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Tuning into the City

The Best Shows for November

When the lights go off and the stage is lit, anticipation rises in hopes that this will be that magical musical moment that takes you away. Will this be the month when you say thank you for the great night out? Give thanks that to musical mad men and women who become slaves to the rhythm as they toil at the tower of song. Thanks for rocking my world just a little harder. Thank you for busting me out of my everyday cage. Thank you for the miracle at the door. Thanks you for poster nights!! Thank you Mr. DJ for saving my life from a broken heart. Thank you Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again. Just keep on a rockin’ me baby!

1. Missing in Action

M.I.A.
Riding high on her sophomore release Kala, London’s M.I.A. comes back to SF for a two night double-header. What’s not to love about her bombastic grooves that, while rooted in the retro, are breaking forth new boundaries? Her latest CD is one of my favorite releases of the year and I just can’t get enough of her current set-closer "Paper Planes". While expanding her sound to incorporate Brazilian beats, Bollywood psychedelia, and bhangra, she keeps the 80s vibe alive by layering in sampled grooves from the Pixies and the Clash’s "Straight to Hell". This truly is big audio dyno-mite!

Wednesday, November 7th
M.I.A. with The Cool Kids
The Fillmore
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm
$25
http://www.sfstation.com/the-fillmore-b265

Thursday, November 8th
M.I.A. with The Cool Kids
Mezzanine
Doors 8pm, Show 9pm
$25
http://www.sfstation.com/mezzanine-b2335


2. You give me fever

Dengue Fever
Los Angeles’ Dengue Fever create their own unique blend of groovy/pop/world music and has garnered critical acclaim with their debut album Escape From Dragon House. Although I may never understand a word of their single "Sleepwalking through the Mekog", it was an instant favorite. After the first listen I played it over and over, haunted and drawn in by Cambodian vocalist Chhom Nimol's beautiful, ethereal voice. Continuing to expand other-worldly music, opening act Rupa & the April Fishes coalesce the sounds of the Far East, European Gypsy, and Latin America into a melting pot of rhythms. Their live act ranges from the downtempo to high energy rave-ups with cunning multilingual songs in Hindi, Spanish, French and English.

Friday, November 9th
Dengue Fever with Rupa & the April Fishes
The Independent
Doors: 8:30pm, Show 9pm
$15
http://www.sfstation.com/the-independent-b274

3. Psychedelic Sister

West Indian Girl
If you are ready for a second night at The Independent, LA’s West Indian Girl is one group that is best enjoyed live as they seamlessly bring together the best elements of dance/electronica over progressive psychedelic rock and ambient textures creating unique worlds of music you wish you can step into and enjoy forever. Currently they're on tour in support of their lushly orchestral second release called 4th & Wall. One of the highlights of this sextet’s amazing set at the Treasure Island Music Festival back in September was their current single "Blue Wave", with the hooky- guitar and keyboards playing off beautiful, shimmering and swirling harmonies of dual vocalists Robert James and the beautiful Mariqueen Maandig.

Saturday, November 10th
West Indian Girl
The Independent
Doors: 8:30pm, Show 9pm
$15
http://www.sfstation.com/the-independent-b274

4. Rattlesnakes on Charlotte St.

Lloyd Cole
One of New York’s finest to evolve out of the late 80s downtown scene, Lloyd Cole is one of the more articulate singer/songwriters from the post-punk era. Initially garnering acclaim through his first band The Commotions with such songs as "Rattlesnakes" and "Perfect Skin", he has come into his own as a solo act. Now out in support of his latest release, Antidepressant he steps into the Great American Music Hall for a seated show. His songs tell tales of twisted love romances gone right and wrong with a delicate mix of sadness with a slight conspiracy of hope. Make sure to catch his first appearance back in the Bay Area after a very long break as he mixes in Leonard Cohen and Dylan songs along with his classics from both his solo records and his work with The Commotions.

Saturday, November 10th
Lloyd Cole
Great American Music Hall
Doors: 7pm, Show 8pm -- Seated Show
$20
http://www.sfstation.com/great-american-music-hall-gamh-b266

5. Ghost Riders in the sky

A Band of Horses
Seattle’s Band of Horses returns for the second time this year in support of their debut release Everything All the Time. A Band of Horses bring their dreamy alt-americana-pop to the stage of Mezzanine as the final leg of their North American Tour. This quartet creates unique soundscapes reminiscent of bands ranging from My Morning Jacket to Neil Young in all his epic, raging glory. Their songs really come to life through their live sets and now road-tested after a 4 month tour, you'll find their songs maturing.

A Band of Horses, The Drones
Friday, November 23rd
Mezzanine
9pm
$20
http://www.sfstation.com/great-american-music-hall-gamh-b266

6. Revolution Rock

La Plebe
This San Francisco breakout punk band is on the rise. La Plebe bring their bilingual Mexacali infused punk-ska to the stage at Annies. Destined to become SF’s answer to the only band that mattered, they wear influences of The Clash, Skatelites, Pogues and Operation Ivy on their sleeve. This hard-hitting five piece really gets the joint jumping with their horn section of trumpet and trombone providing upbeat funky accents to their stripped-down Revolution-rockin’ grooves. Truly players of music for the people, you can grab a free down-load of their album at http://www.laplebe.com.

Friday, November, 30 2007
La Plebe with The Heartaces and The Hollycocks
Annie’s Social Club - Annie’s Birthday Bash!
10pm
$10
http://www.sfstation.com/annies-social-club-b9311