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A Boston-based gang of indie rockers reveling in '80s hair metal, Bang Camaro comes off like the infernal spawn of the Polyphonic Spree and Def Leppard. Employing a choir of up to 15 lead singers — each armed with a goofy nickname and equally retarded signature mic-stand maneuver — the group delivers a preposterous, Pabst Blue Ribbon–soaked parade of hooky riffs and testosterone-fueled gang vocals. Most heshers will quickly dismiss the group as a blasphemous exercise in false metal, but it's hard to deny the over-the-top appeal of fist-banging anthems like "Push Push (Lady Lightning)" and "Pleasure (Pleasure)." Raise a pint and howl along with the crew when Bang Camaro brings the rawk to Great American Music Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. Admission is $13; call 885-0750 or visit www.gamh.com for more info. Dave Pehling

If Gillian Welch is the goddess of the new-millennium folk movement, Nina Nastasia is her indie-rock half-sister. Like Welch, Nastasia typically performs with bare-bones accompaniment — often just pairing her voice with an acoustic six-string — and her lyrics are layered with heartaches and lonesome highways. Nastasia's forte is dealing head-on with grief, however. On "You Follow Me," the singer's extraordinary new recording with drummer Jim White (of instrumental combo Dirty Three), Nastasia sings, "I don't believe in the power of love." And yet everything in her naked approach to songwriting screams otherwise. Nina Nastasia and Jim White perform on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Rickshaw Stop at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10; call 861-2011 or visit www.rickshawstop.com for more info. Sam Prestianni

Since forming in Brooklyn in 2002, Akron/Family has been called everything from freak-folk to avant-pop. In reality, the band's inventive brand of rock probably falls somewhere between those two worlds — think a less pretentious Devendra Banhart fronting a jam band — and pairs a pop infrastructure with virtuosic improvisation. (This unique juxtaposition caught the attention of Swans frontman Michael Gira, who has released all the band's material on his Young God label.) Considering Akron/Family's hectic international touring schedule, it should come as no surprise that the band sports Rip Van Winkle–esque beards, but don't let the facial hair throw you — Akron/Family's frenzied live performances are anything but a snooze. Akron/Family performs on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $12; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — Jonah Bayer

Dark obsessions fuel the creative fires of Natasha Khan, the U.K. nursery school teacher-turned-songwriter behind Bat for Lashes. The video for the single "What's a Girl to Do" nails the band's Donnie Darko–meets–Mulholland Falls vibe, showing Khan bicycling with a pack of handclapping BMXers in animal masks. Bat For Lashes' music achieves a certain spookiness with hypnotic harpsichords, ominous percussion, and Khan's airy, solemn vocals. If the buzz on Bat for Lashes is any indication, then Khan and her all-girl backup band should find a cult audience to rival David Lynch's. Look for the girls to trade instruments with ease when they play live on Thursday, Oct. 11, at Slim's at 8 p.m. Admission is $13-15; call 255-0333 or visit slims-sf.com for more info. — Maya Kroth

Channeling more energy than five hydroelectric dams, the Tokyo robot-thrashers of Polysics steal Devo's twitchy guitar riffs and pinging synthesizers — not to mention Devo's sartorial taste in geek-punk jumpsuits — and reformat it all into absurdist New Wave slamdances. You might not immediately grasp the meaning of lyrics like "I've got to be unknown place, I gotta supershocked!," but when irrepressible frontman Hiroyuki Hayashi strafes your face with his ray-gun guitar freakouts, it suddenly makes a kind of weird, wild sense. Plug into Polysics' hyperactive pogo machine on Sunday, Oct. 14, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $12-14; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. John Graham

The UK's Patrick Wolf is a mercurial violinist/singer-songwriter/programmer with a tattoo of a unicorn on his chest and a penchant for pastel theatrics. Balancing stark, digitally embossed ballads with nipping chamber pop, this lycanthrope is less likely to bark at the moon than prance in the moonlight. Wolf runs his electrocoustic compositions through a BeDazzler, adding strings, horns, and piano to punctuate. Dandy raver backbeats and pulses carom around on the first three tracks of the recently released The Magic Position, while on later songs Wolf tones down the hypersaturation of fey funk for more emulsified moodiness. Peep the stylized swoons of Patrick Wolf on Monday, Oct. 15, at Mezzanine at 9 p.m. Admission is $15; call 820-9669 or visit www.mezzaninesf.com for more info. — Tony Ware

 
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