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Local Licks

This week we review Chuck Prophet, Baby Jaymes, The Wild Kindness, and Acts of Seduction.



Chuck Prophet, Temple Beautiful

Designed as an entertaining, but sincerely reverent, send-up of San Francisco, this album was apparently named for the old punk club where Chuck Prophet launched his career, which itself was wedged inside the late Reverend Jim Jones' People's Temple. The theme is a little more ambitious than the songcraft (which is pretty straightforward rock 'n' roll), but San Franciscans will surely appreciate the name-checking of Willie Mays, Emporer Norton, the Mitchell Brothers, and outlawed Castro District Halloween parties. (Yep Roc Records)

At Armando's (707 Marina Vista Ave., Martinez) on Sunday, Jan. 29. 8:30 p.m., $10.

Baby Jaymes, What Ever Happened to Baby Jaymes?

This new EP by East Oakland balladeer Baby Jaymes doesn't really get started until the third track, a song that typifies the singer's style -- nasty lyrics crooned over a burbling, frilly, sample-driven hip-hop beat. In this case: It's almost like popping a pill/Every touch is like, fuck, it's just so surreal. Now, if that line doesn't describe a passionate but aborted love affair, I don't know what does. (Clear Label Records/Ghetto Retro)

The Wild Kindness, Coming Down to the Ghost

This local four-tet plays the kind of vintage garage rock that easily melts into the background if you're not paying attention, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The songs are long, jangly, slightly crooked, deliberately unpretty things, with surf-rock chord progressions to bolster Mike Alexis' huskily murmured vocals. The title track is the strongest link on this EP, both for its Seventies-style keyboard and because Alexis whistles on the vamp. (self-released)

At Hotel Utah (500 4th St., San Francisco) on Saturday, Jan. 21. 9 p.m., $8.

Acts of Sedition, 2004-2008 The Bush Years

The members of Oakland hardcore band Acts of Sedition condensed the angriest period of their career into 36 crisp tracks, all recorded during Bush's second term. Though it's been dubbed a Bush-era compendium, the songs therein touch on local as well as national politics, with lyrics about rent control and the war on terror. A detailed set of liner notes compensates for Will Rutherford's mostly incomprehensible vocal growls. In its totality, the album is extremely satisfying. (Piss Art Records)

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