Wednesday, Oct. 23
PLAN A: Paramore, Metric, Hellogoodbye @ Viejas Arena. I generally make it my business not to recommend pop-punk shows, but I'm making an exception for Paramore, whose new, self-titled album took me by surprise. Maybe it's because of the mixing job by Failure's Ken Andrews. Or maybe it's just because a catchy, big-budget pop song sometimes really hits the spot. PLAN B: Sound Lupus, After the Matter, Cochino @ The Griffin. Sound Lupus is not, unfortunately, a Circus Lupus offshoot. They are, however, a rhythmically interesting rock group with elements of punk, post-rock and Soca. Very cool. BACKUP PLAN: Hanni El Khatib, Bass Drum of Death, Beach Party @ The Casbah.
Thursday, Oct. 24
PLAN A: Chrome Sparks, 9 Theory, Dudes, Colour Vision @ Soda Bar. Chrome Sparks is Ann Arbor, Mich., singer and producer Jeremy Malvin, whose songs sound a bit like a bedroom-recorded M83. He's got a way to go before getting that recognizable, but he's quickly amassed an impressive set of EPs and has a knack for decent synth-pop tunes. He'll get there soon enough. PLAN B: Castle, The Marsupials, Looming, Juice Machine @ The Void. San Francisco's Castle have a thick, sludge-metal sound that's as dense as the fortified walls their name implies. Take The Melvins' heavy riffs and swap out King Buzzo's vocals for a badass frontwoman, and you're just about there. BACKUP PLAN: James Blake, Samiyam @ House of Blues.
Friday, Oct. 25
PLAN A: Hunx and His Punx, Northern Tigers, The Frights @ The Irenic. If John Waters started a punk band, it might sound something like Hunx and His Punx. Blending '50s pop, '60s girl-group sounds and a penchant for garage-rock scuzz, Hunx and His Punx are a catchy, campy blast. PLAN B: Throw Rag, Drop Dead Dames Burlesque, Homeless Sexuals, Bill Cardinal @ Til-Two Club. Salton Sea punks Throw Rag played more of a psychobilly style before transitioning into a hard-rocking punk sound reminiscent of both The Pogues and Dead Kennedys. If you like your punk shows paired with burlesque striptease, however, there's also the added benefit of a saucy show by Drop Dead Dames. BACKUP PLAN: Necroterrorist, Omen Ov Torment, Reverse Corpse Paint, Fed to the Wolves @ The Che Café.
Saturday, Oct. 26
PLAN A: Swamp Dogg, DJ Claire, Mr. Mazee @ Bar Pink. Virginia soul singer Swamp Dogg performed as Little Jerry Williams for a few years, but he developed his Swamp Dogg persona after his first LSD trip in the 1960s. Eccentric, satirical, a little raunchy but, above all, soulful, Swamp Dogg is a unique icon in funk music, definitely not to be missed. PLAN B: Earthless, Joy, Sacri Monti, Mystery Ship @ The Casbah. Earthless go big. The local psych-rockers specialize in massive, epic rock odysseys that stretch well beyond traditional song lengths and getting lost in heavy instrumental jams. It's hypnotic, intense and seemingly adrift in its own solar system. Earthless, indeed. BACKUP PLAN: Plateaus, Barbarian, Buddy Banter @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Oct. 27
PLAN A: Tav Falco and the Panther Burns, Rey & Davies @ Soda Bar. Tav Falco is an interesting character. The Memphis performer started off making documentaries about blues musicians before starting his own rockabilly band, The Panther Burns, back in the '80s. He's done some acting and studied tango, but, most of all, he's built a long and impressive career of theatrical í50s-style rock 'n' roll. BACKUP PLAN: Deer Tick, Robert Ellis @ Belly Up Tavern.
Monday, Oct. 28
PLAN A: The Dirty Streets, Cosmic Suckerpunch @ Soda Bar. Memphis trio The Dirty Streets rock hard without the need of frivolous subgenre categorization. It's rock 'n' roll, brother, the way it was back in your pappy's day: big guitars, big riffs, long hair and lots of 'tude.
Tuesday, Oct. 29
PLAN A: The Blow, Kisses, Love Inks @ The Casbah. See Peter Holslin's feature on The Blow, who relocated to Brooklyn, recalibrated their sound and came out the other side with some quirky, mature synth-pop gems on their new album. PLAN B: Mr. Physician, Jeans Wilder, The Frights @ The Griffin. The Griffin is advertising a show about a secretive band that calls itself Mr. Physician. And it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out who that might be—a local indie-pop group with lots of catchy tunes overflowing with surf influence, perhaps? BACKUP PLAN: The Night Marchers, Creepxotica @ Bar Pink.