Wednesday, Jan. 18
PLAN A: The Family Stone @ Anthology. Troubled Family Stone frontman Sly Stone has been languishing in a small camper on the streets of Los Angeles. But other founding members of this influential band have still been getting down with their psychedelic funk. It's sad they've moved on without him, but at least you won't have to wait hours for the show to start, as was the case at their Coachella fiasco in 2010. PLAN B: Los Headaches, Mother's Worry, Shark Blood, DJ Juliancito @ The Tower Bar. Mexico has plenty of awesome garage-rock bands, and Los Headaches are no exception. Whether they're strumming out ramshackle riffs (“Boredom City”) or twinkly acoustic pop (“Conexion”), these Mexico City misfits are lots of fun. BACKUP PLAN: Psicomajik, Kevin Parme, Melly Frances & The Distilled Spirits, The Black Sands @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, Jan. 19
PLAN A: Jamuel Saxon, White Apple Tree, Tourism, DJ Groundfloor @ The Casbah. Jamuel Saxon has been popping up in CityBeat a lot lately, and I think it's making my editor a little crazy. But the truth is, I (and many others) simply can't get enough of Jamuel's cutting-edge, nightclub-ready electro-pop goodness. Tonight, they'll celebrate the release of their excellent new album, Pre-Madonna, so prepare to get sweaty on the dance floor. PLAN B: Grouplove, The Colourist @ Porter's Pub. Like fellow L.A. hit-makers Foster the People, Grouplove are a band of attractive young people whose catchy, radio-friendly pop-rock is just “indie” enough to earn a little hipster cred. BACKUP PLAN: Scarub, Atlantis Rizing, sojourn @ Winstons.
Friday, Jan. 20
PLAN A: Thou, The Body, Crime Desire, Age of Collapse, Ficciones @ Ché Café. Louisiana doom-metal outfit Thou can get pretty heavy, but they aren't nearly as fearsome as The Body, a crushingly loud duo that I wrote about in a feature last week. Taking inspiration from murderous cult leaders like Charles Manson and Jim Jones, their obsession with doom-and-gloom is real enough to give you nightmares. Trust me, I speak from experience. PLAN B: Too $hort @ On Broadway. When rumors of Too $hort's death started circulating online in November, the renowned Oakland rapper promptly tweeted that he's not only alive and well, but that he's also been working on a new album, due in February, No Trespassing. PLAN C: Tearist, Blouse, Divers, DJ Mario Orduno @ Soda Bar. Sounding like the descendents of Suicide, L.A. duo Tearist make dark, spare electro-punk that's reportedly deeply moving live.
Saturday, Jan. 21
PLAN A: San Diego Experimental Guitar Show @ Soda Bar. At last year's Experimental Guitar Show, there were firecrackers (!), a 100-stringed guitar (!!), and even a gnarled rendition of the national anthem (!!!). Needless to say, I'm looking forward to what this year will bring. The solid lineup includes local instrument-builder Bill Wesley and Pinback co-founder Rob Crow, but I'm most excited to see Bill Orcutt of defunct Miami noise-rockers Harry Pussy, who's famous for his unspeakably strange playing style. PLAN B: Earthless, Strangers Family Band, Joy, Electric Healing Sound @ The Casbah. All hail, Earthless! Tonight, the psych-metal overlords will celebrate 10 years of blowing minds, melting faces and crushing skulls with their molten riffs and pummeling drums. BACKUP PLAN: The Crystal Method @ Voyeur.
Sunday, Jan. 22
PLAN A: 2Mex, DJ Ikah Love, Brother Nature, Brown Man Group, Maiz, The Lumps, Old English, Psychopoop, Roach Spit, Scatter Brain & V-Rock, Cumbia Machin @ The Casbah (8 p.m.). Prolific L.A. underground rap pioneer 2Mex has collaborated with all sorts of MCs and producers during the past decade-and-a-half, only to prove that his endearing, effortless rhyming style goes well with just about anything.
Monday, Jan. 23
PLAN A: Mark Hummel's Blues Harmonica Blowout @ Belly Up. Blues-harmonica star Mark Hummel has been putting on these bonanzas since 1991, showcasing some of the biggest names in the mouthharp world. This time around, Hummel and half a dozen other performers—including English blues veteran John Mayall—will pay tribute to the late, great harmonica man Little Walter. BACKUP PLAN: Long Live Logos, April Ventura & The Magnolias, The Slpwlkrs, Reece @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Jan. 24
PLAN A: The Darrows, Incomplete Neighbor, Privet @ Soda Bar. Plenty of bands rip off The Beatles nowadays, often with mediocre results. But local indie-rockers The Darrows actually sound pretty good with their winsome pop hooks, polished pop arrangements and imitation-Lennon vocals. BACKUP PLAN: The Hotrod Hillbillies @ Shakedown Bar.