Wednesday, Aug. 5
PLAN A: Hurray for the Riff Raff, Alana Amram and the Rough Gems @ Belly Up Tavern. Hurray for the Riff Raff is basically New Orleans singer/songwriter Alynda Segarra. Her stark, sometimes dark folk and bluegrass tunes are both haunting and tuneful. PLAN B: Beira, Garth Algar, Blow Me Down @ Soda Bar. I love that there's a band called Garth Algar. But I also love that Beira plays epic and dark stoner rock/doom metal. It's meaty, massive stuff, and I approve.
Thursday, Aug. 6
PLAN A: JOY, Electric Healing Sound, Ocelot, Clean Room @ Soda Bar. I enjoy a little bit of heavy psychedelic rock now and then, and at this show, there will be a lot to go around. Get ready to rock—and freak—out.
Friday, Aug. 7
PLAN A: The Muffs, The New Kinetics, The Touchies, Honeychain @ The Casbah. The Muffs have been making peppy, punky power pop tunes since the 1990s, and frontwoman Kim Shattuck briefly played bass for The Pixies. That didn't last long, but that's fine, since The Pixies' last album was a disaster, yet The Muffs are still a lot of fun. PLAN B: Sleep Terror, Mortuus Terror, Fermentor @ The Merrow. If you prefer intense, guttural metal to power pop, then you should head here to get your fix of devastating, albeit technical death metal.
Saturday, Aug. 8
PLAN A: Ilya, Soft Lions, Bit Maps, Le Chateau @ The Casbah. This is one hell of a local music lineup. All four bands are CityBeat favorites, and most of them have released new music this year. If you're looking to catch up on what's happening in the scene, this is one of the best single showcases of talent all week (or month). PLAN B: Weekend, King Woman, Die Mi?bildungen Die Menschen @ The Hideout. Weekend make a lot of noise—more than one person has told me they're the loudest band they've ever seen live—but beneath that fuzz and feedback are some great rock songs. They can write a tune, just bring earplugs so you can listen to them a second time. PLAN C: Sledding With Tigers, She/Her/Hers @ Gym Standard. Remember this moment: The elusive Plan C. Sledding With Tigers are playing a release show for their Space Jam-themed album, Come on and Slam. Relive the saga live, at this all ages show.
Sunday, Aug. 9
PLAN A: Big Ups, Death Hymn Number 9, Holling @ Soda Bar. Big Ups should be more popular than they are. The New York punk band combines old school hardcore punk intensity with the songwriting dynamics of Fugazi, and they were one of my favorite discoveries of 2014. Make them one of your favorites of 2015. BACKUP PLAN: Have Gun Will Travel, Garrett Klahn @ Bar Pink.
Monday, Aug. 10
PLAN A: !!!, Icy Demons @ The Casbah. I saw !!! (pronounced Chik-chik-chik, which you probably knew) in 2005 or so at The Casbah, before a sold-out audience. It was one of the hottest, steamiest, sweatiest shows I've ever been to, but it was also one hell of a dance party. Hydrate! PLAN B: Chris Isaak @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Chris Isaak made an appearance in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, but I've always thought of his music more like the unofficial soundtrack to David Lynch productions. It's reverent to classic blues and rockabilly, but just a little bit eerie, like Roy Orbison at his weirdest. BACKUP PLAN: Ryn Weaver @ The Irenic.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
PLAN A: Amanda X, Spirit of the Beehive, Super Buffet @ Soda Bar. Amanda X is not a person, but a band, and one that's well worth checking out. The Philadelphia outfit makes noisy post-punk with traces of dream pop and shoegaze, so that checks off a lot of boxes in my "yes" column.