Anamanaguchi Headlines This Week’s Must-See Acts

Anamanaguchi at August Hall on Saturday, Khushi at Great American Music Hall on Monday, Shopping at Richshaw Stop on Tuesday.

Chiptune

Anamanaguchi 

7 p.m., Saturday, March 7, at August Hall. $20; augusthallsf.com

Using old video game consoles along with traditional rock instruments, Anamanaguchi are known for their chaotic yet giddily-optimistic compositions that sound like a group of Game Boys came alive to start a noise punk band. But on the legendary chiptune quartet’s latest album [USA], the band’s sense of colorful escapism is brought to down to earth with grounded emotion, resulting in their most human sounding record yet. Formed in 2004, the Brooklyn-group solidified their Nintendo-meets-punk sound with early releases like 2006’s Power Supply and their 2009 debut studio album Dawn Metropolis, quickly amassing a loyal cult fanbase via the internet. The band would go on to launch a highly-successful crowdfunding campaign that resulted in their 2013 sophomore album, Endless Fantasy, a dense yet highly-animated whirlwind of abrasive distortion and sugar-coated bleeps. Over five years in the making, Anamanaguchi released their third album [USA] last November to enthusiastic reception from fans and critics alike, as the group’s more cartoonish tendencies are toned down in favor of warm and emotionally compelling melodies.  

Photo by Jack Bridgland

Singer-songwriter

Khushi 

(with Asgeir) 8 p.m., Monday, March 9, at Great American Music Hall. $22; slimspresents.com

An emotive vocalist who uses his intricate production prowess to create subtle yet kaleidoscopic soul, Khushi’s recently released debut album Strange Seasons was created over the course of 10 years, a reflection of Khushi’s boundless quest for sonic perfection that results in a legitimately compelling opening statement. Born Kalim Patel in London, the singer-songwriter performed in local indie rock bands while producing his own material on the side, eventually connecting with James Blake who immediately fell in love with Patel’s unreleased work. Patel would go on to help produce Blake’s 2019 album Assume Form, which earned a Grammy nomination for best alternative music album, before both artists refocused their attention on Patel’s long-gestating album. Going by his childhood nickname Khushi, which in Hindi translates to “joy,” the artist released his delicate yet haunting debut Strange Seasons in January, a deeply confessional experience that hears an audibly vulnerable Patel reflect on personal anxieties. 

Courtesy of Artist

Dance-punk 

Shopping

8 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, at Rickshaw Stop. $15; rickshawstop.com

Bridging pulsating dance rhythms with unfiltered aggression stemmed from palpable frustration toward the current political landscape, London’s Shopping have always been driven by a singular, deeply queer vision, giving their kinetic brand of disco-punk a powerful feeling of liberation. Formed in 2012 from the remains of the trio’s previous group, Covergirl, Shopping’s raw 2015 debut album Consumer Complaints gives listeners a satisfying taste of the band’s pulsating energy, further perfecting their sound with their excellent sophomore album Why Choose, released later that year. The group would return in early 2018 with their third album, The Official Body, which hears the trio expand their sonic palette with the welcome addition of synths and other electronic flourishes, fully embracing their dance-centric spirit while providing vital social commentary. Released last month, Shopping’s fourth album All Or Nothing shines as the trio’s boldest and most concise record to date, as the album’s propulsive nature is heightened by pop melodies. 

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