Bishop Allen provokes appreciation from indie film and indie music fans alike

Bishop Allen comprises two Brooklyn musicians who just so happen to be actors. Lead singer Justin Rice and guitarist Christian Rudder starred in acclaimed director Andrew Bujalski's films Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation. But acting is just their hobby. They spend most of their time either recording like madmen — they released 12 EPs last year, one each month — or touring, most recently in support of Bishop Allen's newest disc, The Broken String. The guys could stand to look like they're having a bit more fun onstage, but the band's skilled use of diverse instrumentation more than makes up for any deadpan delivery. Expect keys, banjo, ukulele, glockenspiel, viola, or whatever the hell else the group feels like playing when Bishop Allen performs on Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $12-14; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. Ben Westhoff


Evolving indie institution Yo La Tengo takes the stage this week for a benefit show at KUSF's 30th Birthday Celebration. Even after recording more than 15 melodic noise-pop albums — including soundtracks to new cinematic treasures like Junebug, Shortbus, Old Joy, and Jean Painleve's footage of mating octopi and pregnant seahorses — the trio still steps up to bat for college radio. Its show will undoubtedly help KUSF continue to saturate Bay Area airwaves with much-needed Andean panpipe music, and, of course, Yo La Tengo's 2006 release, the confrontationally titled I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.One could hardly ask for a more vital music assault than to see Yo La Tengo live at Bimbo's on Friday, Aug. 3, at 9 p.m. Admission is $25; call 474-0365 or visit www.bimbos365club.com for more information. Evan James


Times New Viking's creation myth is pretty irresistible. Tom Lax of Siltbreeze Records (home to '90s lo-fi stalwarts Guided by Voices, the Dead C., and Sebadoh) revived his long-dormant imprint after happening across a f'd-up looking cassette in a homemade "street shrine." The recordings became Dig Yourself, the band's 2005 Siltbreeze debut. Whether or not the story's bullshit, it's easy to believe once you get an earload of the shrill, blown-out "production values" on Dig Yourself and its recent follow-up, Present the Paisley Reich. The Columbus, Ohio, guitar-keyboard-drums trio kicks up a joyful, nihilistic racket that recalls the destroyed pop of early Pavement — all tape distortion, cheap mikes, and vocal hooks that could give you tetanus. Times New Viking performs on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Hemlock at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $7; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. — J. Niimi

 
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