Wednesday, Nov. 5
PLAN A: Tim Hodgkinson, Ramon Amezcua @ Bread & Salt. Tim Hodgkinson is a clarinetist, but not in the same way Benny Goodman was. He's a more experimental, abrasive kind of performer, and he's being joined by Nortec Collective member Ramon Amezcua, whose electronic style should round out this "Fresh Sound" installment nicely. PLAN B: The Features, Chappo, Magic Bronson @ The Casbah. Nashville power-pop group The Features have been quietly putting out records that are much better than Weezer's for more than a decade. They've got hooks like you wouldn't believe, so see what you've been missing while they're in town. BACKUP PLAN: Jeffrey Lewis, Splavender, Big Bloom, Emily Lacy @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Nov. 6
PLAN A: Pissed Jeans, Stickers, Teenage Burritos, Keepers @ The Casbah. Once you've seen Pennsylvania post-hardcore group Pissed Jeans live, you're unlikely to forget the experience. For starters, their music absolutely destroys. But more importantly, frontman Matt Korvette is the kind of oddball charismatic guy who turns live rock music into theater. Punk should always be this fun. PLAN B: Rhye, Lo-Fang @ North Park Theatre. Click here for Dustin Lothspeich's feature on Los Angeles indie-R&B duo Rhye and learn more about the methods behind their smooth, sensual sounds. Bring your sweetheart to this one. BACKUP PLAN: Deep Sea Thunder Beast, He Whose Ox is Gored, Archons @ The Merrow.
Friday, Nov. 7
PLAN A: Eyehategod, Today is the Day, Archons, Christ Killer @ Soda Bar. New Orleans' Eyehategod are pioneers of a particularly harrowing and painful style of Southern sludge metal, which, at their most abrasive, borders on noise rock. They've got grooves, though, so if you're in the mood for a night of fucked-up catharsis, they're good for what ails ya. BACKUP PLAN: The Widows, Thee Fink Bombs, Tiki Bandits, Penetrators @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, Nov. 8
PLAN A: Trumans Water, Octagrape, Permanent Makeup @ The Casbah. Trumans Water is one of the greatest and weirdest bands to come out of San Diego in the '90s. And that's saying a lot, because San Diego was kind of an epicenter of great and weird back then—and still is, since they're playing The Casbah. Get ready for a punk-rock freakout. PLAN B: We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Twilight Sad @ The Irenic. We Were Promised Jetpacks are an epic, earnest indie-rock group. The Twilight Sad are a darker, more abrasive outfit. They're both from Scotland, however, and they're both bound to overload your ear-holes with amazing sounds. BACKUP PLAN: Starkill, Eukaryst, Imbalanced, Fadrait @ The Merrow.
Sunday, Nov. 9
PLAN A: Digitalism, Dink @ Belly Up Tavern. German electronic group Digitalism made a pretty big splash back in 2007 with their single "Pogo"—a tune, I should note, that still sounds fresh. And since we all need a good dance party now and then, I recommend pogoing along to the duo's beat-laden jams. PLAN B: TOPS, Swim Team, Splavender @ Soda Bar. Up-and-coming Montreal synth-pop group TOPS released a new single, "Outside," last month, and it's hard not to get a "Take My Breath Away" vibe from it. Indeed, they've clearly spent a lot of time with the hits of the '80s, but that's not such a bad thing when you consider how well they catalyze them into ethereal goodness.
Monday, Nov. 10
PLAN A: Nothingful, Family Tree Analog, The Thief's Lineage, Otis, Bantam Feather, Obligerant @ The Casbah. I'm always up for a good deal when it comes to live music, and this one's hard to beat: six bands, $6. That's a dollar a band, which leaves you plenty of cash for beer while you catch up on some local sounds.
Tuesday, Nov. 11
PLAN A: Run the Jewels, Ratking, Despot @ Porter's Pub. Run the Jewels 2—the second album by hip-hop duo Run the Jewels (El-P and Killer Mike)—is, hands down, the best hip-hop record of the year. These two vets are pretty much dominating the rap game with their unstoppable rhymes and mesmerizing production, and to top it off, the album is free. So spin it a few (dozen) times, come to Porter's Pub, put your hands in the air and, if you feel like it, wave 'em like you just don't care. PLAN B: The Wytches, Amerikan Bear, Talk in Tongues @ Soda Bar. If you're more in a rock mood, then get aurally assaulted by the intense garage riffs and screeches from U.K. group The Wytches. They're a little Gun Club, a little White Stripes, and a whole lotta kickass.