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Tuning into the City

The Best Shows for August

With music evolving faster than we can define it, we are lucky to have a few of the originators who have broadened the sound of music come through SF this month. While some may claim that the city was built on rock-n-roll, it has been the boundary pushers that have given this city its soul. So here’s a quick look at the genre-bending mad men, sultry chanteuses and crazy boys coming through town to bless up the sound.

1. Si, Si senorita!
New York’s Si*Se bring their multi-culti melting pot of rhythms to the Bay to liven up The Independent. Fronted by female vocalist Carol C, their engaging live show will be sure to keep the bodies moving. Fusing Latino rhythms, hip hop beats, drum & bass and down-tempo electronica with live instrumentation, Si*Se delivers a unique and contemporary sound a la Morcheeba meets Bebel Gilberto.

Friday August 3rd
The Independent
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9pm

2. Dub the final frontier?
With producing credits ranging from Bob Marley, The Clash and Beastie Boys, it's hard to underestimate the deranged genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry. One of reggae’s acclaimed innovating artists both in front of and behind the mixing board, his early work helped shaped the sound of dub and bring it to the outer realms. Experience the man (behind the men) that helped shape genres ranging from reggae to dub and dance music.

Saturday & Sunday August 4th and 5th
Lee "Scratch" Perry, Dub is a Weapon
The Independent
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9pm

3. Groovin in the grass…
Sadly, we are now at the tail end of this summer series. For the uninitiated, Hugh Masekela is one of the living legends of world jazz/soul/Afrobeat. A trumpeter of incomparable skill, Hugh is celebrating the release of his latest album, Live at South Africa's Market Theatre, which takes traditional South African songs to a more upbeat extended Afrobeat. With a storied career that began with hitting the charts in the 60s with "Up, Up and Away" and the number one smash "Grazin' in the Grass", he continues to innovate the fusion of bridging the sounds of his native South Africa to a broader audience including stints with Paul Simon during his Graceland era.

Bridging the gap from South Africa to the East Bay, Oakland’s rising star and captivating songstress Goapele (whose name means "to go forward" in the South African language Tswana) opens up the show. With her critically-acclaimed debut release in 2002 Even Closer she set her career in motion with her unique Cali-fied fusion of soul, hip-hop and R&B.

Sunday, August 5th
Goapele, Hugh Masakela
Sigmund Stern Grove

4. Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1990!
This three- piece band is the latest buzz band from Glasgow that’s headed our way thanks to Popscene. 1990’s effervescent British invasion harmonies and killer tunes got them signed after only six gigs to Rough Trade Record Company, home of The Strokes and The Long Blondes. Lead singer Jackie McKeown, bassist Jamie McMorrow and drummer Michael McGaughrin make infectious music that would appeal to those who would count themselves fans of bands such as the Fratellies and Franz Ferdinand.

Monday, August 6th
1990’s, with the Popscene DJs
Café Du Nord
Doors 8pm, Show 8:30pm

5. Fly high freebird!
Heralding his most triumphant work since founding the Jayhawks, Mark Olson returns to the Bay Area in support of his first solo album, The Salvation Blues. The Jayhawks were one of the most acclaimed bands to emerge out of the 90s alt-country scene. With a sound described as rapturous country soul, the new album also features the long-awaited reunion with his former Jayhawks bandmate and writing partner, Gary Louris. The Du Nord provides an intimate setting for his return to the Bay Area.

Sunday August 12th
Marc Olson
Café Du Nord
Doors 6:30pm, Show 7:30pm

6. I’ve got my TV eye on you
With a new audio and video assault, performance artist extraordinaire Genesis P-Orridge brings his psychedelic melee to The Independent to lay down their electrona-punk and post-industrial experimental music. Originators of the genre that spanned acts such as Skinny Puppy and NIN, Psychic TV is one of the final survivors of the that early industrial scene. Now with a fully-immersive new video light show by Sterile Cowboys & Co. (a.k.a. Nicolas Jenkins) -- expect to see three screens of heavily overlaid video with live manipulations of moiréd overlays and liquid/oil effects to assault your visual senses.

Friday August 24th
Psychic TV
The Independent
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9pm

7. Boys keep swinging
Ch-ch-check it out…The three bad brothers you know so well are droppin’ their mics and picking up their instruments to show they've got more tricks up their sleeves than a Polk Street tranny. The Beasties roll into town for a two-night stand to display their recent reinvention with their latest junk-funk hip-hop pollywog stew The Mix Up. Sounding like a mix tape of lost 70s grooves and breaks, they have been earning rave reviews.

Friday, August 24th (Warfield) and Saturday 25th (Greek Theater)
Beastie Boys

8. Don’t dream it’s over
Oakland’s sublime Paramount Theater hosts New Zealand’s most loved sweet export next to the kiwi: Crowded House. Rising from the ashes of Split Ends, singer and chief songwriter Neil Finn took his Beatles fixation to new levels to make the best happy-guitar pop of the late 80s and early 90s. With a string of hits such as "Something So Strong" and "Don’t Dream It's Over", Finn combined surreal lyrics layered on top of beautiful melodies, bright hooks, and multilayered production that were oddly innocent or sweetly cynical. Brilliant live performers with a spot-on sense of humor, catch their latest revival on this current stop on their world tour.

Sunday August 26th
Crowded House, Peter Yorn, Liam Finn
The Paramount Theater
Show 7:30pm
$45- $55