Three Must-See Acts This Week: Wax Idols, King Krule, and Tom Misch


Wax Idols

8 p.m., Saturday, April 14, at Great American Music Hall. $16;

Wax Idols’ 2011 debut album No Future gave a peek into the angst-ridden punk greatness the Oakland rockers were capable of producing. Lead singer and principal songwriter Hether Fortune is no stranger to hard, guitar-heavy music, as she has played in numerous Bay Area garage bands (as well as a brief stint as the bassist for Canadian rockers White Lung). Whereas her output in other bands ranges from sludgy garage rock to anthemic punk, Fortune approaches Wax Idols with a dark-as-a-moonless-night mindset, as heard on their third album, 2015’s American Tragic. Against guitars and brooding synths, Fortune’s desolate-sounding voice is reminiscent of The Cure at their peak. Next month sees the release of Wax Idols’ new album, Happy Ending, a project that sees the group evolve both thematically and sonically, with Fortune continuing her exploration of the duality of political anxiety and personal experience. A previously released single from the forthcoming album, “Scream” gives us a taste of how Wax Idols have taken their brand of pitch-black post-punk to blend it with cathartic anthems that ooze optimism amid an anxious soundscape.


Jazz punk

King Krule

7 p.m., Monday, April 16, at Fox Theater Oakland. $35;

Archy Marshall’s stark baritone is not for everyone, and it’s unlikely he’d ever lose sleep over someone not liking his music, as his gloomy, jazz-influenced punk suggests he loses enough sleep as it is. Born and raised in the streets of London, Marshall endured a troubled childhood ridden with mental-health problems, something he’d candidly revisit on future King Krule releases. Marshall first released music in 2010 as Zoo Kid, and described his genre of music as “bluewave,” perhaps the best label for Marshall’s genre-defying approach to songwriting. With his moniker officially changed to King Krule, taken after the Elvis Presley movie King Creole, he released his debut album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim. Marshall’s raw and unforgiving ballads evoke imagery of a smoky lounge just after last call, with confessional lyrics speaking personally to sleepy-eyed patrons. King Krule’s 2017 sophomore album, The OOZ, continues the eerie jazz-influenced atmospheres of 6 Feet, but Marshall here has cemented his status as his generation’s Tom Waits, complete with experimental tendencies and a wise lyricism.



Tom Misch

8 p.m., Thursday, April 12, at The Warfield. $25;

The 21st century has seen unprecedented musical talent flood the scene, thanks to the internet. For most artists, staying within the confines of one genre is now, for the most part, viewed as ludicrous — and hard to do. Just ask producer, vocalist, DJ, and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Tom Misch, who began releasing beats online in 2012 when he was only 16. Surrounded by his family, who encouraged him at a young age, the idea of not creating music was never an option. Now 22, he’s developed a production technique from J Dilla-inspired hip-hop beats to a beautiful blend of soul, R&B, electronica, and jazz, similar to fellow Londoner James Blake’s soulful electronic style. Misch’s debut studio album Geography was released earlier this year, with guest appearances from GoldLink and De La Soul. Misch establishes himself on Geography as one of the most exciting up-and-comers in the industry, on his way to becoming a trusted collaborator with the biggest names in music.

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