Live Music Roundup: Monday, June 15

Thee Oh Sees, Jay Reatard, Idle Times at the Crocodile, 8 p.m., $12 adv

As if there wasn't enough of the Troggs' crushing riffs and junkyard stomp in Thee Oh Sees' new album Help, "Meat Step Lively" features a bout of wavering flute. Yes, just like in "Wild Thing" (however, that song employs the ocarina. --ed.) But that's not to say John Dwyer's ever-shifting San Francisco band - once known as OCS - doesn't put its own surreal stamp on battered garage and bristling psych. Much more loaded with pop melodies and boy-girl harmonies than last year's fierce The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, the In The Red-released Help could almost be cuddly enough to score a crossover hit with folks who don't know Vivian Girls from Black Lips. Touring with Jay Reatard can't hurt either. When Reatard's energized legions of fans show up to hear a preview of his upcoming platter Watch Me Fall - due August 18 on Matador - they may instead get a mouthful of overripe, effects-streaked delirium that easily does its heady forebears proud. DOUG WALLEN

Ben Kweller (pictured), Jones St. Station at Chop Suey, 8 p.m., $20, all ages

Kweller also plays a free in-store at Silver Platters at 7 p.m. tonight.

When Ben Kweller came charging onto the scene with his 2002 debut, Sha Sha, a light, listenable pop album rife with mainstream potential, no one predicted that the Texas-bred indie pop kid would eventually come around to his country roots. It'd be easy to write off the twangy lilt of Kweller's fourth and latest record, Changing Horses, as the result of another indie rock Johnny-come-lately who, after taking an abrupt interest in Americana, fancies himself another Gram Parsons. Conor Oberst did it. Why not Ben Kweller? But listen to Changing Horses with an unbiased ear, and you'll be hard-pressed not to bounce along to this endearing interpretation of country conventions. SB

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