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Experimental music sensation Yves Tumor plays the Fremont Theater on May 25 

Hot on the heels of their new album, Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) and the 2023 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, international touring rockstar Yves Tumor brings their theatrical show to the Fremont Theater next Thursday, May 25 (8 p.m.; all ages; $29.50 at seetickets.us). This one's guaranteed to be a spectacle.

click to enlarge MAD MUSIC SCIENTIST Yves Tumor brings their experimental art rock to the Fremont Theater, on May 25. - COURTESY PHOTO BY ALEC NICOLAS
  • Courtesy Photo By Alec Nicolas
  • MAD MUSIC SCIENTIST Yves Tumor brings their experimental art rock to the Fremont Theater, on May 25.

To call Yves Tumor "original" is a massive understatement. This one-of-a-kind performer is as unique and individualistic as David Bowie or Frank Zappa or Alice Cooper or Elton John or Tom Waits. Born Sean Lee Bowie, who uses they/them pronouns, in Miami and raised in Knoxville, they found their surrounding stifling, so they taught themselves how to play drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards to stave off the boredom, and at 20 moved to San Diego and later Los Angeles.

Now based in Turin, Italy, they continue to create experimental electronica, psychedelia, R&B, and what's perhaps best described as art rock. They have a lot of online videos that will give you a taste of what to expect.

One foot in the past, the other in the present

click to enlarge TELLING IT LIKE IT IS KCBX presents folk punk act Sunny War on May 24, at Bristols Cider House. - COURTESY PHOTO BY JOSHUA BLACK WILKINS
  • Courtesy Photo By Joshua Black Wilkins
  • TELLING IT LIKE IT IS KCBX presents folk punk act Sunny War on May 24, at Bristols Cider House.

Folk punk artist Sunny War pulls off a neat trick—she creates rootsy music that concerns itself with contemporary woes. Take "Orange Man," for instance, which mixes recordings of some of you-know-who's most ignorant and insidious archival audio clips: "I think I've done more for the Black community than any other president, and let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good but it's always questionable," and, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're bringing drugs. They're rapists," and, "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," etc.; over which she sings, "You hate the blacks/ and the browns and the Jews/ and the Ls and the Gs/ and the Bs and the Ts and the Qs// I'd watch my back/ and I'd run if I we're you/ I'd run for my life, not for president/ 'cause the residents/ need a leader and that is not you// orange man/ orange man/ you're going down."

"I feel like there are two sides of me," Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Sunny War said in press materials. "One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced."

On Anarchist Gospel, her fourth album, the struggle is on full display.

"Everybody is a beast just trying their hardest to be good," she added. "That's what it is to be human. You're not really good or bad. You're just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you're probably doing a shitty job of it. That's OK, because we're all just monsters."

KCBX presents Sunny War on Wednesday, May 24, at Bristols Cider House (7 p.m.; all ages; $17.50 at goodmedicinepresents.com). Nor-Cal's Americana/folk collective, ISMAY, led by singer-songwriter Avery Hellman, opens the show. ISMAY was one of a select group of artists from around the world that participated in the Apple TV Plus reality show My Kind of Country, produced by Kacey Musgraves and Reese Witherspoon.

Roots rock coming at you

Deke Dickerson & the Whippersnappers with opener The Bonneville Phantoms bring a heapin' helpin' of rockabilly, roots rock, vintage country, surf rock, and blues to The Siren this Thursday, May 18 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $15.50 at eventbrite.com). Dickerson is a thrilling guitarist and true scholar of music. He's devoted his "career to keeping America's roots music alive while interjecting new creativity into genres of music that flourished in decades previous," as his bio notes.

click to enlarge REV IT UP The Siren presents rockabilly, roots rock, vintage country, surf rock, and blues act Deke Dickerson & the Whippersnappers on May 18. - COURTESY PHOTO BY SUSIE DELANEY
  • Courtesy Photo By Susie Delaney
  • REV IT UP The Siren presents rockabilly, roots rock, vintage country, surf rock, and blues act Deke Dickerson & the Whippersnappers on May 18.

Also this week at The Siren, see the Rudy Parris Blues Experience with special guests The Cliffnotes on Friday, May 19 (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $17.50 at eventbrite.com). Superstar Steven Tyler said, "Rudy has a soulful, native spirit and voice." Local superstar Cliff Stepp, bandleader of opening act The Cliffnotes, said, "Man, Rudy opened for Indigenous at Rancho Nipomo and blew everyone away. He came back as a headliner a couple of months later and, evidently, everyone who saw him brought all their friends; sold out, standing room only, with enough people outside that they could of sold out a second show! He's such a showman and such a cool, kind guy."

The James River Band plays a free matinee show on Saturday, May 20 (2 to 5 p.m.; 21-and-older) followed by an evening show with Allman Brothers tribute act Midnight Rider (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $22.50 at eventbrite.com). Son of singer-songwriter Johnny Rivers, expect blues, rock, and Americana in the afternoon and a night of classic Allman Brothers covers in the evening.

Kick off your Memorial Day weekend a day early when Fox Medicine plays a free show (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older) on Thursday, May 25. The duo plays "heavy, raw, fuzz in a hypnotic fashion, and calls it bubblegum doom," according to their bio. "If it were a color, it would be pastel metal with sprinkles and spikes. Neezy Dynamite plays guitars and sings. Vanny plays drums. Super hard. Two-piece synergy on point. Their shows are grounding and chaotic with major healing properties."

click to enlarge HAVE YOU EVER BEEN MELLOW SLO Brew Rock hosts cosmic West Coast Americana folk rockers Mapache on May 18. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MAPACHE
  • Photo Courtesy Of Mapache
  • HAVE YOU EVER BEEN MELLOW SLO Brew Rock hosts cosmic West Coast Americana folk rockers Mapache on May 18.

More music ...

SLO Brew Rock hosts Mapache this Thursday, May 18 (7 p.m.; 18-and-older; $23 at ticketweb.com). They're known for their cosmic West Coast Americana sounds and rich vocal harmonies. Formed by four Glendale-born dudes—Sam Blasucci, Clay Finch, Cam Wehrle, and Steve Didelot—this is music to chill out to.

Portland's Sweet N' Juicy returns to Frog and Peach this Thursday, May 18 (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.), delivering their patented brand of party music while dressed as various fruits ... because ... why not? There's a banana, a pineapple, and a strawberry, and they just want you to have as much fun as they're having. It's cheap beer night, so prepare yourselves.

For the Folks is bringing Bay Area theatrical rock act Whiskerman to Bang the Drum this Friday, May 19 (7 p.m.; $15 presale at forthefolksmusic.com, $17 day of show). I haven't heard of them, so I went online and watched the video for their song "Be Real," and I'm still wondering what my eyeballs witnessed. Then I watched the video for "Belly of the Beast." So. Damn. Amazing. Not sure how these guys escaped my notice. This is art rock at its finest. Local player Max MacLaury opens with his full band.

click to enlarge WEIRD GOOD For the Folks hosts Bay Area theatrical rock act Whiskerman at Bang the Drum on May 19. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FOR THE FOLKS
  • Photo Courtesy Of For The Folks
  • WEIRD GOOD For the Folks hosts Bay Area theatrical rock act Whiskerman at Bang the Drum on May 19.

As part of "Strawberries through Grover Beach," the Amtrak parking lot will turn into a music venue this Saturday, May 20, with music from keyboardist Cheyenne Goossen (11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.), Folktet (12:30 to 2 p.m.), boogie blues band The Cliffnotes (2:30 to 4 p.m.), and ending with The Shantastics (4:30 to 6 p.m.). The Phantom Stranger will spin DJ sets in between.

The Clark Center hosts Let's Hang On, a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute show, this Saturday, May 20 (7:30 p.m.; $48 to $58 at clarkcenter.org). "Its performers respectfully pay tribute to these classic 'Seasons' details while performing all of the Frankie Valli mega hits, including 'Sherry,' 'Big Girls Don't Cry,' 'Walk Like A Man,' 'Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You,' 'December of 1963,' 'Who Loves You,' and more!" organizers announced. "If you liked Jersey Boys, you'll love this show as well."

Numbskull and Good Medicine bring Johnny Cash tribute act Cash'd Out to Blast 805 Brewery Stockyard in Orcutt this Sunday, May 21 (3 p.m.; 21-and-older; $20 at goodmedicinepresents.com). The San Diego band focuses mostly on Cash's Sun Records and early Columbia era sound. Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at [email protected].

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