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Tuning into the City

The Best Shows for September

Is there a night more difficult to make it out than a Sunday? By the time it rolls around it feels that just making it through "Entourage"/"Flight of the Concords" is accomplishment enough. Creating that unique balance between the soulful and the experimental Dub Mission has been rockin’ steady every Sunday for the past 11 years at the Elbo Room.

The faithful following comes to bear witness as DJ Sep’s positive vibrations go deep to the outer depths of dub and beyond. Musicians from around the world have graced this intimate stage: mad professors, dub-struck scientists, duppy conquerors and DJ’s bringing the dancehall riddims and rare dub plates to manifest the ire vibe. So props go out to that punky reggae party for holding it down with the music that satisfies your soul.

1. This is our mission so you better just listen!
This will be the party to kick off the month as Dub Mission celebrates their 11th anniversary with an exclusive appearance by the Subatomic Sound System (SuBASS) with Treasure Don and Jahdan Blakkamoore and DJ Sep. Yes, Brooklyn’s back in the Bay with the SuBASS crew taking their Jamaican dubwise studio techniques and live instrumentation to the outer realms of dub. Building off the roots of bass-heavy dub, SuBASS’s smashing live reggae sets bridge the deep gap fusing reggae, hip hop, dancehall, drum & bass and downtempo.

Sunday September 2nd
Subatomic Sound System and DJ Sep
The Elbo Room
9pm to 2am
$12 advance tickets

2. Exile on Haight Street
With one foot in the gutter and his hand reaching for the stars, Anton Newcombe formed the Brian Jonestown Massacre in the wilds of the 90’s Haight-Ashbury district. Channeling the cosmos with excess, Anton sometimes received more acclaim for his feud with the Dandy Warhols, having more on-stage fist fights than Oasis, and the fact that everyone of his 40+ former bandmates have gone on to form their own bands (just witness local favorite and current tamborinist/Maraca mad-man Joel Gion, a founding member of San Francisco band The Dilettantes) than his own groovy music. But like Brian Jones’ forays to mystical realms, he is constantly pushing the boundaries of their music forward while staying rooted to the sounds of the Velvet Underground with touches of damaged psychedelic indie rock, early Stones, Dylan, and Gram Parsons filtered through vintage equipment.

Tuesday September 4th and 5th
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Independent
Doors 7:30, Show 8pm

3. Hot fuzz
Mining the missing links between Nina Simone, Julie Cruise and Kim Gordon with the cool detachment of an early Chrissie Hynde, multi-instrumentalist and wonder woman, Joan as Police Woman comes through in support of her latest release Real Life. It has been heralded by many as one of the best debuts of the year with her beautifully sung and sedately-paced torch songs. Achieving acclaim through her previous bands, Dambuilders, Black Beetle and Those Bastard Souls and then as a touring member for Antony's Johnsons and Rufus Wainwright's bands, she now finds her own voice in a style between jazz and soul. The Café du Nord provides just the right intimate setting to check out the woman who was recently voted on Ireland’s RTE Other Voices program as one of the top vocal performances for 2006.

Thursday September 6th
Joan as Police Woman
Café Du Nord
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm

4. Cry wolf!
Members of the exploding Montreal scene, Wolf Parade brew up their strange, quirky version of indie rock. Vocalist Spence Krug initially built up the band in just 3 weeks to support Arcade Fire for their first major tour. Now expanding their line-up to 5 multi-instrumentalist/sound manipulators they are off on a short West Coast tour previewing tracks from their next album -- heralded as one of Canada’s "Most Anticipated Indie Albums of the Year." Dropping synthy and piano-based hooks over guitar driven pixified rhythms, Wolf Parade alchemizes the everyday into the unprecedented.

Wednesday September 12th
Wolf Parade
Great American Music Hall
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm

5. King with a crown…
Sometimes you do have to go off the beaten path to mine some of the true musical treasures of the city. This Thursday a truly Calified, eclectic mix comes together with soul singers, latin reggae and rock: Agent Double E, reggae from St. Lucia, with Taj Weekes & Adowa and headliners The Paris King Band. The PKB is out in support of their amazing eponymously-titled debut album released earlier this year. Displaying soul-stirring song craft, the Paris King Band is a rising Bay Area phenomena destined for larger venues. Picture if you will, a cool 70s Bowie mashed up with the dance grooves of Odelay-era Beck and layered with masterful Pixies covering Hendrix (or vice versa in this case) on guitar.

Thursday September 13th
Paris King Band with Double Agent E and Taj Weekes & Adowa
Beale Street Bar and Grill
Show 8pm

6. Ahoy Matey it’s Treasure Island!
For those of you who have yet to set foot on this midway point on the Bay Bridge, here’s your best (and perhaps only) excuse for the year. Who needs Coachella when you have Treasure Island? All the locals know that the TI is where it’s at, Your Saturdazed entertainment will be an amazing line-up with headliners Thievery Corporation, Gotan Project, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist, M.I.A, Ghostland Observatory and Zion-I. Then on Sunday they put down the synths and drum machines and pick-up guitars as the acts include Modest Mouse, Spoon, Built To Spill, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, M. Ward, Earlimart, Devil Makes Three, Trainwreck Riders and more. What better way to enjoy SF’s late summer?

Saturday & Sunday 15th & 16th
Treasure Island Music Festival
Treasure Island
$58 Single Day Tickets, $110 Two-Day

7. Will it be yeah yeah yeah or no no no?? - CANCELLED
At "press time" it was still uncertain if Ms. Winehouse would be a go or a no-show, so we still wait with baited breath…. If you like your chanteuses liberally doused in Chardonnay, Amy Winehouse -- the "Dangerous New Queen of Soul" -- comes a-packin with a 15-piece touring band as her retro-soul review rolls into the Warfield for a pair of shows. What’s not to love from a boozy singer that’s into doomed relationships ("Stronger than Me") & substance abuse ("Rehab" and "Addicted")? Word was that her shows in Europe were really tearing it up until her multi-substance breakdown put the kibosh on the whole spectacle. So the question remains: are you in or are you out?

Friday & Saturday 21st and 22nd
Amy Winehouse/Paolo Nutini
The Warfield