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Denver's DeVotchKa, a self-described "Eastern bloc indie-rock" quartet, is similar to the likes of Gogol Bordello and even Firewater — Slavic melodies, cabaret-punk theatrics, plenty of bouzouki, accordion, and sousaphone. It also adds Persian, South American, and Tex-Mex textures to its compositions, though, ultimately coming off more suave and sophisticated than sinister or deranged. (Think Morrissey or Bryan Ferry fronting a band of Gypsies.) The group's latest, a six-track EP, Curse Your Little Heart, features inspired covers of Velvet Underground, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Frank and Nancy Sinatra songs, which, along with material from their three full-lengths, should transform San Francisco into a colorful Eastern European bazaar on Thursday, Aug. 17, when the band performs at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $15; call 771-1422 or visit for more info. Michael Alan Goldberg

How many French rock 'n' rollers have impressed us here in the States? Johnny Halliday? Les Variations? Plastique Bertrand? Well, one lot of "Gallics" (and their sympathizers) decided to take the U.S. underground on its hometown turf — Les Sans Culottes "relocated" from the land of oui-oui to the fecund hipster underbelly of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The band regrouped as Nous Non Plus, to further refine its endearingly over-the-top mélange of Parisian urbanity and American garage-rock urgency. Singer Celine Dijon oozes that seen-it-all cool vibe that makes icons like Piaf and Gainsbourg so magnetic to Yanks while bassist Jean-Luc Retard makes like Alain Delon itching for a fix. Francois Hardonne applies the proper French accents via horns — and they rock in that jumpy ye-ye manner. Do your bit for Franco-American relations and see Nous Non Plus on Friday, Aug. 18, at Hotel Utah at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 546-6300 or visit for more info. — Mark Keresman

Instead of flogging rote versions of classic hits alongside his '80s contemporaries at county fairs across the country, pioneering synth-pop maestro Gary Numan has taken a page from the playbook of longtime inspiration David Bowie. Reinventing himself over the last decade with a heavier sound, Numan melds the haunting atmospheres and indelible vocal melodies of his earlier work with crunching industrial riffs. Nostalgia hounds won't dig the limited amount of old material he's playing these days, but Numan proves he can still deliver the goods live when he performs songs from his latest effort, Jagged, on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Fillmore at 9 p.m. Admission is $25, call 346-6000 or visit for more info. Dave Pehling

Bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis have been absorbed into the not-so-gentle sonic sludge that is the Melvins, adding extra rhythm to that mothership's gnarly bulldozing buzz both live and in the studio for an upcoming album. But they're still a formidable pair on their own: As the dirge-metal duo Big Business, the L.A.-by-way-of-Seattle pair rattles your nether regions with distorted riffage and cement-block beats that rumble and tumble like a pack of Hell's Angels. Check the heavy yourself when Warren and Willis (ex-Karp and ex-Murder City Devils members, to boot) crack the plaster from the ceiling on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Hemlock Tavern at 6 p.m. (early show). Admission is $5; call 923-0923 or visit for more info. Jennifer Maerz

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