Wednesday, Oct. 29
THE ONLY PLAN: Neil Young, Death Cab for Cutie, Everest @ Cox Arena. Do I need to explain why going to see one of the greatest figures in rock history should be your only option? Ironically enough, I originally scoffed at the choice of opening bands, but Death Cab's last few albums have seen them transforming from perennial pussies to a true rock 'n' roll band, and Everest's Young idolatry is charming enough to watch from afar as you purchase $8 beers. If you can afford it, please go.
Thursday, Oct. 30
PLAN A: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Titus Andronicus @ The Casbah. In our feature on Page 30, Ted Leo talks punk with a lowercase p, support for mistreated journalists and shaping swords on a Scottish island. PLAN B: 13th Hole, Pleasure Device @ Bar Pink. There's something charming about French-Italian indie-rockers 13th Hole. Maybe it's the way singer Isa pronounces her consonants in English; maybe it's the fact that they sound like a poppier version of early Blonde Redhead. I can't put my finger on it. BACKUP PLAN: Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Thrice, Gaslight Anthem @ Cox Arena.
Friday, Oct. 31
PLAN A: The Night Marchers, Wild Weekend, Black Hondo, special guests @ The Casbah. Rocket From the Crypt's Halloween performances are the stuff of local legend, so it's safe to assume that former RFTC frontman John Reis' Night Marchers will be similarly raucous. PLAN B: Deadbolt, The Postals, BRAAIINS! @ Ken Club. They were once billed as “the scariest band on the planet.” So what if it's not true? Deadbolt's voodoo surf-jazz is the ideal soundtrack to your costumed, dive-bar adventures. PLAN C: The Toxic Avenger, Franki Chan @ The Loft. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't touch The Toxic Avenger's über-trendy Parisian house shit with a 10-foot pole. But if there's one time during the year when I'd consider it (for the sake of partying at least), Halloween would be it. BACKUP PLAN: Kill Me Tomorrow, Pant Hoots, Doctor Bird @ Whistle Stop.
Saturday, Nov. 1
PLAN A: The Secret Machines, The Dears @ Belly Up Tavern. Fans of Pink Floyd and The Smiths have cause to rejoice. The Secret Machines and The Dears conjure the ghosts of bombastic psychedelic-rock bands and melodramatic indie icons, respectively. PLAN B: CaUSE Co-MOTION!, Crystal Stilts, Christmas Island @ Che Café. CaUSE Co-MOTION! and Crystal Stilts represent the latest in a long line of post-punk revivals—specifically, a return to the DIY-inspired clattering pop of British labels Postcard, Creation and Cherry Red. While not exactly original, these two groups could be revelatory to hip kids who haven't heard it before. PLAN C: The Damned, The Adolescents @ House of Blues. Two inarguable reasons to attend this show, regardless of changes to their lineups: The Damned's “Neat Neat Neat” and The Adolescents' “Amoeba.” BACKUP PLAN: The Heavy, Kenan Bell @ The Casbah.
Sunday, Nov. 2
PLAN A: “The Revival Tour” w/ Chuck Ragan, Tom Gabel, Ben Nichols, Tim Barry @ The Casbah. Ragan (Hot Water Music), Gabel (Against Me!), Nichols (Lucero) and Barry (Avail) all belt out shredded vocals over acoustic guitars. I guess that's what happens after years and years of touring in punk bands. PLAN B: Yelle, Passion Pit, Funeral Party @ Beauty Bar. The third show by a French artist (Yelle) I'm recommending this week also happens to be the only one sung in French. Yelle's electro-pop is also far more precious than the other two. Coincidence? I think not.
Monday, Nov. 3
PLAN A: Tartufi @ Bar Pink. These San Francisco darlings transform the mundane tendencies of today's indie rock, stretching experimentation to its extremes while still making listenable music. BACKUP PLAN: Stay home and get a good night's sleep. You'll need to get up early and head down to the polling booth before you go to work tomorrow. Besides, it's Monday night—you're not missing much.
Tuesday, Nov. 4
PLAN A: Magnetic Morning, Drew Andrews, Musée Mechanique @ The Casbah. Seth Combs examines the pull of Magnetic Morning on this page. PLAN B: Jambang, The Taylor Texas Corrugators @ Brick by Brick. Black Flag and SST Records founder Greg Ginn plays in two instrumental jam bands—an electronic / rock hybrid (Jambang) and a swinging country group (The Taylor Texas Corrugators). Yes, it's the same guy who wrote “Rise Above,” much to old punks' disbelief. PLAN C: Madonna @ Petco Park. The people-watching will likely be more entertaining than the performance. Maybe even enough to justify the ticket cost.