Mountain Goats graze through three sold out shows

Portland's Charlie Salas-Humara is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist best known as Panther. Like a one-man short-wave set with purposely faulty control knobs, his new mini-album Secret Lawns integrates hellish hip-hop rhythms, surreal soul, arty/noisy collages, mock prog-rock pomp, and honeyed vocal choruses, warped 'n' twisted fun-house-mirror-style. Keeping Panther from the pitfalls of pretentiousness is his impishly anarchic sense of humor and the suspicion that deep down, he enjoys pop music too much to leave its conventions un-skewered. How he'll accomplish this live ought to be trippy. Be there on Thursday, March 8, at the Hemlock at 9 p.m. to find out. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. — Mark Keresman


For nearly three decades, George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic enterprise was arguably theparty-band concept of all time, making true on the lyrics "Ain't no party like a P-Funk party 'cause a P-Funk party don't stop!" P-Funk shows were all about one-love psychedelica mixed with marrow-deep grooves, anthemic vocals, and a dozen or more crazy performers writhing together for hours at a stretch. The electric vibe was a guaranteed good time. But those days are over. Sadly, P-Funk gigs are now little more than a con with inflated ticket prices, uninspired set lists, and lackluster performances. So what's a fan to do? Enter at your own risk ... when George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars appear on Friday, March 9, at the Fillmore at 9 p.m. Admission is $39.50; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. Sam Prestianni


Having established himself as a haunting indie-folk icon with sinister character sketches, The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle tried something different on 2005's The Sunset Tree. He exorcised horror stories he'd actually lived through — specifically, life with a violent stepdad. If last year's follow-up, Get Lonely, pulled the spotlight back a bit from Darnielle's scars, it shares that album's rooting in more universal situations than the outrageous yarns he used to spin. The Mountain Goats perform on Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 8, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is sold out; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. They also perform on Friday, March 9, at the Bottom of the Hill at 10 p.m. Admission is sold out; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. Ed Masley


El Perro Del Mar has created an alternate universe in her music where, say, "Sunday Morning" by the Velvet Underground becomes the blueprint for sophisticated girl-group classics, where the Shangri-Las are art-school grads and Carole King smokes pot with Dylan but still goes to work in the morning. Many have invoked the name Phil Spector to describe this Swedish chanteuse's self-titled charmer, but you'll find no Wall of Sound here. Her songs do share Spector's girl-group innocence, but even then, it's filtered through a grown-up sense of melancholy — especially "Candy," where perhaps the only sane response to a world of hurt is "Now I'm going for to buy me some candy ... on a Saturday night." El Perro Del Mar performs on Monday, March 12, at the Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is $15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. — E.M.

 
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