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This weekend's live music picks, Sept. 22-25
Kimberly Chun, Andrew Gilbert, Mosi Reeves
San Francisco Chronicle September 22, 2011 04:00 AM

Here are The Chronicle's picks for nightclub happenings this weekend.

Compiled by Kimberly Chun, Andrew Gilbert and Mosi Reeves.

Bon Iver

Tonight @ Greek Theatre: Bon Iver's Justin Vernon isn't the man you think he is. With his last, universally acclaimed album, "For Emma, Forever Ago," you had him pegged as a softly rocking, all-analog folkie, going gently into the good night. Yet this summer's self-titled full-length sees Vernon straying into the angelic reaches where ethereal electro-pop meets contemporary music, where Antony wings it beside Brian Wilson. With Other Lives. 7 p.m., $39.50, all ages. Hearst Avenue and Gayley Road, Berkeley. (K.C.)

Junior Boys

Friday @ Mezzanine: Junior Boys' latest, "It's All True," is a return to form after 2009's disappointing "Begone Dull Care." The style is the same - '80s-inspired synth-pop with a hint of smooth jazz, electro and funk - but Jeremy Greenspan's songs are better this time around. He's an incisive and complex lyricist whose words often require repeat spins, but in concert the Junior Boys sound delightfully aggressive, turning their reflective tunes into upbeat dance numbers. Young Galaxy opens. 9 p.m., $20, 21+. 444 Jessie St., S.F. (415) 625-8880. (M.R.)

Vagabond Opera

Saturday @ Ashkenaz: Hailing from the soggy creative hothouse of Portland, Ore., Vagabond Opera combines sideshow archetype mashups, fabulous costumes, extravagant vocals, killer musicianship and a sweaty passion for cartoon exotica. It adds up to a dizzying but entertaining avant-cabaret experience. On tour celebrating the release of their fourth album, "Sing for Your Lives," the troupe is showcasing the vocals of Polish-born cellist Ashia Grzesik. Go Van Gogh opens. 9 p.m., $12-$15, all ages. 1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. (510) 525-5054. Also 8:30 p.m. today at Moe's Alley ($12-$15, 21+) in Santa Cruz. (A.G.)

Twin Shadow, Diamond Rings

Sunday @ Great American Music Hall: George Lewis, the balladeer behind Twin Shadow, continues to tour behind last year's memorable debut, "Forget." The album finds the Brooklyn musician, above, crooning romantic thoughts over warm synth-pop beats that recall the Human League. His opening act on the "Clean Cuts Tour" is Diamond Rings, the alias of John O'Regan. His debut album "Special Affections" explores similar territory to Twin Shadow, but O'Regan's lyrics are arch and inflective, not seductive. 8 p.m., $17-$19, 6+. 859 O'Farrell St., S.F. (415) 885-0750. (M.R.)

This article appeared on page G - 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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