Rock & Pop

Cass McCombs Band

When: Sun., Dec. 4, 8 p.m. 2011

He might be lurking in the Bay Area more often than not, but we'd never know it. Cass McCombs has developed a reputation for being both exceptionally enigmatic and actually nomadic. That's the first of many reasons you should catch this mysterious songwriter performing live when the opportunity arises. Considering his lifestyle, McCombs is rather prolific. He released two full-length albums in 2011, Wit's End and Humor Risk, both of which were thoughtful and divergent additions to his always-evolving body of work. McCombs writes about subjects that are inherently dark (he's a bit obsessed, as many great scribes are, with death) with a subtle, chilly sense of humor. Poetically his sad-jester persona benefits from a thorough wash of American songwriting prowess; he probably hates the word "timeless," though it's often used by those trying to pin down his sound. In interviews, he's cynical but erudite, a commentator for the ages, maintaining the distance needed to appreciate his music without the inflection of his own personality. He'll appear at the GreatAmericanMusic Hall (859 O'Farrell St., San Francisco) on Sunday, Dec. 4. 8 p.m., $16. GAMH.com

Will Butler

Price: $16

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