Wednesday, October 26
PLAN A: Preoccupations, Methyl Ethyl @ The Irenic. Preoccupations, formerly known as Viet Cong, released one of my favorite records this year, so I definitely wouldn't miss this one. They've got some dark, post-punk chops and some great pop hooks swirled in. Gloom never sounded so fun. PLAN B: Maceo Parker @ Belly Up Tavern. Maceo Parker is a legend of jazz, funk and soul. He's played with James Brown, Ray Charles, George Clinton—the list goes on. The man has a way with groove. BACKUP PLAN: Pleasure Fix, Flames of Durga, Big Bloom @ The Casbah.
Thursday, October 27
PLAN A: Damien Jurado @ The Irenic. Damien Jurado has been writing and recording stunning indie folk songs since the '90s. His melodies are as haunting as ever, and he continues to evolve in interesting ways every time he releases something new. PLAN B: Mondo Drag, Ocelot, Monarch @ Soda Bar. There's a kind of vintage '70s appeal to Mondo Drag, who mix psych rock with prog explorations. They sometimes freak out, sometimes hit a motorik groove, but always have an interesting spin on heavy art rock. BACKUP PLAN: From Indian Lakes, Made Violent, Wild Wild Horses @ House of Blues Voodoo Room.
Friday, October 28
PLAN A: Alice Cooper @ Harrah's Resort. On Halloween week, I can think of no better artist to see than Alice Cooper. The legendary artist made villainy a staple in rock 'n' roll, and it's hard to imagine most hard rock or metal bands being what they are today without him. All hail Alice. PLAN B: The Dillinger Escape Plan, O'Brother, Cult Leader, Entheos @ Brick by Brick. The Dillinger Escape Plan pre-announced their impending break-up, so if you haven't seen their technical metal wizardry yet, stop messing around and go seem them at their (possible) last stop in town. BACKUP PLAN: Jacuzzi Boys, Feels, Mint Field, Sixes @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, October 29
PLAN A: M83, Tennyson @ SOMA. There are few shows more feelgood and life-affirming than an M83 show. Their catalog is loaded with catchy, earnest and above-all danceable songs, like their massive 2011 hit "Midnight City," and it's hard not to leave with a smile on your face. PLAN B: 'Checked Out' w/ Author & Punisher, Planet B, Skrapez, MF Redeemer @ Central Library. Here's a noise show for the whole family. Stay Strange is putting on an all-ages Halloween show with some local heavyweights, as well as some experimental performances and a build-a-monster workshop. It's fun for freaks of all ages.
Sunday, October 30
PLAN A: Death Angel, Nukem, Thrown Into Exile, Monarch @ Brick by Brick. Whenever you see an '80s-era metal band (or any '80s era band) there's always a chance the lineup will have changed a bit. With Death Angel, however, what hasn't changed are their thrash metal chops. They've made some updates, but they still have riffs like crazy.
Monday, October 31
PLAN A: Halloween Spooktacular w/ Foxine Jay, Stalins of Sound, WIld Wild Wets @ Soda Bar. One of my favorite local music traditions is the Soda Bar Halloween show. Every band covers another band, and this time around Foxine Jay (with Spooky Cigarette) is Peaches, Stalins of Sound are The Damned and Wild Wild Wets are (early) Pink Floyd. Something for every kind of freak. PLAN B: Buzzov-en, Bongzilla, Wizard Rifle, Garth Algar @ Brick by Brick. Need something heavier on Halloween? Check out noisy, gnarly sludgemongers Buzzov-en, who know a thing or two about depravity and heavy-as-fuck riffs. BACKUP PLAN: Deskarga Halloween w/ Cumbia Machin, DJ Viejo Lowbo @ Til-Two Club.
Tuesday, November 1
PLAN A: Sergio Mendes @ Belly Up Tavern. Sergio Mendes is probably known as much for having a high level of camp value as he is for making some fun '60s pop songs. Indeed, with Brasil 66 or any of his other bands, Mendes blends a cheeky lounge style with hooks that won't leave for days. Sounds like a good time. BACKUP PLAN: Fictionist, Step Rockets @ Soda Bar.