Three Must-See Acts This Week

Tanukichan on Thursday at Rickshaw Stop, Bad Books on Friday at Great American Music Hall, and Godpseed You! Black Emperor on Sunday at Castro Theatre.

Noise pop


8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 15, at Rickshaw Stop. $13;

Creating an expansive atmosphere drenched with fuzzed-out guitars and whispery, light-pitched vocals, Tanukichan made a remarkable impression with last year’s debut album Sundays. Tanukichan is the brainchild of Bay Area born and raised musician Hannah van Loon, who grew up influenced by classical music and The Beatles, and began performing music while a student at UC Berkeley. After playing in multiple Bay Area bands, van Loon would embark on a solo project as Tanukichan, and with co-production from Toro y Moi’s Chaz Bear, would release her 2016 debut EP Radiolove, a low-key yet confident effort that flashes broad sonic range during its brief runtime. She would release Tanukichan’s excellent debut album Sundays in 2018 to unanimous praise, with many listeners highlighting van Loon’s creative evolution and the album’s haunting yet gorgeous ambience. Reminiscent of classic dream-pop and shoegaze like Slowdive or Cocteau Twins, Sundays bestows new energy into this sound due to van Loon’s emotionally-rich songwriting talent and Bear’s multifaceted production prowess. 

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Folk rock

Bad Books

8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 16, at Great American Music Hall. $24;

As with every great collaboration that came before them, Bad Books captures the singularity of each of its three members, musician Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, that makes for compelling and thematic folk-tinged rock. The group started when Manchester Orchestra and Devine began writing songs together after opening on Brand New’s 2007 tour, steadily working together over time to release their self-titled debut album in 2010 to glowing reception. The group would follow-up their debut with 2012’s aptly-titled II, a more refined and warmer sounding effort that boasts clever lyricism from Devine and Hull. Bad Books would go dark for seven years until slowly reuniting to work on new material, which culminated in the group’s richest-sounding and most ambitious work to date, their slightly-psychedelic record III. Throughout their stop-and-go career, Bad Books always manage to pick up exactly where they left off due to genuine friendship and creative chemistry with one another that has only grown stronger over time. 

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

8 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 18, at Castro Theatre. $33;

For almost 25 years, Godspeed You! Black Emperor has stunned and mystified listeners around the world with their intensely emotional and distinct instrumental-compositions that continue to defy traditional songwriting and genre-limitations to this day. The Montreal group have shied away from the spotlight for the duration of their successful career, only bolstering the group’s myth-like status amongst its devoted fanbase. A definitive group of the 90s post-rock movement, the constantly-fluctuating Godspeed has released modern classics like 1997’s F#A# (Infinity) and 2000’s Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, amongst a stellar discography. After a 10-year hiatus, Godspeed suddenly returned in 2012 with Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, a hypnotic and colossal album that stands up among the group’s earlier classics. Godspeed’s live shows are a unique experience on their own, as the group plays their orchestral rock at blisteringly loud levels that forces the audience into a vulnerable state.

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