Three Must-See Act This Week

Dirtybird BBQ and Monolink on Saturday, and Sharing Polly on Wednesday.


Dirtybird BBQ (Claude VonStroke & More)

Noon, Saturday, May 4, at Alameda County Fairgrounds (Pleasanton). $55;

Dirtybird’s tastiest tradition returns to the Bay Area Saturday to bring the best of the label’s talent (and legendary grilled meats) to their ever-increasing and passionate fanbase. Along with the esteemed dance music label itself, the Dirtybird BBQ has its beginnings around 2005 as nothing more than a spontaneous cookout-turned-dance-party in Golden Gate Park, but it’s since grown into a fan-favorite annual event with stops across the country. This year’s installment takes place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, a new venue for the BBQ that promises to have plenty of space filled with fresh green grass perfect for a sunny day. Topping the lineup on the music end this year are the label founder Claude VonStroke, who’s been keeping busy with his successful SiriusXM show The Birdhouse in addition to releasing excellent new singles like “Getting Hot,” a surefire party-starter produced with Eddy M. Rounding out the lineup are some usual Dirtybird heroes including Justin Martin, J.Phlip, Christian Martin, Worthy, and Ardalan. Of course, a whopping serving of grilled goods are also on the agenda in honor of the late Dirtybird grillmaster Grillson with the purchase of a BBQ feast ticket, with vegetarian options available.

Courtesy of Hailey Howard 



9:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4, at Public Works. $25;

A musician who blurs the line between singer-songwriter and producer, Monolink creates hypnotic dance music that plays out with the beauty of a Bierstadt landscape painting, with each track brimming with calculated tension that keeps the listeners attention. The German musician, born Steffen Linck, deviated from Berlin’s techno scene to explore different methods of live performance that would allow Linck to explore untouched territory in house and techno. On stage, Linck performs surrounded by synths and samplers with a guitar around his neck, along with a microphone for maximum versatility that allows the musician to control nearly every niche of his performance. Last year saw the release of Monolink’s debut album, Amniotic, an artistically courageous effort that highlights Linck’s unique ability to create spacious-sounding tracks that still have a clear focus. Most tracks on Amniotic, like standout single “Sirens,” have the structure of a techno track, but have the heart of a desolate folk singer thanks to Linck’s brooding lyricism, plus Linck’s smooth and reverb-laden guitar licks help add a warming touch.

Courtesy of Stunt Co

Punk rock

Skating Polly

8 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, at Ivy Room. $12;

A trio of siblings who create a lively blend of punk and grunge with the spirit of riot grrrl artists, Skating Polly feels like a vital presence in today’s rock landscape. The Oklahoma City band formed in 2009 when step-sisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse, just 9 and 14 at the time, began writing music inspired by their parents’ love of ’70s punk and ’90s alt-rock. Their 2011 debut, Taking Over the World, was recorded in the band’s living room and hears the duo at their most coarse and charmingly unpolished, similar to Sub Pop’s sound in the late ’80s. Rounded out by drummer Kurtis Mayo, the band evolved toward a more polished but still energetic sound on their second and third albums, Lost Wonderfuls and Fuzz Steilacoom, with the help of X vocalist Exene Cervenka and Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson. 2017 saw the trio collaborate with Veruca Salt’s Nina Gordon and Louise Post — who Skating Polly deem major creative influences — for a three-track EP titled New Trick. Last year’s The Make It All Show, Skating Polly’s critically acclaimed fifth album, hears the group at its most refined and confident, but not at the expense of the trio’s characteristic rawness.

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