A TOAST FOR TWO: Members of the bass-fronted
rock group Toast Machine have a rather bold mission statement:
Spread the joy of true rockage across the world and defeat once and
for all those who rock falsely. It’s a pretty ballsy statement, but
if such a thing is possible, bass player Giovanni “Gio” Benedetti
and drummer Brandon “Brando” Warner may just be the boys to do it.
It all started back in 1996 when, playing in a now-defunct outfit,
they got tired of waiting for the rest of the band to show up for
practice and set off on their own. As a result, the bass-driven
rocker duo boasts no loop and no vocals, instead opting for the
type of primal noise first explored by Primus, RHCP, and Suicidal
Tendencies. They’ve taken to the road to tour their recently
released album, Rock Wattage, and are not to be missed. Check them
out at I.V.’s Caliroll Express on Saturday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.
 — Sarah Hammill

SOHO SCENE: He may not be dancing with himself,
but Reid Spencer’s one-man act covers just about everything else
that somebody with two loop samplers could possibly do (expect
thoughtful acoustic rock with a phantom backup band). Joining
Spencer onstage will be MAGiSTiR. This band might subscribe to that
curiously popular iPod-inspired capitalization scheme, but don’t
hold that against them. MAGiSTiR makes for a good match with
Spencer, as they play a similarly relaxed rock. See them both at
SOhO tonight, Thursday, November 30, at 8 p.m.  — Drew

GETTING COCKY: It used to be that the best
reason to stop at Bricks Café was their drink menu, which offers
the best $5 martini on State Street. Step in on a Friday evening,
however, and you’ll find another good reason: Roosterfish. Fronted
by the newly local Sam Roosterfish and with backup vocals from Lady
Blue, the band offers original folk rock and blues music as a
backdrop to your time at Bricks. As an animal species, the
roosterfish may be an odd-looking thing, but this band makes for a
perfect match to the café’s laid-back atmosphere. See them Friday,
December 1 — and every Friday — at 8 p.m. 
 — DM

BIKO BEAT: Approaching finals don’t scare those
at Isla Vista’s Biko Garage — they’re seeing to it that December
rocks as much as any other month. This week’s show includes a
performance by Paul Baribeau, a singer/songwriter from Bloomington,
Indiana, who plays what is perhaps the most touching love song
about strawberries ever written. Baribeau has been touring
throughout California with Captain Chaos, who will also be in
attendance at Biko. Watercolor Paintings — a k a UCSB music major
Rebecca Redman — will be on hand to play pared-down melodies
reminiscent of a sweeter, softer version of the Moldy Peaches. And
finally, look forward to Shakey Bones, a Walnut Creek band whose
jangly, sing-along-demanding songs serve as a nice contrast to
Watercolor Paintings. The show begins at the Biko Garage on Monday,
December 4 at 7 p.m.  — DM

ALL-AROUND ALLAN: Having joined his father’s
band at age 12, country western star Gary Allan knows a thing or
two about how to perform for a live audience. He may have bounced
around among labels during his Nashville days, but he ultimately
found in his voice what he describes as the “whiskey-soaked barroom
charm” that has characterized his work since the late ’90s. The
2005 hit “Tough All Over” proved Allan still had the power to make
a dent in the charts. Allan plays at Majestic Ventura Theatre on
Wednesday, December 6. Opening acts include fellow country singer
Jack Ingram.  — DM

¡VIVA VOCODER! If the soft rock lullabies of
Death Cab for Cutie — coming to the Arlington on Wednesday,
December 6 — put you to sleep, the Volts per Octave might be what
you need to wake up. Representing the quirkier side of indie rock,
this dueling pair of Moog synthesizers abounds with retro charm
that makes neighborhood bar Elsie’s the perfect host for them. The
Volts per Octave play Elsie’s on Wednesday, December 6 at 9:30 p.m.
— DM


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