Check Out Fred Armisen and This Week’s Must-See Acts

Cursive on Thursday at Slim's, SF 4 AUS with Nina Las Vegas on Saturday at Audio, Fred Armisen & Bill Frisell on Saturday at...

Indie rock 

Cursive

7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23, at Slim’s. $25; slimspresents.com 

A band that has consistently rewarded its devoted fanbase with thematically rich lyricism and increasingly complex composition, Cursive’s newest album Get Fixed may be the Omaha group’s most poignant record to date. A loose companion album to the group’s acclaimed 2018 album Vitriola, Get Fixed establishes its own identity with a decisively darker sound, as standout track “Barricades” is a raw, noise-riddled anthem that challenges modern political corruption and societal ignorance. As they have proven with Get Fixed, Cursive have always released music on a cycle that seems deliberate yet natural, which makes each album in their history as a group feel like a unique and emotionally-vulnerable experience, with themes connected in each consecutive release. Led by guitarist and vocalist Tim Kasher, the ambitious post-hardcore group have evolved from underground heroes to indie rock legends with classic albums like 2000’s Domestica and 2003’s The Ugly Organ standing out amongst other remarkable efforts in their strong, nine-album discography. 

Courtesy photo

Dance

SF 4 AUS with Nina Las Vegas 

1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, at Audio SF. $15; audiosf.com

As the bushfires in Australia continue to devastate the country, taking the lives of citizens and wildlife at an unprecedented rate, Audio and Nina Las Vegas have teamed up for a day-party with all proceeds being donated directly to support efforts to combat the fires. One of the most influential figures within Australia’s dance music scene, Nina Las Vegas has become a full-fledged international superstar with a steady presence at top festivals and clubs around the world. The Wagga Wagga-born producer and DJ became known to Australian audiences as the instantly recognizable voice of Saturday nights on radio station Triple J, hosting a series of popular shows since her debut on the station in 2004. Las Vegas has since released a plethora of her own material, including her colorful 2018 EP Lucky Girl which hears the producer experiment with pop-heavy structures along with characteristically kinetic drum patterns. Today, Las Vegas runs her own label, NLV Records, fulfilling the musician’s lifelong dream of shining the spotlight on young, undiscovered artists.

Courtesy of Artists

Jazz/Comedy 

Fred Armisen & Bill Frisell 

7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, at The Chapel. $40; thechapelsf.com

An unlikely but surely harmonious duo, comedian Fred Armisen and esteemed guitarist Bill Frisell plan to take the stage together for a night titled, “Comedy for Guitar Players but Everyone Is Welcome.” One of the most celebrated jazz guitarists of the 1980s, Bill Frisell’s incredibly versatile and fearless approach to his craft defines his prolific, decades-long career that has seen Frisell collaborate with some of the top creative minds in music and playing iconic clubs and festivals. With his newest album Harmony, Frisell has accomplished another achievement by releasing the album with legendary jazz label Blue Note for the first time in his career, and the album sounds appropriately elegant as a vivid reflection of the storied label’s legacy. Fred Armisen has already established his own legacy as the co-creator of the Emmy-nominated Portlandia, amongst numerous achievements within his acting and music career. Since his time as a member of Saturday Night Live, Armisen has stayed busy with a steady slew of projects, with his most recent being the IFC-produced Documentary Now! a satirical documentary series with each episode focusing on a nonsensical subject. 

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