.Calendar Picks: Week of October 11




Poppers are a kind of drug that creates a quick, short-lived high. In Australia, they’re called Amyl. This is an important piece of information because the Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers see themselves as the auditory version of these drugs. The group’s explosive Iggy and the Stooges-style riffs go from zero to 100 in a single millisecond, and never slow down. Live, it’s a raging party. By the end of the set, you’ll feel like you had just enough to tide you over until you’re craving that visceral attack once again. You might be a little hungover.

INFO: 8pm, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. $35-$49.50. (510) 302-2250




Dante Jones and Drew Love garnered some successes earlier in their individual musical careers as music producers. But they felt limited by the lack of experimentation they were allowed when they worked with large pop acts. Both of them had love for pop, R&B and hip-hop as well as indie-rock artists like Vampire Weekend and Tame Impala. There wasn’t much room for this level of genre blending, so they formed They to create the kind of music they wanted. Though it leans heavily into the R&B camp, their songs don’t follow the rules of mainstream R&B by any stretch of the imagination. Grunge-influenced guitars with surreal beats, for instance. They are at their creative peak on their latest record, Nü Moon, which released in April this year. –AC

INFO: 8pm, New Parish, 1743 San Pablo Ave., Oakland. $25. (510) 227-8177




The early 2000s were good to Michelle Branch. She had a handful of massive pop hits (“Everywhere,” “All You Wanted”) and sang lead vocals on the monster Santana hit, “Game of Love.” These songs were ultra-hooky, arena-ready pop music. Over the years, she’s experimented with different sounds. Her latest record, The Trouble With Fever, is still packed with hooks, but feels contemplative instead of anthemic. It was her pandemic record, and during that time she found inspiration from the evocative David Berman, of Silver Jews. If anything, this album continues to show Branch’s range as an artist. –AC

INFO: 8pm, UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley. $45. (510) 356-4000




No one knows how many band members are in East Bay’s Just Friends. But that doesn’t matter. The fun-loving, punk-rocking, funk-shaking, rap-popping ensemble creates infectious and danceable music for weirdos who turn their noses up at dance-club culture. That’s because as booty-shaking as the JF Crew can get, this is music that originated in the garage—a garage in Dublin, California, to be specific. Their latest album, Gusher, is as genre-defying as their previous three. But at this point, it’s clear that Just Friends are playing by their own rules and will continue to do so until the end of time. –AC

INFO: 7pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. $23.50/adv, $25/door. (510) 214-8600




This isn’t meant to make anyone feel bad, but Justin Lee-Schultz is only 16 and has already done more than everyone. Again, don’t feel bad: We can’t all be like him. The South African multi-instrumental prodigy has scored praise from Harry Connick Jr., Quincy Jones and Robert Glasper, and he still can’t buy cigarettes! He started playing piano at the age of 5. Within weeks, he was on stage with his dad, killing it, of course. He even got an endorsement from Yamaha that first year. He plays all styles of music, but where he really excels is jazz. And he also already has two wonderful albums out. –AC

INFO: 8pm, Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $36. (510) 238-9200


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