Zooey Deschanel Headlines This Week’s Must-See Acts

She & Him's Christmas Party on Thursday at The Fox Theater, Paco Osuna on Friday at Halcyon and Ezra Collective on Tuesday at The...

Indie pop

She & Him’s Christmas Party

8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, at The Fox Theater (Oakland). $49.50; thefoxoakland.com

Since the release of their 2011 yuletide-classic A Very She & Him Christmas, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have seen their cheerful yet melancholic Christmas album become a staple during the festive season, as Rolling Stone ranked it within their recently published 25 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time. For the second consecutive year, the indie folk duo are playing a select series of Christmas parties, performing songs off of A Very She & Him Christmas and its 2016 sequel, Christmas Party. Both albums, which consist of folksy and soulful renditions of signature Christmas songs, evoke pleasant feelings of winter nostalgia, and give fresh life to songs that have often been relegated to your local Target’s holiday season playlist. Standout track “Mele Kalikimaka” on Christmas Party hears the duo strip down the Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters’ classic for a simple yet ethereal cover that rebuffs the elegance of the original. The natural musical chemistry between Deschanel and Ward has always been the center of the duo’s success, and the sincere holiday spirit the pair embrace on both of their Christmas albums has the ability to warm the hearts of humbugs everywhere. 

Courtesy of Artist

Techno 

Paco Osuna

10 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, at Halcyon. $15; halcyonsf.com 

A renowned figure in the electronic dance music industry for over 20 years, Paco Osuna’s success is defined by his passion to create techno in its darkest and most unadulterated form, and his loyalty to the genre’s sonic integrity has led him to residencies at top clubs around the world. A musician since his teens, the Spanish DJ and producer’s largest contribution to techno came in 2006 when he founded Mindshake, a label that would help push the genre’s sound into the future, eventually becoming one of the most respected labels in all of techno. In addition to Mindshake, Osuna’s conceptual Barcelona nightclub Club4 has become a pilgrimage for international techno-heads thanks to sets from underground icons like Adam Beyer and Dubfire, among countless others. Osuna’s understanding of techno’s more sinister foundations is what continues to give his recorded and live prowess a sense of creative immortality.

Courtesy of Artist

Jazz

Ezra Collective

8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 17, at The Independent. $17; theindependentsf.com

Equally influenced by Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti, and Kendrick Lamar, London’s Ezra Collective is boldly reviving and redefining the city’s jazz scene with their forward-thinking sound and punk rock-like energy. Founded by brothers Femi and TJ Koleoso, who play drums and bass respectively, the jazz ensemble quickly gained a cult following within London’s underground jazz scene upon their formation in 2012. Taking notes from Afrobeat and hip-hop in addition to their jazz training, Ezra Collective became the embodiment of the city’s jazz renaissance that challenged the institution’s classist and oft-exclusionary connotations. The quintet’s 2016 debut EP Chapter 7 is a perfect introduction to the group’s polished jazz technique that allows the group to experiment with different genres in an organic and unforced manner. Fully realizing their creative ambitions, Ezra Collective’s recently released debut album You Can’t Steal My Joy feels like a celebration and a love letter to the band’s native London, infused with sonic influences that are personal to each band member’s upbringing in the city. 

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