By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
By Emma Silvers
By Alee Karim
Who needs Coachella? If you live in the Bay Area, most of the best of this sprawling three-day music festival — which spans two consecutive weekends — comes to you. Call it "the Coachella effect," or "Fauxchella" — or just call it a good excuse to spend that tax refund. Of course, many Bay Area shows featuring highly anticipated Coachella performers sold out shortly after they went on sale, so unless you wanna make friends with a scalper, you won't be getting into Radiohead, or Pulp, or the Refused. (We're bummed about that, too.) But even now, during one of the busiest months for local concerts all year, there are plenty of chances to see big-name artists without haggling on a sidewalk. We've rounded up nine local Fauxchella shows that, as of publication, still have tickets available.
The most successful indie rock export from San Francisco in the last few years, Girls are a band that often inspires flashbacks: Their latest album, the acclaimed Father, Son, Holy Ghost, moves between classic '50s rock 'n' roll, Sabbath-indebted riffage, and mind-bending Pink Floydian anthems. Singer Christopher Owens is known for his melodramatic lyrics, but that willingness to bare his soul in songs like "My Ma" or "Vomit" makes this band a potent force onstage. Wednesday, April 11, at Bimbo's. 9 p.m., $22-$25; www.bimbos365club.com
Yuck and La Sera
So far, the best '90s grunge album of the 2010s is the self-titled debut album of Yuck, a British fivesome with messy hair and a charmingly preoccupied stage presence. The similarities to Dinosaur Jr. and other original American indie bands are striking, but Yuck pours enough of its own Gen-Y worry into its songs to make them feel unique. Show opener La Sera sounds like what would happen if you mated Beach House's drawling tempos with Best Coast's beachy pop. Sunday, April 15, at The Independent. 8 p.m., $15; www.theindependentsf.com
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Few would have thought that building sprawling, classical-influenced compositions lasting 15 to 30 minutes each would be a recipe for long-lasting success. But a decade after the release of its last album, this iconic post-rock band is booked to play S.F. five nights in a row — and most of the shows are sold out. Luckily, there's still a chance to experience the cinematic heights of Godspeed in person. Tuesday, April 17, at Great American Music Hall. $25; www.slimspresents.com.
First Aid Kit
Listening to The Lion's Roar, the latest album from First Aid Kit, you'd swear these two sisters grew up in Omaha, or Oklahoma City, or maybe even Nashville. Hell, one of the album's best songs includes vocals from Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and its second track name-checks Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, and Emmylou Harris, among others. But you'd be wrong: The duo singing these beautifully sad acoustic tunes hails from Sweden. Now the Euros are officially as good at Americana as Americans are. Wednesday, April 18, at Slim's. 9 p.m., $16; www.slimspresents.com.
Wild Flag and EMA
If you haven't seen the all-female punk supergroup Wild Flag, you haven't seen how good live rock can be in 2012. Carrie Brownstein's new band is a face-melting presence of explosive choruses and tortured, feedback-ridden guitar solos — and its new songs are as fiery as 40-year-olds get. Opener EMA doles out druggy folk-rock in a dark and experimental direction, and brings so much unpredictability to the stage that she can be unnerving. Wednesday, April 18, at the Fillmore. 8 p.m., $29; www.livenation.com.
Riding the popularity of hit single "Somebody That I Used to Know," Australian pop singer Gotye is blowing up in the U.S. His S.F. show was moved from the 500-capacity Independent to the 8,000-capacity Bill Graham, an unprecedented expansion. There's only one way to find out if he's worth it. Thursday, April 19, at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. 8 p.m., $39.50; www.apeconcerts.com
Maybe you know him as Bonny Bear? Either way, Grammy-winning Justin Vernon has a habit of working spells on large live audiences — his sold-out set at the Greek Theatre last year saw the moaning Sconnie greet a swooning public. Much making-out ensued. So on a normal week, there wouldn't be tickets left to this show, either. Friday, April 20, at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. 8 p.m., $45; www.apeconcerts.com
Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80
The Generation-Y son of Afrobeat rebel Fela Kuti, Seun's latest album, From Africa with Fury: Rise, finds him playing with many of his father's old bandmates in the Egypt 80. The rhythms are multivalent and propulsive, Seun's sax is on fire, and even his vocal phrasing eerily recalls his father. Talent runs strong in this family. Thursday, April 19, at Zellerbach Auditorium at UC Berkeley. 8 p.m., $20-$58; calperfs.berkeley.edu.
St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs
Two of the leading ladies in indie music right now are St. Vincent's Annie Clark and tUnE-yArDs' Merril Garbus. While Clark turns the electric guitar into a tool for cubist art and an accompaniment for her own seductive vocals, Garbus abandons it altogether in favor of a ukulele, a horn section, a few percussion instruments, and a lot of loop pedals. Somehow, though, St. Vincent's art-rock and tUnE-yArDs' avant-world-pop are a perfect pairing. Tuesday, April 24, at the Fox Oakland. 7:30 p.m., $29.50; www.foxoakland.com.