RJD2 (aka Philadelphia-based Ramble John Krohn) offers a much broader musical palette than the sparse bleeps of the little Star Wars robot that inspired his name. Primarily known for sample-heavy hip-hop work, the producer's 2007 album The Third Hand saw him coming out of his shell to actually sing and play original instrumentation. Joining RJD2 on this tour is New Jersey's dälek (MC dälek and producer Oktopus), a heady rock/rap/experimental electronic hybrid signed to Bay Area label Ipecac. They'll hit the stage on Thursday, April 10, at the Independent at 9 p.m. Admission is $23; call 771-1421 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — Tamara Palmer
Germany's Timo Maas is a popular DJ internationally, regularly gigging across most of the continents. A remixer for the likes of Depeche Mode and Placebo, the techno-leaning Maas hasn't had a new solo album in three years, but he's working on a new group, Format 3, with longtime studio partner Martin Buttrich and former Skunk Anansie frontwoman Skin. Format 3's sound has so far been closely guarded, but Maas and Buttrich definitely have the production bombast to match Skin's vocal power. Perhaps Maas will give a sonic glimpse during his DJ set on Friday, April 11, at Mezzanine at 10 p.m. Admission is $15; call 625-8880 or visit www.mezzaninesf.com for more info. — T.P.
Dividing his time between the English seaside town of Brighton and the sun-soaked city of Los Angeles has given Adam Freeland's breakbeat-fueled party jams a happy bent. But the DJ, producer, and Marine Parade label head's latest effort, the Hate EP, offers three cuts of dark and squelching instrumentals, including the standout "Where's Your God Now?" Even Freeland's harsher offerings still contain an attitude of irreverence, though, so don't expect any gloom when he DJs on Friday, April 11, at Mighty at 10 p.m. Admission is $15; call 762-0151 or visit www.mighty119.com for more info. — T.P.
Atmospheric droners Stars of the Lid have created the perfect soundtrack for watching fish swim in a dimly lit tank late at night. Ambient and fluid, the duo's soundscapes — influenced by mystic minimalist composers Arvo Pärt and Henryk Górecki as well as the production work of Brian Eno — are percussionless, mainly comprising feedback swells mixed with highly processed guitars, piano, strings, and horns. Its latest studio album — last year's And Their Refinement of the Decline — is a double CD/triple LP that garnered grandiose reviews. If psychedelics are available, be sure to ingest plenty for this rare live performance on Tuesday, April 15, at the Independent at 8 p.m. Admission is $15; call 771-1422 or visit www.theindependentsf.com for more info. — Andy Tennille