Ben Goldberg Group|Ukelele night|Peter Walker|Ladyhawk

Bloomington, Ind., label Jagjaguwar hosts an impressive roster of rootsy, Neil Young-indebted indie rock. Followers of the Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops stronghold on gritty, raucous balladry by bearded dudes should point their browsers toward fellow Vancouver residents Ladyhawk. The latter took a little help from its Mountainous friends to craft an eponymous debut with dirt under its nails and distortion in its speakers. Forlorn vocals? Check. Twisted trysts? Check. ("Your good looks are fading fast/ so fuck who you will"). Dynamics that pitch from fervent, noisy squalls to country-toned meditations? Check. So check out Ladyhawk when it lands at the Hotel Utah on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 9 p.m. Admission is $8; call 546-6300 or visit www.thehotelutahsaloon.com for more info. Jennifer Maerz


Although you may have heard Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon masterpiece under the duress of THC, during a synchronized screening of The Wizard of Oz, or possibly under the influence both simultaneously, I'll bet you've never listened to those songs strummed from the strings of a tiny ukulele. The Tatamimats — formerly a punk rock band called the Doormats that somehow turned ukulele ensemble — take the '70s classic to new levels when they cover the album in its entirety on the pony of guitars. And before you sneer at the idea, just remember: Both George Harrison and Marilyn Monroe played the thing, and they so ruled. The "Dark Side of the Uke" starts Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Knockout at 10 p.m. Admission is $6; call 550-6994 or visit theknockoutsf.com for more info. Brock Keeling


Clarinetist Ben Goldberg is a Bay Area provocateur. His pioneering work with the New Klezmer Trio in the late '80s amplified "Radical Jewish Culture" long before New York City iconoclast John Zorn appropriated the concept. A few years later, at the helm of Junk Genius, Goldberg gave bebop classics a blasphemous punk-fueled shot in the arm when the jazz conservatives ruled the day. Most recently, the renowned band leader performed as a key accompanist in two prestigious SF Jazz Festival showcases. Goldberg and his latest quintet (featuring violinist Carla Kihlstedt) celebrates the CD release of the door, the hat, the chair, the fact — a stunning album that roves through wide-ranging moods and improv-rich modes with beauty, depth, and serene power — on Monday, Nov. 20, at Yoshi's at 8pm and 10pm. Admission is $6-10; call (510) 238-9200 or visit www.yoshis.com for more info. Sam Prestianni


After decades of amplified, contorted, and distorted sounds, non-mainstream musical types are finally exploring quieter, unamplified avenues toward the "cutting edge." Its best-known forebears are the late acoustic guitarists John Fahey and Robbie Basho — but a contemporary of theirs walks among us. Peter Walker is every bit the astounding virtuoso, drawing greater inspiration from Indian raga and studying with sitar icon Ravi Shankar. After mastering flamenco in Spain, Walker re-embraces recording and touring after a 35-plus year "hiatus"; A Raga for Peter Walker includes four new songs, along with solo acoustic works by disciples and admirers Jack Rose, Greg Davis, and Thurston Moore. Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) gives Walker major props. Become experienced when Walker, Rose, and the Alps perform on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Hemlock Tavern at 8 p.m. Admission is $10; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. — Mark Keresman

 
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