Wednesday, Feb. 20
PLAN A: Buke and Gase, Aleuchatistas, Array Orchestra @ The Casbah. Like a couple of post-apocalyptic troubadours, Brooklynites Buke and Gase pluck out some crusty future-folk on a couple of modified instruments—a six-string baritone ukulele called a "buke" and a mutant guitar-bass called a "gase." While they get plenty gnarly on their irresistible new album, General Dome, member Arone Dyer's vocals add a note of sweetness. PLAN B: Birdzilla, Grammatical B and The B-Verbs, Birdy Rae @ Tin Can Ale House. Expect some zany dance-party action at this one. Hiphopper Grammatical B gets all up in your face with low-budget beats and nasalvoiced rhymes, while Birdzilla gets goofy / sexy with Auto-Tune vocals and bumpin', club-ready beats. BACKUP PLAN: RYAT, Rainbow Arabia, Church Hustlers, Pool Party @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Feb. 21
PLAN A: Meklit Hadero w/ Quinn DeVeaux @ The Loft at UCSD. As I wrote in last week's issue, Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero is probably best known for her jazzy take on the Ethiopian folk tune "Abbay Mado." But she's also recorded a lovely, soulful album with Oakland R&B singer Quinn DeVeaux, which features covers of songs by both Arcade Fire and Stevie Wonder. (Hadero also plays at The Loft on Wednesday, Feb. 20.) PLAN B: Warm Soda, Teenage Burritos, Buddy Banter, Shiva Trash @ Soda Bar. Oakland's Warm Soda offer an infectious, lipstick-smeared burst of punk-rock glitz and glam. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for some ramshackle, Best Coaststyle garage-pop, don't miss local combo Teenage Burritos. BACKUP PLAN: Electric Healing Sound, O.P.P., DJs Mnstrpsy, Freak Sauce @ Whistle Stop Bar.
Friday, Feb. 22
PLAN A: Del tha Funkee Homosapien @ Porter's Pub. Another big name from the Golden Age of hip-hop, Del tha Funkee Homosapien is a master of withering, clowning rhymes. He takes down a smelly dude in his song "If You Must" and riffs on facial hair in his recent "Movember Moustache Freestyle." PLAN B: River City, John Meeks, The Far Country @ Tin Can Ale House. Things should be getting plenty rootsy at this one. Country singer John Meeks has a gorgeous voice, and River City sound dark and lush, with their rough-hewn voices and layered, fiddle-topped arrangements.
Saturday, Feb. 23
PLAN A: Gary Wilson @ Bar Pink. Since first emerging in the late '70s, local tunesmith Gary Wilson explores a lifetime's worth of sexual neuroses with a wonderfully bizarre mix of electro-funk, soft rock and psychedelic sound collage. Joined by a curiously costumed backing band onstage, he likes to don ratty wigs and mess around with a plastic blow-up doll. PLAN B: Bonnie Raitt @ Copley Symphony Hall. Roots legend Bonnie Raitt beat out Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers and bagged a Grammy last week for her latest album, Slipstream, and rightfully so. Featuring rockers and ballads alike, the record finds her as soulful as ever. BACKUP PLAN: Chicano Batman, Black Hondo, DJs Marsellus Wallace, RSI, Beto Perez @ The Roots Factory.
Sunday, Feb. 24
PLAN A: The Night Marchers, The Intelligence, Mrs. Magician @ The Casbah. On a media-only Soundcloud stream of Allez Allez, The Night Marchers' badass new album of primal rock 'n' roll, they give the listener some instructions: "PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Expect frontman John "Swami" Reis and his able-bodied bandmates to do just that tonight. PLAN B: Ramona Falls, Social Studies, Inspired and The Sleep @ Kensington Club. If you're looking to get swept away by some elaborate, whooshing indie-rock, you've come to the right place: Led by former Menomena member Brent Knopf, Portland's Ramona Falls love getting big and dramatic. BACKUP PLAN: Psychic Ills, Gap Dream, Riververb @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Feb. 25
PLAN A: Sir Sly, Bear Mountain, Man Without Country @ The Casbah. L.A.'s Sir Sly play big electro-pop, even occasionally employing a burst of wobbly, dubstep-style bass. There'll likely be some radio-ready sounds at this free show, as the trio closes out a three-Monday residency. BACKUP PLAN: Coheed and Cambria, Between the Buried and Me, Russian Circles @ House of Blues.
Tuesday, Feb. 26
PLAN A: The Residents @ Belly Up Tavern. Read my feature about this iconic experimental band, who've made a lot of incredible (and incredibly bizarre) music in their 40-year run.