Wednesday, February 17
PLAN A: Sharkmuffin, Soft Lions, Big Bloom, Lucky Keith @ Soda Bar. The name Sharkmuffin might imply a certain twee-ness in the band's approach, but they actually rock pretty goddamn hard. They remind me a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at full arena rock strength, which should be enough for you to want to check them out. BACKUP PLAN: The Growlers, Jonathan Richman @ Observatory North Park.
Thursday, February 18
PLAN A: Quali, Breathing Patterns, Giant Surprise @ The Hideout. By the time you read this, the deadline for our Great Demo Review submissions will have passed. And Quali was one of my favorite past demo review discoveries, bringing an artful innovation to their indie rock sound.
Friday, February 19
PLAN A: At the Gates, Decapitated, The Haunted @ House of Blues. At the Gates are Swedish death metal royalty. They've been combining soaring melodies with ripping intensity since I was in grade school, and they still have the gnarly, anthemic touch. PLAN B: JOY, Slow Season, Ovvl, Petyr @ The Merrow. Local psych rockers JOY are getting ready to release a new album this spring, and you'll have a chance to preview some of their new material at this hometown headlining show. BACKUP PLAN: Susan, Keepers, Cheap Curls, DJ Chrissy Strothers @ The Hideout.
Saturday, February 20
PLAN A: Dr. Dog, Hop Along @ Observatory North Park. Dr. Dog is a solid rock band with a long track record of crowd-pleasing records, but if I'm being totally honest, Hop Along is the band I'm really excited about here. The Philly band's 2015 album Painted Shut is an emotional rush in all the best ways. PLAN B: Dent May, Chill Pill, Pony Death Ride @ Soda Bar. Singer/songwriter Dent May has evolved quite a bit since his early, ukulele-strumming days (thank God). If you want some laughs, however, make it early for Pony Death Ride's comedy musical revue. BACKUP PLAN: Get Back Loretta, Brothers Weiss, John Allred, Saba @ Brick by Brick.
Sunday, February 21
PLAN A: Big Business, Ghetto Blaster @ The Casbah. Olympia's Big Business have expanded since first proving that two dudes can make as much sludge as four. So, basically, just double the sludge you'd expect and that's what you'll be bludgeoned with. PLAN B: Charlie Hilton, SISU, Nylon Apartments @ The Hideout. Dream pop artist Charlie Hilton has already made a name for herself with her other band, Blouse, but her solo stuff is also worth checking out. Get here early for local darkwave newcomers Nylon Apartments, who'll fill the goth void in your life. BACKUP PLAN: Inspired and the Sleep, Mothlight, Nite Lapse @ Soda Bar.
Monday, February 22
PLAN A: Ringo Deathstarr, Future Death, Expert Alterations, Smoke Screens @ Soda Bar. I'm not just recommending this show because of the clever name—Ringo Deathstarr stir up lots of wonderful noise with their melodic, hazy shoegazer sound.
Tuesday, February 23
PLAN A: Fleshgod Apocalypse, Carach Angren, Abigail Williams, Mortuus Terror, Theosis, Helsott @ Brick by Brick. Fleshgod Apocalypse play a symphonic and grandiose form of technical death metal that's admittedly, an acquired taste. But if you have the opportunity to tell your friends you're going to see a band called Fleshgod Apocalypse, why not seize it? BACKUP PLAN: Subtropics, Blood Ponies, Hexa @ The Merrow.