenzied, mathy rock called X’ed Out and are embarking on a US tour to support. With new records also arriving recently from Cool Ghouls and Metal Mother, it’s certainly a busy time for Bay Area bands.

Enjoy the podcast and then go see some shows!

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About the bands:

Kurt Vile – “Never Run Away”
Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Fresh & Onlys, and Steve Gunn play on May 8 at The Independent

Cool Ghouls – “Grace”
Playing a free show at the Brick & Mortar Music Hall on May 7; also performing are Pyyramids and Hindu Pirates

The Blank Tapes – “Holy Roller”
Coming to The Chapel on May 9 and The New Parish on May 23

Peach Kelli Pop – “Dreamphone”
Performing at The Chapel on May 11 and The New Parish on May 18

Disappears – “Replicate”
Playing Bottom of the Hill on May 18 with LENZ and The Tambo Rays

Tera Melos – “Tropic Lame”
TTNG and E V Kain support this Sacramento band on May 25 at Bottom of the Hill

Clinic – “Miss You”
Headlining the Rickshaw Stop with No Joy on May 2

Grouper – “Vital”
Joined by Ilyas Ahmed, Grouper performs at the Hemlock Tavern on May 28 with Danny Paul Grody and Irwin Swirnoff

Metal Mother – “Prism”
Celebrating the new album Ionika at Public Works on May 2; Tearist, Uncanny Valley, and Some Ember also perform

Shout Out Louds – “Blue Ice”
On May 22, the Swedish band’s tour with Haerts comes to the Great American Music Hall

Mikal Cronin – “Shout It Out”
Celebrating the release of MCII at the Rickshaw Stop on May 25

Kisses – “Funny Heartbeat”
Coming to the Rickshaw Stop on May 14; Sister Crayon and Astronauts, etc. support

CHVRCHES – “Recover”
The Scottish buzz band performs at the Mezzanine on May 29 with Still Corners

Suuns – “2020”
Appearing at Bottom of the Hill on May 28 with Wymond Miles and Foli