Wednesday, May 18
PLAN A: Yuna, Bosco @ The Casbah. Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna has a unique sound that combines pop with electronic sounds and R&B. She recently recorded a duet with Usher, and though I don't expect him to show up, she'll still provide some catchy gems. PLAN B: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Murlocs, DJ Mike Turi @ Soda Bar. Yes, this band has a silly name. And yes they play fun psychedelic rock with a lot of energy and memorable hooks. Either way, what's not to love?
Thursday, May 19
PLAN A: Wreckless Eric, Davey Tiltwheel, DJ Miggs @ The Hideout. You probably know Wreckless Eric for his song "Whole Wide World," but the UK pub rocker has his share of great songs, which you'll be singing along to in no time. PLAN B: Chris Cohen, Spooky Cigarette, Red Pony Clock, Jude Shuma @ Soda Bar. Chris Cohen used to perform as a member of Deerhoof, but on his own he's carved a unique path of weird, lush indie pop. His new album As If Apart is highly melodic, a little bit jazzy and easy to love. BACKUP PLAN: Parade of Horribles, Dead on the Wire, Badabing, Ash Williams @ Tower Bar.
Friday, May 20
PLAN A: Titus Andronicus, La Sera @ Che Cafe. I've seen Titus Andronicus a few times, and without fail they always provide one hell of a punk rock show. Their recent album The Most Lamentable Tragedy is a soaring triple-album of melody and anarchy, and they're gonna kick ass. PLAN B: The Thermals, Summer Cannibals, Colleen Green @ Soda Bar. Speaking of kicking ass, The Thermals have their own fun, fuzzy punk sound that's held up for nearly 15 years.
Saturday, May 21
PLAN A: Frightened Rabbit, Caveman @ Belly Up Tavern. When Frightened Rabbit played at The Casbah in 2010, singer Scott Hutchison said he hoped they'd never stop playing there. Well, they've picked up several thousand more fans since then, so they're in a bigger room, but with the same great knack for melody. PLAN B: Dreams Made Flesh, Bit Maps, Blood Ponies @ The Hideout. Dreams Made Flesh made a big impression with their submission to the Great Demo Review, and now they're making their live debut, featuring ex-members of Ilya. My band is opening, but that's not why I'm recommending the show. Dreams Made Flesh is a new band to keep your eye on. PLAN TV: Unherd @ Your TV set. On the note of self-promotion, I'm going to be on a new TV show called Unherd, giving my live music recommendations right in your living room, and it debuts Saturday night. (KGTV, 11:45 p.m.) BACKUP PLAN: Mrs. Magician, The Sess, Keepers @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, May 22
PLAN A: Nada Surf, Prism Tats @ The Irenic. Nada Surf has a strong record of releasing tuneful power pop records since first launching themselves into the buzz bin in the '90s. They've matured gracefully, and with a long set of sing-along songs. PLAN B: Idlewild, Jaguar Club @ The Casbah. Scotland's Idlewild has always sort of been like a cross between R.E.M. and Jawbreaker, and when I saw them in my college days, they were a hoot live. If they play "Little Discourage," count me in.
Monday, May 23
PLAN A: Mega Ran, Roqy Tyraid, Kahlee, Vic Viper @ Soda Bar. Mega Ran's music is one of the most enjoyable combinations of hip-hop and nerd culture I've heard. If you appreciate some deft lyrical wordplay set to 8-bit beats, then put down the NES controller and lend your ears to Mega Ran.
Tuesday, May 24
PLAN A: Kaytranada, River Tiber, Lou Phelps @ Observatory North Park. Montreal producer Kaytranada keeps good company, having released some excellent collaborations with the likes of Katy B, Anderson Paak and Freddie Gibbs. He's a great producer in his own right, however, and he's bringing a trippy, off-kilter dance party to our backyard. PLAN B: Son Little, Doe Paoro @ The Casbah. Son Little is a spiritual kin to Leon Bridges, playing a style of classic soul that nods to greats like Sam Cooke. It's laid-back but wonderfully written R&B that sets the mood nicely.