Three Must-See Acts This Week

Haiku Hands, Hand Habits on Saturday at Swedish-American Hall, and Dream Theater on Sunday at the Masonic.

Electropop

Haiku Hands

(with CHAI) 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 27, at Rickshaw Stop. $15; rickshawstop.com

A high-energy blend of quirky electro beats, playful yet provocative lyricism, and eye-popping visual aesthetics, Australia’s Haiku Hands have already won the hearts of partygoers in their home country, and the artist collective is set to make their impact on the U.S.’s club scene. Comprised of sisters Claire and Mie Nakazawa along with Beatrice Lewis, Haiku Hands works as a democratic collective, with a mission to provoke and deconstruct social norms visually and musically. The trio’s bouncy, ridiculously catchy debut single is built around a dirty tech house beat produced by Hermitude’s El Gusto, with club-ready chants similar to Icona Pop or early Kesha. On stage, Haiku Hands display their fullest potential as a creative force, as the trio’s kinetic stage presence buoyed by K-pop-inspired choreography and blistering rave-instrumentals. The trio’s newest single, “Dare You Not to Dance,” is another irresistible future club-anthem with elements of tribal house and electropop, as the trio speaks of the song as a “bold maneuver made to taunt, provoke, and defy.”

Photo by Aubrey Trinnamer

 

 

Indie folk

Hand Habits

7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 23, at Swedish American Hall. $17.50; swedishamericanhall.com

Boldly progressing from a solo project to a full-fledged band, Meg Duffy, the creative force behind Hand Habits, presents a musically expansive and thematically personal journey with their recently released sophomore album placeholder. A native of Amsterdam, N.Y., Duffy began their career as a staple within the Hudson Valley’s indie rock scene, building off positive word-of-mouth from several Bandcamp releases. Moving to Los Angeles to tour as a member of singer-songwriter Kevin Morby’s backing band, Duffy eventually reignited Hand Habits in 2017 with the dreamy, sobering debut Wildly Idle (Before Entering the Void), a self-produced effort that spotlights Duffy’s emotionally gripping songwriting prowess. Recorded at Justin Vernon’s Wisconsin studio, Wildly Idle saw Duffy put in careful attention to detail, ensuring that placeholder was vaster in scale and sound, while still retaining the intimacy of previous work. The result is an emotionally captivating collection of atmospheric folk where Duffy returns with exhilarating confidence in their sublime vocal and instrumental capability.

 

Photo by Mark Maryanovich

 

 

Progressive metal

Dream Theater

8 p.m., Sunday, March 24, at The Masonic. $40; masonicsf.com

Widely agreed to be the undisputed champions of progressive metal, Dream Theater has had a fruitful career. Packaging complex musical techniques into thematic albums has earned the group critical praise, in addition to consistent commercial success. Founded as Majesty in 1985 by guitarist John Pertucci, bassist John Myung, and original drummer Mike Portnoy, the band’s early days were marked by record label disputes, a change of name to “Dream Theater” in 1987, and lineup changes, until vocalist James LaBrie joined the group in 1991. The following year saw the release of the band’s breakthrough album, Images & Words, a lauded release that enjoyed airplay on MTV and on the radio due to the success of lead single “Pull Me Under.” In 1999, Dream Theater went on to release their fifth studio and first concept album, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory, a densely layered listening experience in the same sphere as the best of Pink Floyd or King Crimson. It led Rolling Stone readers and Classic Rock Magazine to hail it as one of the best concept albums ever made. To celebrate Metropolis Pt. 2’s 20th anniversary this year, Dream Theater has embarked on a tour on which they play it in its entirety, along with signature cuts from earlier releases, and tracks from their most recent album, Distance Over Time.

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