Wednesday, June 18
PLAN A: Owl John, Withered Hand @ The Casbah. I first confused Owl John with California MC Pigeon John, but the band is actually a group featuring members of Frightened Rabbit. They've got a bit of a darker, bluesier sound, and it's a welcome alternative to all the bands mangling Americana and American roots music. Maybe it helps that they're Scottish. PLAN B: Gilbert Castellanos Jazz Jam with Roxy Jones @ Seven Grand. As reported a couple weeks back in "Notes from the Smoking Patio," Gilbert Castellanos has been working on a live-music collaboration with Roxy Jones, and we finally get to hear the result. Jazz and indie rock tend to exist in completely different worlds, so it should be fun to hear this experiment play out on stage. BACKUP PLAN: Tomorrows Tulips, The Memories, Telling Lies @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, June 19
PLAN A: Island Boy, Witness 9, LA Rams, Labs @ Soda Bar. Local electronic-pop musician Richard Hunter-Rivera, aka Island Boy, is releasing a new EP, Basic Instincts, and he's headlining a show at Soda Bar for the release party. If dreamy, synth-based jams are up your alley, then there's no better way to spend your Thursday night. PLAN B: Uh Huh Her, DJ Kim Anh @ Belly Up Tavern. You'd think a band named after a PJ Harvey album would be a lot louder and rock a lot harder than Uh Huh Her. But this isn't necessarily a problem; their electronic-pop gems remind me of Eurythmics or Berlin, and I'm more than OK with that.
Friday, June 20
PLAN A: Russ Rankin, Karina Toriz, Blue in the Face, Drew Smith @ Soda Bar. This thing's been happening a lot, where '90s punk-rock frontmen have been moving in more of a rootsy singer / songwriter direction, and I'm pretty down with it. Russ Rankin helmed Good Riddance, but his new album, Farewell Catalonia, is closer to Springsteen or Billy Bragg. It's the sound of punk all grown up.
Saturday, June 21
PLAN A: Jessica Lea Mayfield, Israel Nash, The Midnight Pine @ The Casbah. Jessica Lea Mayfield has worked with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach in the past, but her new album, Make My Head Sing, is mostly self-produced—and her best yet. Mayfield finds the sweet spot where ethereal pop and rootsy, sweaty rock 'n' roll meet, and it sounds incredible. PLAN B: "Bujwah Bonanza" w/ The Abigails, Stalins of Sound, Amerikan Bear and more @ Til-Two Club. Any music festival that takes place inside a dive bar is my kind of festival. "Bujwah Bonanza" is just such a shindig, with some of the best bands in town playing all day. Pace yourself, though—it happens again on Sunday. BACKUP PLAN: Souls of Mischief, Zoolay, Plainsight, Tribelife, Future Heroes @ Porter's Pub.
Sunday, June 22
PLAN A: The Menzingers, Lemuria, PUP, Cayetana @ The Irenic. Punk rockers The Menzingers rock pretty hard, but I'm even more stoked about Canadian group PUP. Sort of like a hybrid between Fucked Up and Weezer, they pummel you with hook after hook. Hardcore punk never felt so joyous. PLAN B: "Bujwah Bonanza" w/ Wild Wild Wets, Barbarian, Kids in Heat and more @ Til-Two Club. Day 2 of "Bujwah Bonanza" promises even more trippy, hard-rocking good times. If the first day didn't wear you out too much, make a weekend of it. BACKUP PLAN: Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Oh Spirit @ Soda Bar.
Monday, June 23
PLAN A: Spanish Gold, Clear Plastic Masks, The Everymen @ Soda Bar. Spanish Gold's "Out on the Street" is a guaranteed summer jam. Borrowing a melody from Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me," it's like early-'80s R&B performed by a groove-heavy psych-rock band. They've got chops, but, clearly, they're having fun. And if you go to this show, you will be, too. PLAN B: Nightmares on Wax, Cumbia Machin @ House of Blues. The EDM-by-numbers game has gotten so tiring that sometimes it's refreshing to hear a producer who stays reverent to '90s downtempo sounds. Nightmares on Wax is as chill as ever and still making great tunes. If you're waiting for the drop, you're going to be waiting for a long time.
Tuesday, June 24
PLAN A: Tweak Bird, Gloomsday, The Gods of Science @ Soda Bar. Los Angeles' Tweak Bird is like a two-man Black Sabbath, handing out massive helpings of doom-metal riffs, fantastic vocal harmonies and catchy tunes galore. It seems only fitting that Gloomsday, another hard-rocking two-person operation, are opening the show. It's a lean, no-frills rock-stravaganza! BACKUP PLAN B: Ceci Bastida @ The Casbah.