PLAN A: Logic, Tayyib Ali @ Porter's Pub. Fancying himself a "Young Sinatra," up-and-coming Maryland rapper Logic's been getting lots of buzz lately for rock-solid rhymes that channel the attitude of Big L and Wu-Tang Clan. Philadelphia tour-mate Tayyib Ali has a smoother flow and smokier beats, but he's just as skilled on the mic. PLAN B: Extra Life, Vaginals, Corima @ Tin Can Ale House. An experimental New York band headed by an elementary-school teacher, Extra Life conjure up darkly poetic lyrics, wandering avant-folk melodies and brutal rock breakdowns on their alluringly bizarre new(ish) album, Dream Seeds. BACKUP PLAN: Mattson 2, Kut U Up, Shake Before Us @ The Casbah.
Thursday, July 12
PLAN A: Janka Nabay and The Bubu Gang @ Bar Pink. Originally from Sierra Leone and now based in the United States, Janka Nabay updates the traditional "bubu music" of his home country with elements of Afrobeat, highlife, free-jazz and psych-rock, mixing it all into a rhythmically zany dance-music style that makes Zumba look like child's play. PLAN B: Tim Heidecker, JP Inc., Optiganally Yours @ The Casbah. Tonight's big highlight is actor / comedian / weirdo Tim Heidecker, co-creator of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! But don't miss Optiganally Yours, a Rob Crow side project featuring cheesy-sweet pop and a vintage toy organ.
Friday, July 13
PLAN A: Andrew W.K., Peanut Butter Wolf, Hottub, Alexander Spit, Franki Chan @ 4th & B. Do you like to party hard? If so, you'll definitely want to see Andrew W.K. perform his hard-partying classic I Get Wet front to back. You'll also want to read my guide to more Comic-Con related shows here. PLAN B1: Drew Andrews, River City, Jamuel Saxon @ Soda Bar. Songwriter Drew Andrews is bound to make you swoon with his gorgeous new EP, Goddamn, Yes I'm for Real. It's got pretty acoustic guitar, dreamy keyboards, sparkling orchestral elements and muscular rhythms to provide emotional heft. PLAN B2: Ruines Ov Abaddon, Eukaryst, Squirrelly Arts @ Electric Ladyland (4944 Newport Ave.). As I write in my feature, the guys in Ruines Ov Abaddon enhance their triumphant black-metal with inverted crosses, body armor and corpse paint—sounds awesome, right? BACKUP PLAN: Vivian Girls, Grass Widow, The Babies, Dunes @ The Casbah.
Saturday, July 14
PLAN A: John Maus, Tropic of Cancer, Divers, DJ Mario Odruno, Wes Eisold @ The Casbah. John Maus might approach synth-pop from a philosopher's point of view, but don't expect a sedate performance from this eccentric Minnesota songwriter. As live reports and videos attest, he gets dance floors bumping and occasionally bashes his face in with his microphone. PLAN B: Cali Cam, The NERz, Franchize Kid, Apex Realm, New Breed, Mr. Grinch @ Epicentre. Most hip-hop heads will probably prefer seeing L.A. underground rap star Murs at Brick by Brick, but keep an eye out for Cali Cam. The up-and-coming local MC showcases some serious chops on his recently released album, The Champagne Chronicles. BACKUP PLAN: Shearwater, Husky, Gold Leaves @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, July 15
PLAN A: The Sultans, Beehive & The Barracudas @ Bar Pink. Don't expect any fancy post-hardcore riffs at Bar Pink's fifth-anniversary celebration. Instead, co-owner John "Swami" Reis will get down and dirty with The Sultans, a good ol'-fashioned rock 'n' roll band whose tunes go great with many pints of beer. PLAN B: My Best Fiend, Bruin, Idyll Wild @ Soda Bar. Offering a folksy spin on Spiritualized's drone-rock, Brooklyn rockers My Best Fiend lay down a soulful mix of aching vocals, heady guitars and mid-tempo rhythms.
Monday, July 16
PLAN A: Wyatt, Western Haunts, The Breaking Yard, Irene Irene @ Tin Can Ale House. Wyatt frontwoman Maddy Wyatt is usually accompanied by a feverishly talented folk-rock band, but this New York songstress will probably sound just as rich and heartfelt performing solo. BACKUP PLAN: Western Scene, Great White Buffalo, Hit Dog Holler @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, July 17
PLAN A: The Surfaris, SWARMIUS @ Belly Up. Surf-music icons The Surfaris will commemorate the 50th birthday of "Wipe Out," whose indelible riff and drum solo make it a favorite among Muppets and high-school bands alike. BACKUP PLAN: Mystery Cave & Ryan Haynes, Californino, Rebuilder, The Sound Grove @ Tin Can Ale House.