PLAN A: Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne, Chill Pill @ The Casbah. Back in January, I profiled Jordan Lee, the singer / songwriter behind chamber-pop project Mutual Benefit, and he has more of a punk ethos than I expected. That said, his music is gentle and beautiful, and if you need something pretty to get you through the week, Lee's melodic songwriting just might do the trick. PLAN B: Wayne the Train Hancock, Rip Carson and the Valiants, Action Andy and the Hi-Tones @ Soda Bar. I'm not much for old-timey sounds, but classic country is a different story. Wayne "The Train" Hancock plays his country with a honky-tonk swing in the style of Hank Williams or Ray Price. And let me tell you, it's a hoot!
Thursday, Oct. 16
PLAN A: The Body, Sandworm, Children of God, Drone Rivers @ The Che Café. Portland duo The Body seem like a dangerous band to have performing inside a wood-and-glass structure. But they've played shows at the Che before, and believe me, it was intense. The ground shakes under the weight of their booming riffs. Hear them, or feel them, for yourself and be in awe. PLAN B: Turquoise Jeep, Yip Deceiver, DJ Artistic @ The Irenic. Turquoise Jeep walk a thin line between absurdity and genius. Their songs—like "Lemme Smang It" and "Treat Me Like a Pirate"—are too funny not to feel like parody. And yet, they're solid hip-hop jams when you get right down to it. BACKUP PLAN: Fujiya and Miyagi, Magic Touch @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Oct. 17
PLAN A: Perfume Genius, Matteah Baim, Island Boy @ Soda Bar. Perfume Genius' new album, Too Bright, is easily one of the best records of the year. It's part Kate Bush-style art pop, part glam rock, with a whole lot of dark, electronic weirdness. In contrast to his more stripped-down albums, it sounds like it has the potential to be a more dynamic live show, so I wouldn't want to miss that.
Saturday, Oct. 18
PLAN A: The New Pornographers, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ The North Park Theater. The New Pornographers probably don't need much explanation. They're an indie-rock super-group, amazing power-pop songwriters, yada yada yada. So, just consider this my reminder that they're as awesome as you remember them. PLAN B: D.R.I., Willie Psycho, Screaminí Yeehaws, Vlad Arthur @ Brick by Brick. You might, however, need a reminder about D.R.I. Inventors of "crossover thrash," D.R.I. were one of the seminal bands in bridging the gap between thrash metal and hardcore punk. They're legends of heavy music, with a lot of fun and furious songs. BACKUP PLAN: Writer, Scruffles, Ultragash, DJ Nathan Aguilar @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Oct. 19
PLAN A: Metronomy, Dawn Golden @ Belly Up Tavern. A few years ago, I was introduced to U.K. synth-pop group Metronomy through their video for "The Look," mainly because of the cool stop-motion animation. The song itself is a minimalist jam, and their catalog is well worth diving into for more electronic gems. So do that, and then go to this show. PLAN B: Nina Persson, El May @ The Casbah. I'm a Cardigans fan from way back when the Swedish group was blending Stereolab's avant-lounge with The Carpenters' polyester pop. They got a lot more "rock" after that, as did frontwoman Nina Persson with her solo project, A Camp. She's going by her real name now, and as you'll hear on recent single "Animal Heart," she's still fantastic.
Monday, Oct. 20
PLAN A: Pup, Hard Girls, Mini Death @ The Casbah. I became addicted to Canadian punk band Pup earlier this year when they released their self-titled debut. The band also opened for The Menzingers at The Irenic earlier this summer, and they had both the hooks and the energy to make for a super-fun evening. This time, they're headlining, so more Pup for your money! PLAN B: Obliterations, Baptists, Torch Runner, Griever @ Soda Bar. If you know anything about Southern Lord Records, you know that it's a frequent source of all things heavy, intense and crusty. And a handful of their crustiest hardcore bands are playing together in this talent-stacked show. Brace yourself.
Tuesday, Oct. 21
PLAN A: Charli XCX, Elliphant, Femme @ House of Blues. In another edition of "Artists Jeff wrote about in 2013," I had a great chat with a then-20-year-old Charli XCX last year, and just a year later, she ends up with a massive hit with her new single, "Boom Clap." Frankly, her sassy and synth-heavy pop should be occupying more spots in the top 40 if you ask me.