This quartet plays a low-key, shambling variety of pop music that’s less about carnality than about screwing with expectations. Whether it manifests itself as strange packaging (last year’s terrific Baby Loves a Funny Bunny looked like an oversize matchbook) or goofy stage props (bassist Ted Ellison festoons the stage with stuffed animals and windup toys), there’s a chronic element of put-on to Fuck that brings to mind other San Francisco combos like Caroliner and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Since guitarist Timmy Prudhomme now lives in New York and the other members still reside in the Bay Area, they don’t get to practice much these days, and there’s an appealing looseness about their recordings. On Fuck’s new Pardon My French (Matador) the band’s dreamy, ephemeral tunefulness is framed ever so spaciously by gentle strumming, loping bass lines, restrained rhythms, and a variety of flourishes, like bits of slide guitar or little keyboard fills. There’s a hint of bored resignation in the vocals (three of the members sing) that might initially suggest Pavement’s Steve Malkmus, but Fuck’s wit is considerably less dry. Also on this promising bill are Two Dollar Guitar and Viewmaster, a new trio featuring former Das Damen drummer Lyle Hysen. Thursday, August 7, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Fuck photo by Gail Butensky.