Wednesday, Feb. 26
PLAN A: Madball, Twitching Tongues, Born Low, Sculpins @ Soda Bar. New York hardcore has some specific connotations—sleeve tattoos, basketball jerseys, shaved heads and lots and lots of grooves. Madball pretty much checks off every item on that list and have been doing so since 1988. They're OG HxC. PLAN B: Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Ana Popovic @ Belly Up Tavern. On the flipside, there's the option of seeing the bluesiest, funkiest gospel group in the land. I'm not a religious man, but if a man of God can get down like this, then I can dig it.
Thursday, Feb. 27
PLAN A: In Motion Collective, The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble @ Bar Pink. Funk is still alive in California, and with locals In Motion Collective, so is Afrobeat. Not many bands in town bring dense, horn-driven grooves with as much flair, so get silly on some Sneaky Tikis and soak in the vibes they're transmitting. BACKUP PLAN: Kevin Seconds, Steve Soto, Russ Rankin @ House of Blues.
Friday, Feb. 28
PLAN A: The Heavy Guilt, Ed Ghost Tucker, Idyll Wild, We Are Sirens @ The Griffin. As it turns out, we're throwing a party for our Local Music Issue with some of our favorite (mostly) new local bands. I might be a little biased on this one, but I think it's definitely a show you should mark on your calendar. PLAN B: Deadphones, Inspired and the Sleep, Emerald Rats, DJ Santino Romeri @ Soda Bar. But then again, Deadphones (formerly Cuckoo Chaos) are playing their first official show, so that's hard to pass up. These guys are making some awesome music right now; don't be surprised when they get huge. BACKUP PLAN: Age of Collapse, Man vs. Man, Bridge Jumper @ Tower Bar.
Saturday, March 1
PLAN A: Angel Olsen, Cian Nugent @ Soda Bar. My favorite album to be released during this still-young year is Angel Olsen's Burn Your Fire For No Witness, a powerful mixture of ragged indie rock and haunting, Leonard Cohen-style folk. Olsen is a top-notch songwriter with a powerful voice, and if you make it to only one show this week, this is definitely the one. PLAN B: Com Truise, Phantoms @ The Casbah. I still think Com Truise is kind of a stupid name, but I've come to accept that the name doesn't make the man. And the man's got some extra funky, '80s-style synth jams. What's not to like about that?
Sunday, March 2
PLAN A: Dave Hause, Northcote @ The Casbah. Rare is the musician who can pull off both roaring punk rock and more melodic singer / songwriter fare, but Dave Hause is just that black swan of a performer. He's made some noise with The Loved Ones and Paint it Black, but as a solo performer, he gets down to some heartfelt, twangy sounds that hit you right in the gut. PLAN B: Crisis Arm, Unconditional Arms, The Plurals, The Telephone Projects, Hug Octopus @ The Che Café. A band with the name Crisis Arm playing at the Che surely equals hardcore, right? Nope! This Hemet-based group is all swirling, shoegazing goodness. Equal parts volume and dense, psychedelic layers, Crisis Arm promises something mesmerizing.
Monday, March 3
PLAN A: Free Salamander Exhibit, ANA, California Bleeding @ The Casbah. Prog rock is hard to take on a regular basis—contrary to Yngvie Malmsteen's declaration, more is not necessarily more. But when it's weird enough, then I'm game. Free Salamander Exhibit feature members of long-running weirdo brigade Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (which, admittedly, is a similar name) and carry that band's sense of drama and unpredictability. Just one warning: There might be some flute.
Tuesday, March 4
PLAN A: Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, The Kabbs, Boy King, Sama Dams @ Soda Bar. And here we have yet another Burger Records band putting most modern garage rockers to shame. With some dirty organ riffs and lots of acid-fried weirdness, Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel breathe new life into '60s-inspired sounds. PLAN B: Blu and Exile, Dag Savage feat. Choosey, Denmark Vessey & Scud One, Blame One, Abjo & Mr. Brady, DJ Artistic @ The Casbah. Blu & Exile just reissued their 2007 album Below the Heavens, which had recently been out of print. And that's a good thing, because nobody should be denied the pleasure of hearing beats and rhymes this fluid. Expect to hear a heavy dose of these tracks during their set.