Punk rockers raid your mom's record collection

Austin's Peter and the Wolf is fronted by one Red Hunter, a songwriter who gravitates toward back-porch, lo-fi folk traditions. On his first proper Peter release, Lightness, he falls somewhere between Devendra Banhart, Sun Kil Moon, and the Songs: Ohia. He sings about bonsai trees, snake charmers, and even has a sea shanty up his sleeve, sounding alternately optimistic and downright creepy. The stripped-down acoustic guitar Hunter favors places emphasis on his deep, youthful voice, a common trick among these raw, soft-sounding folkies. Peter and the Wolf performs Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Hemlock at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. Michael D. Ayers

While the connection between a baby boomer favorite like Kenny Rogers and a bunch of punk rockers isn't immediately apparent, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes successfully bridge the gap by transforming moldy oldies into fierce karaoke anthems. This old-school, all-star cover band, which includes members of NOFX, Lagwagon, and the Swingin' Utters, has on past discs exhumed the work of Barry Manilow, Cat Stevens, and Paul Simon by adding zippy chord changes and hooks from punk rock classics. On their themed records, they've pillaged '60s bubblegum pop, corny '80s R&B, and bloated show tunes. Though it's not exactly high concept, on their latest release, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Love Their Country, they molest standards by Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, as well as forgotten travesties by Garth Brooks and the Eagles. Check out the Gimme Gimmes in full cowboy gear on Friday, Dec. 15, at Slim's at 9 p.m.. Admission is $17; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims-sf.com for more info. Adam Bregman

In Whitey's "Non Stop" video, everyone — four-piece band and audience — is stone-faced and nearly immobile. Which is odd, because "Non Stop" is a driving song where Can's nagging bass throb meets T. Rex's platform-booted rhythmic bounce on the glittery autobahn. But even at its most manic, Whitey's debut disc, The Light at the End of the Tunnel Is a Train, maintains its composure. The doleful Brit seems equally enthralled with gritty, coiled post-punk, Neu!-ish motorik grooves, and the DFA's trademark warped, arpeggiated analog synths and chugging, no-frills beats. Train possesses a few morosely pretty ballads, but Whitey's flat-line, grayscale vocals are better suited for aerodynamic cruises down trance rock's smoothly paved expressways. Whitey performs with Peaches and Jeffree Staron Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Fillmore at 9 p.m. Admission is $25; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. Dave Segal

History has somewhat diminished the contributions of Throwing Muses in developing smart, female-fronted indie rock in the '80s and '90s. Frontwoman Kristin Hersh's other main musical drive these days is 50 Foot Wave, a trio with drummer Rob Ahlers and Muses bass player Bernard Georges. It's a band that's as full-on and electric as the Muses are contemplative and gentle on the ears, a yang to the Muses' yin. See both acts perform live on Saturday, Dec.16, at Great American Music Hall at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. Tamara Palmer

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