Wednesday, March 12
PLAN A: Fax, Machino, Vampire Slayer, Al-B, Schem, Rancho Shampoo @ The Casbah. Tijuana-based Indian Gold Records is hosting a showcase of its artists at The Casbah (a little bit like a certain Austin festival, happening at the same time), mostly focused on dark, synth-based sounds. If you're a post-punk junkie, or just looking to see what cool sounds are happening south of the border, don't miss this one.
Thursday, March 13
PLAN A: Purling Hiss, Tar Halos, Marqay @ Soda Bar. I once saw Philadelphia's Purling Hiss open for The War on Drugs, and though both bands were plenty loud, Purling Hiss was the one that made me fear for the future of my hearing. They've got plenty of squealing, Dinosaur Jr.-style jams in their bag of tricks, so protect your ears and rock out along with 'em. PLAN B: This Will Destroy You, Silent Land Time Machine @ The Casbah. A name like This Will Destroy You evokes a certain menace, but this post-rock group is a lot more graceful and glacial than that might imply. Not that they don't hit some big crescendos, but if they destroy anything, it'll probably be that stoic front you put on. Sniff. BACKUP PLAN: Light Thieves, Smoke Season @ Bar Pink.
Friday, March 14
PLAN A: Larry and His Flask, Scott H. Biram, Whiskey Shivers @ The Casbah. CityBeat writer Joshua Emerson Smith would probably have words with me if I left out Larry and His Flask, but I'm a little more interested in Scott H. Biram, a singer / songwriter who falls heavily on the outlaw side of outlaw country. PLAN B: Shake Before Us, Stalins of Sound @ Whistle Stop Bar. A free show at the Whistle Stop? With two great punk bands—one of which (machine-punk destroyers Stalins of Sound) just got the EXTRASPECIALGOOD seal of approval in our recent Local Music Issue? Count me in.
Saturday, March 15
PLAN A: Iron Chic, Dan Padilla, Bastards of Young, Western Settings, Caskitt @ Til-Two Club. First of all, Iron Chic is a great pun. Second, the band has a fantastic melodic post-hardcore / emo sound that'll make you feel like the late '90s never ended. But in a good way! PLAN B: Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, The Tilt, Tasha Taylor @ Belly Up Tavern. Blues rock gets a lot of flak (often from me) for good reason—it's been done to death, usually without being distinguishable from any existing blues rock. Tommy Castro's got some chops, though, so consider this an exception. BACKUP PLAN: Grampadrew's Flim Flam Review, Gary Hankins, Matt Strachota, Matt Molarius @ The Casbah.
Sunday, March 16
PLAN A: Yellow Ostrich, Pattern is Movement @ The Casbah. On some level, Yellow Ostrich play the kind of indie rock that populates a hefty chunk of our record collections. But they incorporate the occasional samples, vocal experiments and arena-rock choruses to stand out on their own. And when every Schmoe and his second cousin have an indie-rock band, putting even a slightly unusual twist on a familiar sound can make a big difference. PLAN B: Far Out Fangtooth, Hong Kong Fuzz, Flash Hits, Sleeping Ghost @ Soda Bar. How can you not like a band called Far Out Fangtooth? OK, it's probably easier than I think it is, but this group—which combines goth and psychedelic rock in one dark, massive sonic assault—will win you over, regardless.
Monday, March 17
PLAN A: Jamuel Saxon, Lorna Dune, Mirror Pop, The Spark Three, Office Twins DJs @ Soda Bar. Keith Milgaten is returning to San Diego to bring Jamuel Saxon back together for one night only. If you're feeling nostalgic, or you just want to hear some good indie pop, this is a much better way to spend St. Patrick's Day than watching frat boys puke green vomit.
Tuesday, March 18
PLAN A: Perfect Pussy, Kids, Lube @ The Che Café. You shouldn't Google "Perfect Pussy" if you're at work, but you can take my word for it that this innovative, noise-addicted Syracuse punk band will blow your mind. See 'em without having to deal with the long lines, congested streets and buzz-chasers of SXSW. PLAN B: Lost in the Trees, Icy Demons @ The Casbah. Lost in the Trees have a name that might sound like beard-folk, but they seem to have actually spent more time listening to Radiohead and Shearwater than Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Their new album, Past Life, is both elegant and catchy, which isn't something you get to say too often. BACKUP PLAN: Heavenly Beat, Dancing Strangers, Chrome Wilderness, DJ N¸body @ Soda Bar.