San Francisco is a tough town for live music because there's so damn much of it. Between the top-tier touring acts selling out huge venues and your best friend's cousin's band that you've been guilted into seeing three times even though they're objectively terrible, sorting through the chaos of the city's live music scene to find a happy middle ground is no easy task.
This column is an attempt to solve that problem for you. Here's what's on tap this week:
Canada's favorite 90s indie emo crooners hit the Independent Wednesday for the first leg of a four-night residency. Bon Iver meets Death Cab -- but Canadian -- in a setting as intimate as the Indy? We'll be there nursing a flask of whiskey in the corner. Wednesday 11/30, The Independent
What's there to say about Stephen Patrick Morrissey that hasn't already been said? Rock's preeminent arch-romantic may have risen to prominence as the lead singer of 1980s indie-rock progenitors The Smiths but, in the more than two decades since that band's demise, The Moz has released a dozen albums packed to the brim with wit, verve and easily the best phrasing of any pop singer since Frank Sinatra. Always a cranky old soul at heart, it was never a question that Morrisey would age gracefully and, other then the occasional questionable quip, he has. A large factor in this musical maturation has been his insistence on being backed by one of the musical backing bands in all of indie-rock. Thursday 12/1, The Fox Oakland
Jim James! Yim Yames! What can be said about the greatest rock band to come out of Louisville that hasn't already been said? The fiery frontman brings along his entire act Friday night at the Bill Graham, and miraculously, tickets are still available. Be sure to grab them while you still can -- and don't miss legendary funk-soulsters Sharon Jones and the Dapp Kings in the opening act. Friday 12/2, The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Beer and rock go together like...umm...actually there's pretty much no combination that equals it. Bert and Ernie? Pie and ice cream? Sweatpants in public and voluntarily dropping out of the workforce? Anyway, invaluable local music resource The Bay Bridged is throwing a party with beer from six of the Bay Area's best breweries (21st Amendment, Anchor Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery, Social Kitchen & Brewery and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers) and rock from some of the most exciting local bands around. Headlining the night are San Francisco's very own post-punk noisemakers Weekend and epic psychedelic rockers Sleepy Sun. Saturday 12/3, The Verdi Club