Wednesday, October 28
PLAN A: Matt Pond PA, Laura Stevenson, Completions @ The Casbah. Since the early '00s, and maybe a little before that, Matt Pond PA has been turning out achingly beautiful chamber pop records with solid melodies. I'm a fan of The Nature of Maps, but it's hard to go wrong with any of them.
Thursday, October 29
PLAN A: Failure, And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Local H @ Music Box. Failure reunited last year after being broken up for 17 years, and I couldn't be happier. Their 1996 album Fantastic Planet is an underrated alternative rock classic, and their latest, The Heart is a Monster, isn't too shabby either. PLAN B: Vicky Chow @ Dizzy's. Not every show has to be a big rock show, and the latest in the Fresh Sound series of concerts features pianist Vicky Chow, whose program will include "Piano Counterpoint" by minimalist composer Steve Reich.
Friday, October 30
PLAN A: The King Khan and BBQ Show, Milk Lines, Teenage Burritos, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Soda Bar. It's always a party when King Khan is in town. The King Khan and BBQ Show is more raw and stripped down than his other band, The Shrines, but no matter what, you're getting a rock show with mischief, mayhem and too much fun. PLAN B: Dani Bell and the Tarantist, Boaz Roberts, Dillon Casey @ The Balboa. I've lost count of the number of bands that Al Howard is in, but Dani Bell and the Tarantist, his latest, has a great, soulful classic pop sound worth soaking in.
Saturday, October 31
PLAN A: "Night of the Shred" w/ Windhand, The Shrine, BANG, Elder, Danava, Wo Fat, Monolord, Black Bombaim @ Brick by Brick. Read Ben Salmon's feature on Windhand this week. Their new album, Grief's Infernal Flower, is a thing of doom metal beauty. And you can't have Halloween without metal, right? Didn't think so. PLAN B: Local bands cover The Pixies, Cock Sparrer, Nirvana, The Cure @ The Hideout. OK, I wasn't going to do this, but a lot of Halloween night shows have already sold out. So here's the deal: Four groups of local musicians are covering songs by classic punk and alternative bands for Halloween, and yeah, I'm in one of them. I won't tell you which one, though. But it's not about me: It's about a punk rock Halloween good time. BACKUP PLAN: "Halloween Spooktacular" w/ Roxy Jones, Wild Wild Wets, Hills Like Elephants, Sleeping Ghost @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, November 1
PLAN A: Sergio Mendes and Brasil 2015 @ Belly Up Tavern. Maybe it's just a soft spot for camp and kitsch, but I can't help but dig Sergio Mendes. His records with Brasil 66 were stylish, swinging Latin-pop fun, and I expect the latest incarnation of his band to be no different.
Monday, November 2
PLAN A: Ghost, Purson @ Observatory North Park. Despite their corpse-painted appearance and spooky vibe, Sweden's Ghost is really just a great rock 'n' roll band that puts on a hell of a show. I saw them last year, and the entertainment value far outweighed most other shows I saw. Halloween doesn't have to end so early. PLAN B: He Whose Ox is Gored, Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Beira @ The Merrow. I just discovered He Whose Ox Is Gored this year, and their innovative mix of atmospheric, electronic sounds and murky, meaty riffs won me over instantly. They're playing with local bruisers Deep Sea Thunder Beast, who are always worth checking out. BACKUP PLAN: Until the Ribbon Breaks, Nicky Venus, Bakkuda @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, November 3
PLAN A: Girlpool, Bobby T. and the Slackers, Holling @ Che Cafe. There aren't a whole lot of bands that sound like Girlpool, and for one specific reason. They don't have a drummer. The duo plays dreamy indie rock with great harmonies and lots of emotion, and their unconventional setup just makes it all the more unforgettable.