Stephen Malkmus hits the pavement

Reggae music isn't always known for its subtlety in the sex department, particularly when it comes to the younger artists coming out of Jamaica. But throughout a 30-plus-year career, singer Beres Hammond has always kept it classy and romantic with his easygoing lovers' rock. He generally leaves the grinding to latter-day stars like, say, Elephant Man (who takes his name from a certain impressive appendage). "Empress of Reggae" Marcia Griffiths supports Hammond for two nights of performances, Wednesday, Jan. 3, and Thursday, Jan. 4, at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $30; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. Tamara Palmer


Oh shit, it's a young band from Scotland — better make the obligatory Franz Ferdinand reference. And what's this? They're buddies with Pete Doherty and Primal Scream? Better mention that, too. Ah, but there's one slight problem. Dundee's the View — our Scots in question — are more than the sum of their friends and countrymen. Too punk to be indie and too indie to be punk, the View's sound is somewhere in the middle, keeping a steady, nonangular pace while piling on the melodies — and, occasionally, just rocking the fuck out (the Damnedlike "Posh Boys"). And it's all done with enough spot-on minimalism to keep the tunes hummable. With a forthcoming debut album, Hats Off to the Buskers, slated for a late-January release, the View, as they like to say, is on fire. The View performs on Thursday, Jan. 4, at Popscene. Admission is $8; visit www.popscene-sf.com for more info. Jason Budjinski


Turns out Stephen Malkmus is more like Morrissey than Lou Barlow — no matter how much money has been thrown at him to get the old band back together, the 40-year-old singer-guitarist has thus far refused to reanimate Pavement, his archetypical slacker-indie-rock outfit. That was a bummer to this particular Pavement fan, at least until last year's Face the Truth (Malkmus' third solo album), which is better than about half of Pavement's esteemed catalog. Aside from an occasional fondness for odd synth passages, Malkmus is still all about skewed, craggy country-rock, noodly space-jams, and laconic, confounding lyrics. Special credit goes to backing band the Jicks — which now includes former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss — for bringing out the best in Malkmus live. Chances are you'll hear new material, and a Pavement nugget or two, when Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks perform on Friday, Jan. 5, at Bimbo's at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com for more info. — Michael Alan Goldberg


As if musician-life isn't difficult enough, how about when your band's name is "shared" by another (Boston-based) act? Ergo, East Bay's hard-core punk heroes El Dopa became 1332, who in turn became ElDopa. A virulent organism — a steely, caustic, dissonant, grindcore-flavored cauldron of fury, literal/figurative cousins of Grimple, Neurosis, and Melvins — a rose by any other name, right? The usual trials 'n' tribulations ended the band and its label (East Bay Menace) circa 1997, and its beloved 1332 album subsequently went out of print. But time is a great healer, even (especially?) with punk rock. In July, Tee Pee Records issued The Complete Recordings, and to properly "christen" the new year, ElDopa performs on Saturday, Jan. 6, at Annie's Social Club at 9 p.m. Admission is $7; call 974-1585 or visit www.anniessocialclub.com for more info. — Mark Keresman

 
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