If you're among the brave souls who will actually be venturing into North Beach during this weekend's St. Patrick's Day tomfoolery (socially-sanctioned, Jameson-fueled screaming in large groups), you could do a lot worse than to catch the lineup at O'Reilly's annual block party. The Quiet Men is an eight-piece that takes the structure of traditional Irish folk music and adds elements of rough-hewn, forward-charging punk rock, with half the members taking turns on the writing and lead vocals. Think The Pogues, sure, but with less-shitfaced vocals (singer Erin Vogel's clear voice, in particular, sounds like it can rise above a lot of chaos), plus members who have clearly taken more of their cues from the Against Me! side of the spectrum. Still darn good drinking music.
Barbecue pairing: I really have to tell you what thematically appropriate foods and beverages to put in your body at a St. Patrick's day block party? Didn't think so.
With Fergus & Michael, The Hooks, The Guverment, more
O'Reilly's Irish Pub & Restaurant
622 Green, SF
The Parmesans are a string trio that somehow, over the course of the last year, became the secret favorite local band of every musician I know. It's not hard to see why: Their sense of showmanship is matched by a game-for-anything, lyrical sense of humor, but they're all too damn good at their instruments for any of it to actually be a joke. Throw in tight vocal harmonies layered over mandolin, acoustic guitar, and trumpet, and you get a live band experience that somehow manages to seem like far more than just three dudes on a stage. Their debut LP last year was a bright moment on the SF musical landscape, but we also hear they've been in the studio recently, so this show should have some newly-birthed gems.
Barbecue pairing: Think about how much money you saved by not going to SXSW — not to mention this show being free. Now try to eat that amount of tater tots and consume that amount of whiskey and beer on the back patio, in the sunshine, surrounded by zero celebrities and, accordingly, zero gawkers, with nary a VIP pass nor a viral marketing scheme in sight. Later (if you are not dead from attempting this — YMMV), go sleep it off in the sunshine at Jackson Park.
Fear of missing what, now?
With Sunny Jim Brown, Hay Babes
1600 17th St, SF