This month in local concerts: the outsider folk-rock of Woods headlines two showcases of one of indie music's best labels, Mates of State return to SF with an eclectic mixtape to share, and Hunx and his Punx's Gay Singles aim to steal your heart.
Few labels are putting out great records with the consistency of New York's Woodsist, whose recent output includes two of my 2009 favorites, Real Estate's self-titled album and The Fresh & Onlys' Grey-Eyed Girls, along with records from Ganglians, The Art Museums, and label head Jeremy Earl's Woods. Released in April, At Echo Lake is Woods' fifth album, a collection of outsider folk-rock with a layered, almost pastiche feel. Old labelmate-turned-Matador man Kurt Vile joins Woods for a handful of California shows. The psychy singer-songwriter's new Square Shells EP finds Vile experimenting in a number of different directions. There are instrumental tracks, some more spare guitar-and-voice songs, and the 7-minute plus "Invisibility: Nonexistent," an enchanting track that showcases the artist's Yo La Tengo-level ability to keep his noisier deviations tethered to a robust melodic rock-pop. Woods and Kurt Vile will be performing on June 11, 2010 at Slim's, with The Art Museums and The Mantles. For tickets and information, visit slims-sf.com. All four bands will also be part of Woodsist Fest Big Sur on June 12, 2010 at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. More information about that sold-out festival is at henrymiller.org.
Ben Van Houten is the Programming Director at The Bay Bridged.