Kelley Stoltz
w/Slomo Rabbit Kick, Bugs in Amber, Spook the Horse
Sat Dec 11, Crocodile, 9 pm, $7;
w/Iron & Wine, Sam Jayne
Sun Dec 12, Neumo's, 9:30 pm, $12 adv./$14 DOS.

Kelley Stoltz is the shit. Tastemakers from the Dirtbombs' Ben Blackwell to Mojo and Chuck Prophet have sung his praises. The San Francisco via Detroit underground hero's 2003 album, Antique Glow (Jackpine Social Club), expands in scope like a magic-mushroom sunset. The kaleido- scopic instrumentation filling his bedroom-folk recordings spans from free-ranging feedback to dusky acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, and harmonica melodies to the chimes of an ancient wind-up toy. He's part Nick Drake (in his mistier moments) and part Nuggets descendent, trudging footprints of muddy, fuzzy garage-stomping blues across his work (fans of Oakland psych merchants Gris Gris take note). There are elements of Velvet Underground's drone, Syd Barrett and Captain Beefheart's backward jaunts through the looking glass (and into woodsy psych), and Mark Lanegan's lighter moments of melancholy all projected through Stoltz's spectacular lo-fi prism, as well.

Stoltz is very in touch with his inner songwriter, having played nearly all the instruments on his records, interned for Jeff Buckley in New York, and financed his jobless days recording Glow by buying and reselling junk-shop vinyl. He's a dedicated musician, and every squeak and skronk embedded in Glow feels purposely set into motion, together weaving a spellbinding web--from the center of which Stoltz comically questions, in a tone of alternate reality, "Are you electric? Are you plugged in?"