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Three Must-See Acts This Week - August 23, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Three Must-See Acts This Week

Electronic

Anna Lunoe

10 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24, at 1015 Folsom. $20; 1015.com

Anna Lunoe was always destined to have a career in music, but through sheer dedication and an irresistible sound to her name, the DJ-producer-vocalist-host has quickly become one of dance music’s most respected names. The Sydney-born Lunoe spent her youth playing acoustic guitar, eventually finding her way into DJing — to enormous success, playing alongside fellow Aussies Flume and Nina Las Vegas. To advance in her career, Lunoe moved to Los Angeles in 2012 and made her initial impact on to the American electronic scene with her banging debut EP Anna Lunoe & Friends. Lunoe would spend the next two years releasing a steady stream of music, gaining a massive fanbase with her bass-heavy, house-tinged style complete with custom vocals from Lunoe. Cementing her status as a key tastemaker for the international electronic scene, 2015 saw the launch of Lunoe’s weekly Beats 1 radio show HYPERHOUSE, which has since seen guest appearances from the likes of Diplo, Jamie xx, and Kaskade. Defying expectations is something Lunoe has mastered during her career, as seen when she was the first female solo artist to play Electric Daisy Carnival’s main stage in 2016, or when she played a chaotic set in Coachella’s Sahara Tent with live vocals, shortly after announcing her pregnancy, all reasons why the master-curator’s skills or love for the scene shall never be in question. 

Calpurnia. Photo by Pooneh Ghana

Indie rock

Calpurnia

8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, at The Fillmore. $25; thefillmore.com

A rock band whose members are each barely old enough to drive a car sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Calpurnia has proven naysayers gleefully wrong, with a refined guitar-driven sound reminiscent of 1960s psychedelia and a heavy dose of garage-rock attitude. Fronting the Vancouver quartet is Finn Wolfhard, best known for his starring roles on Stranger Things and It, and who formed the band with childhood friends over the course of a few years. Equally inspired by The Beatles and Beck, Calpurnia jumped into the studio earlier this year to record the debut EP Scout, produced by fellow indie rockers Twin Peaks, which was released in June to widespread praise. Many critics claimed Calpurnia’s debut to be impressive for any rock band, let alone one made up of teenagers. Scout subtly weaves through many styles, which can be attributed to all four members of the group bringing their own backgrounds and influences into the mix. In an interview with Stereogum, Wolfhard claimed that was the result of a democratic atmosphere in the studio, saying, “If you’re in a collective, I feel like everyone should have the same say. … We were all equal in the studio.” 

Jens Lekman. Photo by Ellika Henrikson

Indie pop

Jens Lekman

8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23, at The New Parish. $30; thenewparish.com

Singer-songwriter Jens Lekman’s blistering sense of self-awareness is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. The Swedish musician, under the Mask-inspired moniker Rocky Dennis, first came across listeners’ radars in 2003 when his Maple Leaves EP surged in popularity throughout music-sharing websites — and he nearly took over the indie-pop world in the late 2000s with his masterwork album, Night Falls over Kortedala. Now going by his birth name, Lekman released his 2005 debut album When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog to near-unanimous acclaim, but quickly became disillusioned with the industry, taking a short hiatus from music. Thankfully, Lekman found himself inspired to create his 2007 sophomore album Night Falls over Kortedala, a heartbreaking, humorous work blessed with quirky but elegant production, reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian. Lekman’s next album, 2012’s I Know What Love Isn’t, is a dark, introspective look inside his troubled romantic life, which despite overwhelming praise, did not connect to fans on tour the way he imagined, leading to another brief period of artistic reclusion. Feeling rejuvenated after completing his ambitious year-long Postcards project — which saw him release a new song every week for a year — Lekman returned in 2017 with his wildly different, disco-inspired studio album Life Will See You Now. A curve ball, this is nonetheless Lekman at the happiest he has ever sounded — and arguably, at his creative peak.