Attention, audiophiles! There is a perfect storm of the category 5 variety heading our way. The kind of tempest that will wrap your new car around a tree and blow your house down. But, worry not: you'll enjoy being blown away by three of my favorite bands, Bat for Lashes, Neko Case, and Camera Obscura (girls, girls, girls!), as they breeze through San Francisco in the span of five days.
Natasha Khan, the woman behind Bat for Lashes, refuses to water down her inner freak. She indulges in an alter-ego named Pearl, enjoys making music on 19th century instruments like the Marxophone, and openly celebrates her enduring crush on The Karate Kid's Daniel LaRusso. Her new album, Two Suns, also breaks from convention; she'll go from retro mystic on one song to futuristic metal on another. And, judging by her recent appearance on British television, her live show will prove just as unpredictable.
Neko Case's smokey twang appears all over records by other bands, most notably the New Pornographers, but Neko is at her best when she's out on her own as proven on her latest, Middle Cyclone. She doesn't tour around these parts very often so take advantage while you can.
Camera Obscura is known for their sugary twee pop laced with a dash of bitters. Their new album, My Maudlin Career, sticks to this winning formula. Biting sarcasm finds its way into tracks that, on first listen, sound like love songs. On "Swans," Tracyanne Campbell scoffs: "So you want to be a writer? Fantasic idea!" Sugary, yes, but never too sweet.
All three acts have turned harsh critics into drooling admirers with their new releases. Alas, not everyone has the time to stay on top of what's fresh in the music scene so I've decided to share the very best that these three LPs have to offer so you will be well-equipped when the curtain goes up.
Camera Obscura plays The Fillmore on June 8, 2009 with opener Agent Ribbons. Neko Case rocks The Warfield on June 9 and 10, 2009. And Bat for Lashes charms the masses on June 13, 2009 at the Great American Music Hall with opener Hecuba.Go on and get some tickets before they sell out. You don't want your obnoxious friend telling you what killer shows you missed.