Wednesday, May 27
PLAN A: Dead Heavens, Lowlands, Other Bodies @ Soda Bar. I'm a huge Quicksand fan, so I'll vouch for any of Walter Schreifels' new projects without hesitation. His new band is called Dead Heavens, features members of Youth of Today and White Zombie, and has more of a classic rock sound. Oh, and this show is free. Evening planned. PLAN B: Ciara @ House of Blues. Maybe you'd rather opt for R&B instead of something more rocking, and that's not a bad choice (though this show isn't free). Ciara's made a name for herself through sultry singles like "Body Party," and whether she's bringing beats or slow jams, there's gonna be a party happening here. BACKUP PLAN: Little White Teeth, DJ Rob Crow @ Whistle Stop.
Thursday, May 28
PLAN A: Burning Palms, Amerikan Bear, Subtropics @ Soda Bar. Tucson's Burning Palms have an '80s aesthetic in the best way—think less Olivia Newton-John, more Nick Cave. They're a mix of reverb-heavy garage rock, post-punk and goth, with some great melodies to back it all up. PLAN B: Stalins of Sound, Crunk Witch @ Bar Pink. You know it's a great week when there's not one, but two free shows in a row in this column. The Stalins of Sound are one of this town's noisiest, albeit most fun, punk bands, and they're headlining a show that also features Maine's Crunk Witch. No cover, no bullshit.
Friday, May 29
PLAN A: Will Butler, Jo Firestone @ The Casbah. Will Butler's full-time gig is with Montreal indie rock heroes Arcade Fire, but he's launched a new solo career with his first album, Policy. His songs aren't quite as earnest and heroic as that band's, but they're still damn good. PLAN B: HoneyHoney, John Isaac Watters @ Soda Bar. I found out about this band from CityBeat reporter Joshua Emerson Smith, who recommended them after catching their set live at The Observatory. Indeed, this country-folk duo has some great chops, and if you like it simple and raw, they'll give it to you good. BACKUP PLAN: Bit Maps, Oh Spirit @ Seven Grand.
Saturday, May 30
PLAN A: Diarrhea Planet, Left & Right, Muscle Beech @ The Casbah. About once a year, I tell people they need to go to Diarrhea Planet, and the look of disgust and confusion never gets old. But really, Diarrhea Planet plays anthemic punk rock with four guitars(!). If you need to rock, you need to be here. PLAN B: The Crawdaddys, Los Sweepers @ Til-Two Club. The Crawdaddys formed way back in the late '70s, but the groove-heavy garage rockers are still making a wonderful racket. Their jams are made for dancing, so don't bother if you're not planning on shaking it. (Well, you should still go, just put a pin in the whole dancing thing.)
Sunday, May 31
PLAN A: Gloomsday, Miserable Friends, Winterbloom @ Tower Bar. Of all of the two-person bands out there in the world, for me, Gloomsday ranks near the top. They make the most of their simple set up by playing the hell out of their instruments. And it doesn't hurt that they can write a great song.
Monday, June 1
PLAN A: Hookers, Black Wizard @ Soda Bar. Monday's a good time to go to a cathartic rock 'n' roll show with lots of reckless, amplifier-blowing energy. Louisville's Hookers are somewhere between AC/DC and Motorhead, and they'll kick your case of the Mondays in the ass.
Tuesday, june 2
PLAN A: Spoon, Sweet Spirit @ Observatory North Park. This is Spoon's second night in town, since the first one sold out (and this one probably will too). Before you go, read Ben Salmon's feature here. PLAN B: Superheaven, Diamond Youth, Rozwell Kid, Outlook @ House of Blues. Philadelphia's Superheaven balance the earnest immediacy of emo with the beefy, crunchy guitar sound of í90s alternative bands like Failure and Smashing Pumpkins. The end result is both catchy and powerful, and you owe it to yourself to hear how hard they rock.