America's first true hard-rock god, and Canada's one true electronica nut case

America's first true hard-rock guitar god of the '70s was not Ted Nugent or Eddie Van Halen. It was Ronnie Montrose , whose life's obsessions were hard-rock guitar playing and big-game hunting long before that conservative dipshit the Nuge came along. If you want to hear the record that Van Halen copped its entire sound from, pick up a copy of Montrose's self-titled LP released back in '73. This set of prototypical "rawk" jams was produced by Van Halen's future knob-twiddler, Ted Templeman, and features a young Sammy Hagar on lead vocals (now you know why the Red Rocker replaced Diamond Dave). But before inventing the FM-rock sound, the truly versatile Montrose also played some mellow axe on two gorgeous Van Morrison releases: St. Dominic's Preview and Tupelo Honey. So it's unclear what the hell to expect when he performs an acoustic set on Saturday, Nov. 26, at the Little Fox Theatre down in Redwood City, but you can be damn sure that the aging bald dude onstage was Eddie Van Halen way, way before Eddie Van Halen ever was, uhhhh, himself. For more information, call (650) FOX-4119 or go to www.foxdream.com. -- Justin F. Farrar


Dan Snaith used to come through town under the moniker Manitoba. But thanks to the threat of a lawsuit by grumpy ol' Handsome Dick Manitoba (of the NYC punk band the Dictators), the Canadian-born tunesmith changed the name of his outfit to Caribou . Snaith has thrown people for a loop before, however. Just when folks had him pegged as the new IDM hero based on his pitter-pattery 2001 debut, Start Breaking My Heart, he sprung the multihued, psych-informed Up in Flames in 2003, moving him into the "folktronica" bin along with his good friend and occasional collaborator Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet). And yet, when fans went to his shows anticipating a lackadaisical laptop jockey performance, Snaith blew everyone away with a manic full-band experience that included two drummers and a bounty of instruments scattered about the stage. From the sound of Caribou's most recent album, The Milk of Human Kindness -- which uses Yerself Is Steamera Mercury Rev, DJ Shadow, and Kraftwerk as its steppingstones to greatness -- one might expect a similar kind of giddy madness this time around. But given Snaith's penchant for disorientation, who knows what will happen? Find out for yourself when Caribou opens for the Super Furry Animals on Monday, Nov. 28, at the Fillmore; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info.-- Michael Alan Goldberg

 
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