Wednesday, July 25
PLAN A: St. Lucia, Maren Parusel, Dr. Seahorse @ The Casbah. St. Lucia, the latest '80s throwback to come from the Brooklyn buzz factory, South African-born one-man-band, generates a mix of heartfelt vocal melodies, super-smooth sax breaks and dance-ready electro grooves. I'd make a joke about leg-warmers, but it's actually pretty good. PLAN B: Years Around the Sun, Montalban Quintet, Privet @ Belly Up Tavern. It's been a while since San Diego / Portland outfit Years Around the Sun last played live, but they'll be dishing out their artsy-yet-catchy synth-rock tunes for a good cause: This show benefits Below the Surface, a California nonprofit that promotes water conservation. BACKUP PLAN: Warmer Weather, Love American, Meraki, Burnt @ Ché Café.
Thursday, July 26
PLAN A: Ava Luna, Red Pony Clock, Stratego @ Soda Bar. Sounding inexplicably like a cross between D'Angelo and Gang of Four, New York's Ava Luna temper their slow-paced beats, full-bodied harmonies and achingly sexy vocal lines with intricate guitar parts and ferocious, gnarled riffs. The result is at once neurotic and soulful. PLAN B: Eligh & Amp Live @ Porter's Pub. Staples of underground West Coast hip-hop, Eligh and Amp Live make a solid pair on Therapy at 3, an album they released last year: While Amp Live's eclectic beats verge on robotic madness, Eligh's reflective rhymes come from his mouth at a dizzying pace. BACKUP PLAN: New Mexico, Happy Hollows, Barbarian, Bruin @ The Casbah.
Friday, July 27
PLAN A: Mr. Tube & The Flying Objects, The Creepy Creeps, The Amandas, Ted Washington, DJ Claire @ The Casbah. Though members of The Creepy Creeps used to play in severe bands like The Locust and Tarantula Hawk, the band's chaotic, organ-driven surf-punk is nothing if not serious fun. Stick around for Mr. Tube & The Flying Objects, whose live show is as broodingly funky as their fabled back-story is wacky. PLAN B: Squama, Michael Divinity Mannino, Friendly Music @ Kava Lounge. A member of the local Elev8 collective, DJ / producer Squama shies away from the mainstream dubstep circuit with a headier, more mystical take on electronic bass music. BACKUP PLAN: Sheryl Crow, LP @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.
Saturday, July 28
PLAN A: King Tuff, Jaill, The Coathangers @ Soda Bar. King Tuff's new, self-titled album on Sub Pop is the garage-rocker's most polished effort yet. But don't get me wrong: Cheeky King Tuff mastermind Kyle Thomas still serves up infectious ditties with little regard for professionalism. PLAN B: Aaron Evans, Todo Mundo, Sojourn, Gill Sotu, Erik Martin, Grimlen, Konstant Be, Memo Hoffman, DJ Ganzobean, DJ Tramlife, Alyssa Earley, Craze, Sherwin Ginez @ Kava Lounge. Aaron Evans, a local rapper, producer, poet, designer and sound engineer, is getting ready to release a new album, Family Always Matters. In the title track, he serves up vibrant rhymes with a casual, stylish flow. BACKUP PLAN: DJ Quik, Kokane, Hi Roots, Flawless, Mak Teezy, Omillio Stunna, E-Man, E. Wrek, T.O.N., Fatboy Musik, June Bug @ 4th & B.
Sunday, July 29
PLAN A: Dirty Projectors, Wye Oak @ House of Blues. While Dirty Projectors are known for their brainy, difficult-to-digest indie-rock, critics have described their new album, Swing Lo Magellan, as their most accessible yet. Still, the breezy, wonderfully rhythmic highlight "Dance for You" retains an essential weirdness. PLAN B: Tenacious D, The Sights @ SDSU Open Air Theatre. It's been at least 10 years since I first heard Tenacious D's epic tune "Wonderboy" on the radio, and they're still going strong with the mockrock hilarity of Rize of the Fenix, a recently released album that's their first in six years. BACKUP PLAN: Mewithoutyou, Kevin Devine, Buried Beds @ The Casbah.
Monday, July 30
PLAN A: Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles, Ugly Boogie @ The Casbah. A mainstay of the MinneapolisSaint Paul music scene, folk outfit Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles added more players to the mix for their latest album, Heat, giving their oldfashioned sound some rock 'n' roll muscle.
Tuesday, July 31
PLAN A: Bleached, DIIV, Mad Kiwi, DJ Mario Orduno @ The Casbah. Fronted by sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin, L.A. garage-rockers Bleached have all the beachboppin', '60s-pop-rockin' hooks of trendy bands like Best Coast, but they sound a little darker and grimier. BACKUP PLAN: Ahkiyyini, Joy, Wild Wild Wets, The Mayfly Dance @ Soda Bar.