Wednesday, April 9
PLAN A: Jeffertitti's Nile, Jail Weddings, Shiva Trash @ Soda Bar. The Jeffertitti of Jeffertitti's Nile can often be seen playing bass for Father John Misty, who in turn played drums on J-Nile's upcoming album, The Electric Hour. That rootsy singer-songwriter likely won't be at this show, but there will be plenty of psychedelic, rockin' fun. PLAN B: Kodiak, Gone Baby Gone, The End @ The Casbah. Kodiak are some of the best purveyors of eardrum-busting music in this town, their hook-laden hardcore reminiscent of Los Angeles' The Bronx. So if you're looking for something louder and heavier, this is the place to be. BACKUP PLAN: Amigo, Candy Warpop, Tactical Ffever @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, April 10
PLAN A: Ghoul, Iron Reagan, Occultist, They Feed at Night @ Soda Bar. Masked thrash-metal band Ghoul recall a time back in the mid-'80s when heavy metal was still sort of scary. You know, when Satanism frightened suburbanites shitless and the thought of masked weirdos playing loud music made parents uncomfortable. As it turns out, Ghoul know their way around a hook, and, terrifying or not, their brand of thrash is super-fun to rock out to. PLAN B: Small Disaster @ Seven Grand. Unorthodox trio Small Disaster put a fun pop spin on the concept of a jazz combo. Their sets often involve works by Radiohead, Stereolab and Björk, in addition to some originals. Pair that with an aged bourbon and you've got yourself a hell of a Thursday night.
Friday, April 11
PLAN A: The Dodos, Inspired and the Sleep @ The Loft at UCSD. Last week, I profiled Bay Area indie-rock duo The Dodos, whose new album, Carrier, finds them sounding as tuneful as ever, but with more attention to dense, dreamy arrangements. They're known for putting on a great live show, so don't miss this one. PLAN B: Idols Plague, I Trust You to Kill Me, Titanarum, Ramp Locals @ Tower Bar. If the Ghoul show on Thursday doesn't provide enough metal for you (there's never enough metal!), then hop on over to Tower Bar to get a menacing grindcore fix from locals Idols Plague. That should do the trick. BACKUP PLAN: Brothers Weiss, Jackson Price, Diamond Lakes @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, April 12
PLAN A: The Stitches, The Stalins of Sound, Midnight Eagle @ Soda Bar. The Stitches are billed as a "70s style punk band," but what that really means is they're just as much a new-wave or power-pop band as they are punk. Big guitars, big hooks and big fun are all part of the package. PLAN B: Hexxers, Northern Tigers, Los Apaches, Fugitive Fleas, DJs Mongo Style, T-Murder, Chango Rey @ Tower Bar. There are a lot of bands on this bill, but, for now, I'll give you one to focus on: Hexxers. They do surf-tinged rockabilly with a touch of Sonics-style garage-rock mayhem. Kitsch, theatrics and extra-catchy tunes—they've got it all.
Sunday, April 13
PLAN A: "For the Love of Hip-Hop" with Miki Vale, Parker and the Numberman, Spinach, Herbalistics @ Kava Lounge. Local MC Miki Vale balances laid-back hip-hop and rich R&B in equal measure, able to go back and forth between dropping science and a soulful singing style without missing a beat. Before you head back to the grind on Monday morning, make some time for this Sunday-night show. BACKUP PLAN: Thy Squid, I Trust You to Kill Me, Suffer Along, Groms @ The Che Café.
Monday, April 14
PLAN A: Vertical Scratchers, Octagrape, The Cardielles @ Soda Bar. John Schmersal has one of the most impressive résumés in indie rock, having played with Brainiac, Enon and Caribou, but his new band, Vertical Scratchers, is yet another interesting direction for the guitarist and songwriter. It finds Schmersal giving into power-pop jangle, and it's infectious in all the right ways.
Tuesday, April 15
PLAN A: Mobb Deep, Young Farrow, Parker and the Numberman @ The Casbah. Mobb Deep at The Casbah? Now that's a hell of a Plan A! The legends of hardcore hip-hop are coming up on the 20th anniversary of their amazing album The Infamous, and hearing its chilling anthems, like "Shook Ones Pt. II," at an intimate venue should be legendary. PLAN B: Mogwai, Majeure @ Belly Up Tavern. Scottish post-rock icons Mogwai are also playing Coachella, but they were nice enough to make a stop in our city. And let's be honest: Their intricate, climactic sound works a lot better on a stage like the Belly Up's anyhow. BACKUP PLAN: Peelander-Z, The Touchies, Pleasure Fix @ Soda Bar.