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Alejandro Escovedo offers San Francisco keen narrative detail

Ballyhooed British quartet the Magic Numbers — comprising two brother-sister sets — has devised a winning musical formula by adding together the sounds of yacht rock, twee-indie, and the killer B's of '60s pop (Burt Bacharach, the Beach Boys, the Beatles). Though primary singer-songwriter Romeo Stodart's lyrics typically focus on the love that got away, the bright and sweet nature of his voice, together with the band's amiable guitar jangle and all those fetching boy-girl harmonies, make for songs that ride sun-kissed clouds rather than wallow in darkened-bedroom sorrow. Anyone who's fallen hard for Yo La Tengo and Belle & Sebastian will likely do the same for the Magic Numbers. The Magic Numbers perform on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Great American Music Hall at 8 p.m. Admission is $15; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. Michael Alan Goldberg


Alejandro Escovedo was a member of the Nuns in S.F. punk's first flowering and played with Rank & File and True Believers, two under-heard, ahead-of-the-curve roots outfits. He also released fine solo albums on labels that went belly-up or showed him the door. Yet Escovedo's music isn't driven by rancor, but rather by ruminations on assorted emotional potholes without grand-old-man posturing. His work is plaintive sans self-pity, loaded with tenacity and spirit, and features a folksinger's eye for detail. What's the difference between an old fart coasting on past achievements and a performer rich with maturity and vitality? Experience Alejandro Escovedo and understand the answer on Friday, Aug. 17, at the Great American Music Hall at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. — Mark Keresman

 
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