Wednesday, Nov. 12
PLAN A: Single Mothers, Hot Nerds, Ditches @ The Hideout. Single Mothers are a Canadian punk band that sounds a bit like a super-noisy The Hold Steady. Their singer, Drew Thomson, has a sing-speak style similar to Craig Finn's, but their aggressive music is just a little bit more in-your-face. Just how I like my punk rock. PLAN B: J Mascis, Luluc @ The Casbah. J Mascis probably needs no introduction, but here's one anyway—he's the guitar-wielding frontman of Dinosaur Jr. and a singer / songwriter in his own right. The only reason I'm not giving him Plan A is because he doesn't make nearly as much noise as a solo artist as he does in Dinosaur Jr. But he's still J. BACKUP PLAN: Death From Above 1979, Biblical @ House of Blues.
Thursday, Nov. 13
PLAN A: Flying Lotus, Thundercat @ North Park Theatre. Earlier this year, I saw Flying Lotus do a trippy, beat-heavy live set at FYF Fest, and though it was essentially just one dude and his electronic devices, it was a hell of a lot of fun. The Los Angeles producer has a new album called You're Dead! that's super-good, and he's being joined by bass virtuoso Thundercat. So, really, don't miss this show. PLAN B: Twin Peaks, Meatbodies, Criminal Hygiene @ Soda Bar. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the return of Twin Peaks, but knowing that David Lynch and Mark Frost are involved makes it seem like—wait, this isn't the TV show? Oh, it's a fuzzy garage-rock band? My mistake. But, hey, they're pretty catchy!
Friday, Nov. 14
PLAN A: The Presets, Le1f, Chela, Frankie Chan @ North Park Theatre. The Presets are a fine-enough band, but that's not why I'm recommending this show. Nope, the reason to go is to see Le1f, a theatrical and flamboyant MC who needs no guest rappers or backup dancers to leave a mark. Throw your hands in the air when he drops "Wut" into his set. BACKUP PLAN: Los Straitjackets with Deke Dickerson, The Outta Sites, Low Volts @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Nov. 15
PLAN A: United Nations, Silver Snakes, Sick Feeling @ The Casbah. Click here for my feature on United Nations, an always-evolving hardcore band fronted by Thursday's Geoff Rickly. They're a bit conceptual, and a bit satirical. But if you'd prefer to ignore that aspect in favor of their roaring and eclectic sound, then that works, too. PLAN B: Blonde Redhead, Dot Hacker @ House of Blues. New York trio Blonde Redhead have a long history of releasing interesting art-pop records, from their noisy early days up to their newer, dreamier material. It's pretty much all good, and all stylish, so expect a great set. BACKUP PLAN: The Weeks, Turbo Fruits, Sol Cat @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 16
PLAN A: Water Liars, Jimmy Ruelas, Creature and the Woods @ Soda Bar. Last year, I caught Water Liars opening for The Burning of Rome and was pleasantly surprised by their raucous Americana. Imagine a younger, leaner Crazy Horse—or Fleet Foxes if they knew how to rock the fuck out. PLAN B: Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint @ Belly Up Tavern. Two of New Orleans' greatest exports are arriving in town for what looks like a hell of a show at the Belly Up. Soul legend Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are sharing the stage to celebrate the music of the Big Easy. Sounds like a hoot!
Monday, Nov. 17
PLAN A: Streets of Laredo, Max Jury, Paper Days @ The Casbah. A little bit of alt-country twang goes a long way, as far as I'm concerned, but when the right band comes along, I can never get enough. Streets of Laredo definitely have the promise and talent to be just such a band. They've got energy, heart and some great tunes. I'm eager to see where they go from here.
Tuesday, Nov. 18
PLAN A: Lord Dying, Lazy Cobra, Castle, Supersonic Dragon Wagon @ Brick by Brick. Lord Dying is not genuine nobility; it's a sludge-metal group that blends burly riffs with catchy melodies. If you're just starting to wade into heavier music, this isn't a bad place to start. And if you already love metal, then they should scratch the Tuesday-night head-banging itch. PLAN B: Musee Mecanique, Celestial Shore, Geyser House @ Soda Bar. Maybe you don't want to get pummeled on a Tuesday night. That's cool. Try Musee Mecanique instead. The California group plays pretty chamber-pop with lots of gorgeous flourishes that are a bit more soothing than a night of burly metal.