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Unfold those arms, indie snobs! 

Wednesday, Jun 28 2006
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Arms-folding hipsters beware: Apollo Sunshine is too giddy to sit still to. The band performs like a loose-limbed Muppet parade, pulling out more random instruments than a blind dentist, racing into jammy, brazenly energetic concept-pop marathons while remaining tight as surgical gloves. The Boston-based quartet of Berklee grads is part of an emerging breed of unhinged indie bands that aren't afraid to have a shit-ton of fun onstage, playing songs off the cuff rather than off the CD. Last year's self-titled second album was a post-modern, post-pop, post-indie rollercoaster, an ecstatic explosion of musical ideas, and the way Apollo Sunshine translates them to the stage is truly astonishing. Shave the goatee, friend — with these guys, there's no chin-stroking allowed. Apollo Sunshine performs on Wednesday, June 28, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $10-$12; call 771-1421 or visit www.independentsf.com for more info. – Jonathan Zwickel

Something special happened when "white" met "trash." It gave William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams endless source material, and many a musician and songwriter the foundation on which to build careers (or catharsis). Music borne by intermingling rockabilly, gospel, country, and R&B (the genetic building-blocks of rock 'n' roll) and lyrics rife with wrestling demons — this is the beat walked by Munly (Jay Munly to Uncle Sam) and the Lee Lewis Harlots. Munly's mother-ship connection is Slim Cessna's Auto Club, and while both till the same cursed earth, his incursions with the Lee Lewis Harlots lean more toward the country side of the WT equation. On the group's new self-titled disc, Munly's powerful tenor voice makes palpable "Another Song About Jesus, a Wedding Sheet, and a Bowie Knife" and introduces you to the hellish rite that is "The Leavening of the Spit-Bread Girls." Roll over, Nick Cave, and tell Damian Thorne the news! Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots perform Thursday, June 29, at the Hemlock at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free; call 596-7777 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. – Mark Keresman

Comparisons to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's will come in droves for Australia's the Grates, so let's get a few things out of the way: Yes, they feature a guitar/drums lineup; yes, they're fronted by a female singer who can both belt and croon (Patience Hodgson); and yes, they dish out the rock-skronk in ample portions. But the Grates are also reinventing the twee wheel, combining a childlike enthusiasm and a penchant for dealing with high-minded topics of "rock boys" and trampolines within their screeching minimalism and undeniably catchy melodies. And just try not to smile when the blues-romp of "Sukkafish" hits you square in the face. The Grates perform Thursday, June 29, at Popscene at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $8; visit www.popscene-sf.com for more info. – Jonah Flicker

The producers of the annual Fillmore Jazz Festival take pride in the fact that San Francisco is home to one of the nation's premier jazz communities. In its eighth year, the two-day open-air event features nearly two dozen top local performers. From popular straightahead vocalist Kim Nalley (who runs Jazz at Pearl's) and Brass Mafia (a N'awlins-inspired combo with Adam Theis on sousaphone, the beefy predecessor of the tuba), to Sila and the Afro-Funk Experience (an earthy, percussion-deep groove ensemble) and Orquestra la Moderna Tradicion (fiery Latin jazz), the lineup covers an impressive range of styles. Younger-generation players not to be missed include the Mitch Marcus Quartet, a group of high-energy forward-pushing virtuosos, and Bayonics, a tasteful hip-hop nonet of rappers, funksters, and hot hot salsa players. Catch the Fillmore Jazz Festival on Saturday, July 1, through Sunday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Fillmore between Eddy and Jackson. Admission is free; visit www.fillmorejazzfestival.com for more info. – Sam Prestianni

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Sam Prestianni

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Mark Keresman

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Jonathan Zwickel

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Jonah Flicker

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