Better learn to love 'em, because it's getting harder to avoid the Killers. The band's swooning mini-epic (epiclette?) "When You Were Young" has saturated the Internet since August, with two versions of the torrid, tragi-Latino video ranking high on YouTube. Sam's Town, the Killers' new sophomore album, has been one of the year's most anticipated releases; advance reviews are mostly gushing. And then there's Los Matadores' two-night run at the Warfield this week, which, as a recent secret show at Popscene proved, will be overrun with teenage fashion victims, collegiate hipsters, and plenty of hangers-on who can't get enough of the music. It's not indie rock 'n' roll, and that's all right arenas will suit the Killers as much as the mustaches and bolo ties. The Killers perform on Sunday and Monday, Oct. 8 and 9, at the Warfield at 8 p.m. Admission is $30; call 775-7722 or visit www.livenation.com for more info. Jonathan Zwickel
Ah, the Rock Oddball that confederacy of dunces, idiot savants, and talented eccentrics designated "cult figures." The Shaggs, Daniel Johnston, Jandek, Marianne Nowottny all inhabit a zone where distinctions betwixt brilliance and folly are blurred. Add to the list Midwesterner Sufjan Stevens, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and songwriter on a quest to record a concept album for each state in America. That sounds precious until you listen to Illinoise, No. 2 in the series. Stevens comes on like a cross between Elliott Smith and Van Dyke Parks a kaleidoscopic mix of folksy naivete and urbane sophistication, of sweetly yearning pop and marching-band corn, lyrically evoking icons of IL from Abe Lincoln to John Wayne Gacy. Live, he'll be joined by a 24-piece choir from the Pacific Mozart Ensemble. Experience the Midwest in song on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 10 and 11, at Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, at 8 p.m. Admission is $20-25; call (510) 642-9988 for more info. M.K.