San Francisco’s psychedelic surf-guitar group the Mermen
have been awfully quiet since the 2000 release of The Amazing California Health and Happiness Road Show
, although as far as notes to end on, that recording is in the upper range of incredible. Drenched in atmosphere, melody and tone, it’s everything that doesn’t
come to mind when one thinks of “psychedelic surf guitar” (it sounds almost nothing like Man or Astro-Man? or Los Straitjackets). In the recording’s wake, the Mermen have been riding on a wave of live shows, many of which are recorded and archived by the band’s rabid fan base and posted online. But who wants to listen to Quicktime mp3s when the Mermen themselves are playing this weekend? To wit: on Friday, July 31, at the Mystic Theatre. 23 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 9pm. $12–$15. 707.765.2121.