Wednesday, April 3
PLAN A: Phosphorescent, Strand of Oaks @ The Casbah. Critics have been going wild over Phosphorescent's new album, Muchacho. Partially dreamed up while main man Matthew Houck was taking refuge in a seaside Mexican community, the album's mix of gorgeous, heartrending country rockers and ballads would make even the rowdiest bar fall quiet. PLAN B: Gun Outfit, Dancing Strangers, Comet Calendar @ Soda Bar. If you long for the days when indie rock still had a rough 'n' tumble bite, Olympia's Gun Outfit have you covered: They've got messy guitars, nervy melodies, raw vocal parts and lo-fi production values up the wazoo.
Thursday, April 4
PLAN A: Widowspeak, Colleen Green @ The Void. Depending on whom you ask, Colleen Green's slacker-tastic, drum-machine-driven bedroom punk is either Ramones-level infectious or utterly uninspired. I'm still on the fence, but I'd love to see Brooklyn's Widowspeak make their sweet, smoky indie pop. PLAN B: The Heartaches, Suicide Notes, Chango Rey & His Broken Heartbeat, Tigerbomb @ The Casbah. The Heartaches aren't the most active rockers out there—the only profiles they have online are an Angelfire website (!) and a long-dormant MySpace page. But this Swami-approved power-pop combo sure knows how to bang out kinky, white-knuckle hooks. BACKUP PLAN: Adrián Terrazas González Quartet @ 98 Bottles.
Friday, April 5
PLAN A: Kopecky Family Band, The Palace Ballroom, The Eastern Sea @ Soda Bar. Contrary to what the name suggests, Nashville six-piece Kopecky Family Band isn't some mom 'n' pop affair with the kids filling out the rhythm section and grandma on tambourine. But they do have a welcoming, familial vibe as they stir up folksy songs with warm vocal harmonies, explosive choruses and flourishes of cello. PLAN B: Blackout Party, Low Volts, The Hollerin, Crash and the Burns @ The Casbah. Blackout Party and Low Volts apparently had a pretty wild time at South by Southwest—at one show, Blackout Party's Daniel Crawford reportedly broke his guitar in half and started using it as a drum. Here's hoping they're ready to throw down once more. BACKUP PLAN: Three Loco, Fashen, DJ Decon, Boonie Walker, Erik Till @ Stingaree.
Saturday, April 6
PLAN A: The Heavy Guilt, Little Hurricane, Dead Feather Moon, Trouble in the Wind @ The Irenic. If you've ever seen The Heavy Guilt on a good night, you'd know this local folk-rock outfit knows how to put on a jaw-dropping live show. Expect things to get stupid-good tonight as they team up with three formidable local bands to celebrate the release of a new, self-titled album of pensive, sultry folk rock. PLAN B: Amigo the Devil, The Haters 714, Straight Laced Crooks, The Gates, Underground Alliance, The Seks @ The Shakedown Bar (11 a.m.). Local murder-balladeer Amigo the Devil is perhaps best known for his song "Perfect Wife," in which he describes in vivid detail how he torments and abuses his wife before she blows him away with a shotgun. It's evil stuff, and yet I can't turn away. BACKUP PLAN: Esben and the Witch, Heliotropes, Sundrop Electric @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, April 7
PLAN A: Mac DeMarco, Catwalk, Mothlight @ The Void. Mac DeMarco is only 22, but he's already got two solo efforts, a detailed Wikipedia page and a glowing Pitchfork review to his name. That bastard! Taking cues from Jonathan Richman, he pens soft, sun-dappled indie-pop tunes with nuanced lyrics and a seedy, off-kilter underbelly. Onstage, meanwhile, he's been known to crack raunchy jokes and stick things up his butt. BACKUP PLAN: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside @ The Casbah.
Monday, April 8
PLAN A: The Silent Comedy, Family Wagon, North Beach, Deadly Birds @ El Dorado. I can crack jokes all day about Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, but I'm rooting for local Americana bruisers The Silent Comedy. The dapperly dressed boys recently embarked on a tour of the United Kingdom, and this should make for a triumphant homecoming show.
Tuesday, April 9
PLAN A: Dirty Sirens, Schitzophonics, The New Kinetics, Gloomsday, Neighbors to the North @ The Griffin. Go ahead and check out Dirty Sirens' Bandcamp page to hear their blues-rock banger "Siren Song." With its scorching riffs, hurricane drums and howling vocals, itíll make your hair stand on end. BACKUP PLAN: Arlo Guthrie @ Balboa Theatre.