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March 20th to April 1st

Rock-n-Roll Barbershop Quartet, hell yeah; The Futureheads, a combo mix of the Clash and Green Day blasted a set of harmonic ditties to a sold out crowd at Slim's last week. Word is the lads will once again cross the pond to play the Fillmore in June.

Fellow Brit, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, was sent packing a few months back. M.I.A (rising HipHop, Dancehall artist Maya Arulpragasam, also British) was denied entry into the U.S. before her sold out, then postponed show, at the Independent. The official answer is a backlog of visas surrounding the South By Southwest Festival (SXSW). With last year's underground mashup Piracy Fund's Terrorism, Vol. 1 and a recently delayed debut, Arular to her name, only the INS and her record label know the true answer for the delay.

What we do know is that with SXSW and Coachella around the corner, the spring concert season is heating up! Let the games begin:

Graham Coxon
Popscene at 330 Ritch
March 20th, 9 PM
$15 ~ all ages ~ advance ticket only, check website

Amoeba Records
March 20th, 3 PM

Graham helps Popscene celebrate its ninth anniversary of spreading the word according to BritPop. Popscene's namesake is a Blur tune and Graham's a former founding member of Blur. Graham is touring in support of Happiness is Magazines, his fifth solo album. If long night of festivities is too much, and it may just be, catch Graham on the intimate stage of Amoeba's Haight Street store. Popscene url:

Kaiser Chiefs with The Lovemakers
333 Slim's
March 22nd, 8 PM
$13 ~ all ages

Virgin Megastore
March 22nd, 6 PM

Too bad Graham already left town, "We kind of did that to ourselves because we like Blur. There are a couple of songs on there that were a nod to Blur. We do have things in there that are meant to say 'we like this ban'", so says Kaiser Chief's bass player Simon Rix in a recent BBC interview. Kaiser Chief's are touring in support of their first long play, Employment, now a UK top ten album. Arrive early for The Lovemakers, one of the Bay Area's steamiest live acts.

Mono with Tarentel, The Yellow Swans and Bonus
Bottom of the Hill
March 22nd, 9 PM
$10 ~ 21 and over

Lobot Gallery (Oakland)
March 23rd ~ Door when the sun goes down
$5 ~ all ages

Japanese instrumental band, Mono, draw comparisons to Mogwai and other like bands that lull you into a quiet space only to explode seconds (or several minutes) later. Mono is touring in support of Walking Cloud And Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered And The Sun Shined which says it all. A daydreaming evening on both sides of the bay.

Tegan and Sara With The Ditty Bops and Los Abandoned
The Independent
March 25th, 9 PM
Sold Out ~ 21 and over

Virgin Megastore
March 25th ~ Time to be determined

If you haven't purchased tickets, then your only chance to catch Tegan and Sara, the alt-folk riot-grrrls, is at the Virgin Mega instore. The twin sisters from Canada have drawn comparisons to Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls. The two are touring in support of their third long play, So Jealous, which they will sign after the show. Tegan and Sara also open for The Killers, April 19th at The Fillmore. Sold out, too.

Ambulance LTD. with Autolux and Dr. Dog
The Independent
March 26th, 9 PM
$10/$12 ~ 21 and over

Ambulance LTD have soared under the radar screen as fellow New Yorkers, Interpol and The Strokes, have taken off on a slightly edgier sound. Is Ambulance LTD the next big thing? Find out for yourself before they take over the Fillmore and beyond.

Asobi Seksu with Karmacoda and Parker and Lily
Hotel Utah
March 26th, 9 PM
$7 ~ 21 and over

Lower Manhattan's house band for the in crowd, Asobi Seksu hit San Francisco for the first time in support of their self-titled debut. Yuki and James Hanna sing shoegazer dream pop that's half Japanese/half English. Think J Pop versus My Bloody Valentine.

Cafe Du Nord
March 30th 8:30 PM
$8 ~ 21 and over

From The Lion's Mouth is Nedelle's second solo album, out now on Kill Rock Star. Tonight is the record release party for San Francisco's own soulful indie pop chanteuse. It may be best to arrive early as no opener is announced on the DuNord website. More information and MP3's at:

Looking Ahead

The Fiery Furnace
Great American Music Hall
April 28th and 29th

I was lucky enough, back in the day, to catch the raucous White Stripes set at the Great American. Central Valley cowboys and Bay Area hipsters mingled side by side. When The Fiery Furnace name is conjured up in the press, comparisons fly like sparks, and with reason. Not that they are the same, but brother/sister as well as guitar/drum duo, Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, are sure to draw any equally fun lovin' sold crowd, so get your tix's asap.

Weezer will play the Warfield on April 29th.

The Department of Justice can contact me at: [email protected]