Wednesday, Aug. 29
PLAN A: Saviours, Ride the Sun, The Marsupials @ The Shakedown Bar. You don't need to be a stoner to like Oakland stonermetal bad-boys Saviours. With their beefy riffs, pounding rhythms and mythic song titles ("Earthen Dagger," "Mystichasm," "Exalter of Thorns"), they bring out the greasy, longhaired hesher in all of us. PLAN B: Old 97's, Those Darlins, Rhett Miller @ Belly Up Tavern. No one does casual alt-country quite like Old 97's. Since bursting onto the national scene in the '90s, the Texas band has penned many a hummable gem, always with tense energy and a rough edge.
Thursday, Aug. 30
PLAN A: Keith Sweaty, Mike Delgado, Totescity, Colour Vision, Lion Cut @ The Propagandist. While he takes more of an indie approach with Jamuel Saxon, Keith Milgaten goes full-bore into club-music territory as Keith Sweaty. Head here for a closer look at this solo DJ project. PLAN B: Brown Bird, These United States, Ugly Boogie @ The Casbah. Rhode Island duo Brown Bird don't do anything fancy, but they'll immediately pull you in with their understated, down-home folk, delivering rich vocal harmonies, full-bodied fiddle lines and heady guitar and banjo. BACKUP PLAN: Little Hurricane, Dead Feather Moon, Bunny Gang @ Belly Up Tavern.
Friday, Aug. 31
PLAN A: M83, Hyena @ SOMA. On M83's epic 2011 album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, main man Anthony Gonzalez split the difference between shoegaze and soft rock with heartfelt melodies, high-energy sax solos and cascades of dreamy synth. Needless to say, this show is best experienced with date in hand. PLAN B: Dahga Bloom, Astra, Joy, Shiva Trash @ The Casbah. Hailed by OC Weekly as Orange County's "best stoner band," Fullerton five-piece Dahga Bloom mixes the slapdash riffs of garage-rock, the face-melting synths of prog rock and the hijinks of a merry pirate troupe into a twisted sound all its own.
Saturday, Sept. 1
PLAN A: The Album Leaf, Tiny Telephones, ANA/, DJ Velvet Touch @ The Casbah. Ever the somnambulant dream-conjurers, The Album Leaf is getting ready to release a new, 7-song EP, Forward/Return, on Sept. 18. But don't miss Tiny Telephones, a local band that's celebrating the release of a solid album of heady, electro-tinged postrock, The Heavenly Child. PLAN B: SoCAL Music Festival @ East Village. If you aren't going to Los Angeles for the much-talkedabout FYF Fest, you might try this instead, which seems to be a lower-rent, more stereotypically "SoCal" take on Street Scene. Cold War Kids will headline; see socalfestival.com for details. BACKUP PLAN: "Babe Fest" w/ L.A. Witch, Sneak Peek, Dirty Sirens, Legs @ Til-Two Club.
Sunday, Sept. 2
PLAN A: The Tallest Man on Earth, Strand of Oaks @ Birch North Park Theatre. Channeling the spirits of Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson—aka The Tallest Man on Earth—writes intimate folk songs full of passion. Though he chills a bit on his newest album, June's There's No Leaving Now, his raspy voice goes right for the jugular. PLAN B: "Sausage Fest" w/ Joy, Gorgeous George & The Draggs, California Bleeding, San Pedro el Cortez, Slipping into Darkness, Roach Spit @ Til-Two Club. Looking for some old-fashioned rock? This is the place. Jamrockers Joy have scorching solos for days, Tijuana's San Pedro el Cortez can get real crazy onstage, and Gorgeous George & The Draggs—well, that's just a great band name. Make sure to check out Saturday's counterpart, "Babe Fest," too (see Saturday). BACK- UP PLAN: Two Gallants, Cosmonauts @ The Casbah.
Monday, Sept. 3
PLAN A: The Field, Church Hustlers, Colour Field @ The Casbah. Not a whole lot goes on in The Field's rippling, hypnotic minimal techno. Stripping his beats to the bone, dicing samples into slivers and holding back on noticeable changes, this Swedish producer makes music that's luxuriously understated and utterly sublime. BACKUP PLAN: Kishi Bashi, The Last Bison, Bruin @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Sept. 4
PLAN A: Old Man Gloom, William Fowler Collins, Sad Vicious, Ides of Gemini @ Soda Bar. To put it simply, Old Man Gloom sounds heavy as fuck. Featuring members of ISIS, Converge and Cave In, the doommetal super-group deals in all manner of demonic lurch, from humongo riffs to throaty screams. BACKUP PLAN: A.A. Bondy @ The Casbah.