Three Must-See Acts This Weekend

Lubelski (Saturday at Halcyon), Astronauts Etc. (Thursday at the Chapel), and Omar Apollo (Friday at Rickshaw Stop).

Tech house


10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 18 at Halcyon. $20;

One of tech house’s most beloved rising stars at the moment, Lubelski has had a watershed year for his production career, and he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Although a trained multi-instrumentalist, Lubelski’s natural ear for teasing out psychedelia, acid, and disco within his own tracks and DJ mixes has earned him recognition throughout the underground dance world. Lubelski’s journey into music initially saw the analog-junkie release tracks with a variety of esteemed labels in the earlier part of the decade, but eventually found a home with San Diego party professionals and dance label Desert Hearts. In July, the release of “Favela Funk,” a collaboration with fellow Desert Hearts regular RYBO that hears the duo channeling a classic warehouse rave vibe driven around Brazilian-influenced beats and vocals., immediately becoming a staple for the crew. Last week, he released his sophomore EP with Desert Hearts, I Want Acid, and the title track indicates a strong dose of golden age rave-influences, complete with groovy basslines and energetic rhythms.

Astronauts, etc. Photo by Josh Terris

Indie pop

Astronauts, etc.

8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16, at The Chapel. $20;

Even after a battle with chronic arthritis forced him to abandon his music degree at UC Berkeley, Anthony Ferraro refused to let the diagnosis derail his musical ambitions. Inspired by his interest in the final frontier and his tendency to let his mind wander off into space, Ferraro began recording in his bedroom, releasing music under the moniker Astronauts, etc. Through a mutual connection, he found himself in circles with Toro Y Moi brainchild Chaz Bear, bonding over shared creative influences, and soon became the band’s official touring keyboardist. After a couple long years on the road with Toro, Ferraro returned his focus on kickstarting Astronauts, etc., and with some encouragement from Bear, released his debut album Mind Out Wandering in 2015 to critical acclaim. Listeners were enamored of the album’s immaculate production, along with Ferraro’s emotionally vulnerable lyricism. Ferraro’s recently released sophomore album, Living in Symbol, expands upon the dreamy yet melancholic textures heard in Mind Out Wandering, but hears a revitalized Ferraro bluntly confronting issues related to mental health and addiction.

Omar Apollo. Photo by Vincent Romero

Alternative R&B

Omar Apollo

9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, at Rickshaw Stop. $15;

Ever since he dropped out of his freshman year of college after only two weeks, self-taught musician Omar Apollo knew that music was the only route forward. Three years later, the gamble has paid off tremendously, as the now-21-year-old’s subtle, laid-back approach to creating his brand of jazzed-out, R&B-tinged pop earned him a sizable fanbase on the heels of his inaugural headline tour. Born in Hobart, Ind., Apollo’s earliest music experiences involved playing guitar for his church, but he credits an introduction to jazz during his senior of high school as the turning point for his artistry. These influences can be heard on Apollo’s excellent debut album, Stereo, which displays his talent at incorporating an unorthodox mix of styles into a coherent, wholly original sound. Shifting from Elliott Smith-like spider web falsettos to layered, pristine vocals similar to D’Angelo’s, Apollo takes full advantage of his ambition, as heard on the standout track “Hijo De Su Madre,” which hears Apollo slack-rapping and softly singing behind a funk-driven guitar hook and custom beats. 

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