The Double delivers its much-hyped electronic rock; the return of folk master Richard Thompson

Fresh off the release of its major-label debut, Loose in the Air (Matador Records counts these days, right?), the Double will arrive at Mezzanine this week to set the stage for French pop sensation M83. The Brooklyn quartet's latest features a slightly more organic sound than 2004's Palm Fronds, but that's to be expected: Fronds was recorded while drummer Jeff McLeod was sidelined with a hand injury, forcing the band to rely exclusively on electronic beats. He's back now, but the digital noise remains, underlying a disjointed mix of droning organs, bluesy riffs, dissonant feedback, and David Greenhill's haunted vocals. Does it work? Surprisingly, yes. There's a compelling urgency behind Loose in the Air's frequent sonic blasts, and the Double's everything-but-the-kitchen-sink arrangements yield a handful of memorable pop hooks. The better question is: How will the group translate such intricate studio production into a cohesive live act? Find out on Thursday, Sept. 29, at Mezzanine; call 625-8880 or visit www.mezzaninesf.com for more info. -- Rossiter Drake


At 56, Richard Thompson remains a fierce, passionate showman, famous as much for his scorching electric sets as for his riveting acoustic explorations. For this visit to the Bay Area, fans can expect a heavy helping of the latter. Touring behind Front Parlour Ballads, his first studio collection of acoustic material in more than two decades, Thompson will be showcasing an unplugged mix of old favorites ("Two Left Feet," "Withered and Died") and plaintive new cuts like "When We Were Boys at School." If the whole affair sounds a bit tame, think again: Thompson doesn't require amplification to electrify a crowd, relying instead upon the richness of his songwriting and his fretboard acrobatics. He will be appearing with folk legend Danny Thompson (no relation) and Eliza Gilkyson at the Fillmore on Friday, Sept. 30; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. -- Rossiter Drake


If you follow the international psych-rock underground, then you know that Japan's Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno (formerly known as Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.) is considered one of the premier long-haired, neo-hippie collectives creating mind-fazing acid rock, mystical noise, and spaced-out folk meditations. When it comes to harnessing the volume and energy of screaming distortion, volatile guitar meltdowns, and droning electronics, AMT is one of the best in the business at taking listeners' minds on a rocket ride across the universe. However, after checking out a handful of the group's live shows over the past seven years, I have realized that AMT's performances are not quite the deep-space probes that its records can be. Unlike such original psych-masters as the Grateful Dead and Hawkwind, AMT is primarily a studio recording unit, not a performance-based group, which makes sense since most people these days are content to sit at home in front of their stereos instead of hanging at the rock club. Then again, with the right hallucinogens in your system, I'm quite sure that Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno will put on a transcendent show. Get blotto and find out when the act plays on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Bottom of the Hill; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info.-- Justin F. Farrar

 
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