Owl Be There

At a recent Haiti benefit, Kelley Stoltz stole the show from Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, and the Sandwitches. That the latter are all raging rock bands, the best of their ilk in Northern California, and Stoltz is a guy with an acoustic guitar didn’t matter — he still wore the evening home like a magnificent cloak. How does one dude hold a crowd of already inebriated people anticipating detonation in his calm hand? So that the room becomes quiet, and everyone can hear the words to his songs? Beats us. But that’s what happened, and this is who Stoltz is — one of a handful of local musicians who are semisecretly famous, prolific recording artists, and mentors to hundreds of wannabe-thems. His new record, Circular Sounds, is excellent; it’s the home of “Morning Sun,” full of chimey pianos, mellow-sweet lyrics, and warm guitar. If you want to hear the song that killed the whole show, though, it’s on an old Sub Pop 7-inch, and is a song that deserves to be a San Francisco ultraclassic: “Owl Service.”

Prairie Dog, Greg Dalbey, and Royalchord open.
Tue., Feb. 23, 9 p.m., 2010

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