Whether one is looking for an opportunity to dance off a holiday dinner, or just an excuse to leave an awkward family gathering, there are a surprisingly large number of good concerts in SF over the Thanksgiving weekend. Here are just a few of the weekend's offerings:
Over at Cafe Du Nord on Friday, November 27, you can catch Turkey Trot 2009, the tenth installment of this annual Americana showcase. It's a purely local affair, featuring the bluegrass-inflected sounds of The Pine Box Boys, The Earl Brothers, and The Mighty Crows alongside the country-rock of Trainwreck Riders. The Riders grew up in the city, their early performances at house parties and BART stations. That DIY sensibility carries over into their music, which often bubbles with the enthusiasm of punk. Still, the group's got plenty of melodic twang, as evidenced on their 2009 album The Perch, and standout track "Chug Along".
San Francisco's Dave Smallen celebrates the release of Everything Changes & Nothing Changes on Friday, November 27 at Bottom of the Hill. Smallen's what you would call a survivor of the major label system; his band Street to Nowhere released an album on Capitol Records before disbanding. Now he's recording under his own name and adopting a novel release strategy. This year, the singer-songwriter released a new song on the first of every month; it's those songs that now see release in album form. Fellow locals The Soft White Sixties and Lite Brite join Smallen at Friday's show.
There are plenty of great local artists performing, to be sure, but the holiday weekend also features two rare SF performances by experimental electronic duo The Books at the Noe Valley Ministry on Friday and Saturday, November 27-28. After releasing several critically-acclaimed albums of textured compositions created from acoustic instruments, voices and chopped-up found samples, the group took a lengthy hiatus. Now, they're touring again, with the expectation of a new album in 2010 -- the first since 2005's Lost and Safe. If their cover of Nick Drake's "Cello Song" on the Dark Was The Night compilation is any indication, there's a lot to be excited about from the group's forthcoming work.
Also Thanksgiving weekend:
Local rock-pop band Dizzy Balloon hold their second annual "Thanksgiving Extravaganza" at the Rickshaw Stop on Saturday, November 28. The show doubles as a release party for the new album from Luke Franks Or The Federalists.
The Ferocious Few are one of the most exciting live bands performing in the Bay Area, and the duo have been known to set up shop on street corners around the city. This weekend, the band's taking its hooky garage rock into a couple of venues, with shows at the Hemlock Tavern on Friday, November 27 and Cafe Du Nord on Sunday, November 29.
Ben Van Houten is the Programming Director for The Bay Bridged.