Wednesday, April 8
PLAN A: Kimbra, Mikky Ekko @ Observatory North Park. Kimbra first made a name for herself singing alongside Gotye on his hit single "Somebody That I Used to Know," but I'm more interested in her high-energy, disco-fueled pop numbers, which are a lot more fun to dance to. She's also collaborated with math-metal band The Dillinger Escape Plan, which makes me like her just that much more. BACKUP PLAN: White Violet, Geronimo Getty, China Clippers @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, April 9
PLAN A: Action Bronson, The Alchemist, Meyhem Lauren @ Observatory North Park. Action Bronson is a character. He's a former chef, hosts a web cooking series called "Fuck That's Delicious" and gives a pretty hilarious interview. But the man's got a gift for rapping, and if you want to start your weekend a night early, then this is where the party's going to be. BACKUP PLAN: The Widows, Sir Coyler and His Asthmatic Band, The Grim Imperials @ Tower Bar.
Friday, April 10
PLAN A: Hills Like Elephants, Wild Wild Wets, Schitzophonics, Gloomsday @ The Casbah. Hills Like Elephants are releasing a new album, Tall Tales, that finds the group taking on more of a post-punk aesthetic. And their record-release show is loaded with other great bands, like psych-rockers Wild Wild Wets and the unstoppable duo Gloomsday. Hear the new jams, see some other great local acts and make a night of it. PLAN B: Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band, Jeff Rosenstock, Chumped @ The Irenic. Andrew Jackson Jihad's folk-punk style is a blend of high-energy acoustic strums and witty, smart lyrics in the vein of The Mountain Goats. It's super fun stuff—more so than you might have ever imagined from a dude with an acoustic guitar. BACKUP PLAN: The English Beat, Coastal Frequency @ Belly Up Tavern.
Saturday, April 11
PLAN A: Peaking Lights, The Most Hi, Chill Pill, Identity+, Other Bodies DJs @ Soda Bar. Los Angeles duo Peaking Lights are an unconventional bunch, juxtaposing psychedelic electronics against dub rhythms. It's dreamy, disorienting and catchy all at once. So if you haven't spun their records yet, start with 936 and become intoxicated with their grooves, then soak in the vibes firsthand. PLAN B: The Underachievers @ Observatory North Park. The Underachievers aren't like most hip-hop outfits. The Brooklyn group treats psychedelics like windows to new planes of enlightenment. Not that you need to participate to fully appreciate the otherworldly vibe they create. Their beats and rhymes are mystical enough without chemical enhancement.
Sunday, April 12
PLAN A: Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Sister Crayon @ Belly Up Tavern. In case you weren't already familiar, Antemasque is the new project of Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, formerly of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta. It's closer to the former than the latter, with high-energy rock songs instead of drawn-out prog odysseys. But with these two, anything is possible. PLAN B: Tomorrow's Tulips, Feels, Tarek Wegner @ The Casbah. I managed to make it this far without directing anyone to a garage- or surf-rock band, but if you're going to see one this week, make it Tomorrow's Tulips. They're weird enough to break through the monotony of garage-rock oversaturation, and with some good melodies at their disposal, for that matter. BACKUP PLAN: Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def @ Observatory North Park.
Monday, April 13
PLAN A: Once and Future Band, Sacri Monti, Monarch @ Soda Bar. Once and Future Band is a trio from the Bay Area that makes trippy jams from elements of psych-rock and jazz-fusion. It grooves, but in a disorienting way. It's good stuff.
Tuesday, April 14
PLAN A: So Stressed, Causers, Moonpool @ Soda Bar. So Stressed is a pretty good name for this noise-punk band, which creates chaotic swells of feedback and distorted riffs that feel both crushing and claustrophobic. By Tuesday night, you might want to get some stuff out of your system, so this seems like the show to do just that. PLAN B: Meshuggah, Warbringer @ House of Blues. The style of death metal that Meshuggah play has come to be known as "djent," based on the guitar sounds they make. And that's, admittedly, pretty stupid, but it doesn't mean their music isn't pretty awesome when they're on, which they usually are. Nerd out to those riffs, man.