Local Licks

This week, we review Marrow, Gaucho, Lindy LaFontaine, and Los Cenzontles with David Hidalgo and Taj Mahal.

Marrow, Sunshine Enema. Use me, burden me, defile and deride me. It’s not Marilyn Manson, but it is industrial — more like Skinny Puppy, but catchier. This San Francisco band’s ability to pair industrial electronics and themes with club beats, hooks, and melodies — sufficient to render the above line disarmingly appealing — make for a conflicted yet intriguing listen. (Marrowcell Records)

At the Great American Music Hall (859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco) on December 9. 7:30 p.m., $35

Gaucho, Deep Night. It may be unfair to say so, but on the surface this gypsy jazz sextet sounds a bit amorphous. On the one hand, the band doubles as ambience at San Francisco club Amnesia every Wednesday; on the other, listen closely and the music is as nuanced and dexterous as any world-class jazz ensemble. Gaucho’s brilliant playing, it turns out, covers both extremes. (Porto Franco Records)

At Amnesia (853 Valencia St., San Francisco) on December 9. 8 p.m., free

Lindy LaFontaine, This Too, in Time, Shall Pass EP. Singer-songwriter LaFontaine, who recently relocated to the East Bay from the East Coast, is working to establish herself in a new scene. If this EP is any indication, she shouldn’t have much trouble; although it features only three songs, two of which receive trip-hop remixes, the record showcases a complex pop style that’s both sensual and mystical. (self-released)

Los Cenzontles with David Hidalgo and Taj Mahal, American Horizon. Fusing the best of what Richmond-based Mexican-American roots group Los Cenzontles has to offer with the performing and songwriting pedigrees of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and veteran bluesman Taj Mahal, American Horizon sounds at least as good as the sum of its parts. A musically rich tapestry tells a bilingual story of migrant labor and the American dream. (self-released)


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