Wednesday, Feb. 8
PLAN A: Estelle, Luke James, Stacy Barthe, Elle Varner @ Anthology. The likes of How to Dress Well and Active Child have made R&B hipster-friendly, but they don't enchant like Estelle does. With her luscious voice and immaculate style, she's the very embodiment of R&B elegance. PLAN B: Fred Eaglesmith's Traveling Show, The Ginn Sisters, DJ Gonzo @ Tin Can Ale House. Grizzled-voiced singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith has built a devoted following of “Fredheads” with an oeuvre of dark, quirky country rock about failing farms, down-and-out characters and sputtering machines. If you arrive early, nab a tasty burger from Tin Can's new kitchen. BACKUP PLAN: The Booze Bombs, The Gore Horseman, Toothless George and His One Man Band @ Ruby Room.
Thursday, Feb. 9
PLAN A: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, ANA @ The Casbah. Thee Silver Mt. Zion's scathingly political chamber rock gives the indie-music world a much-needed kick in the balls, but this Godspeed You! Black Emperor offshoot sounds breathtaking even when singer Efrim Menuck isn't preaching about the march of the war machine. PLAN B: Freddie Joachim, Andre Power, Joe Kay, AbJo @ Kava Lounge. California beatmaker Freddie Joachim has done licensing deals with companies like Nike and collaborated with underground artists like Blu, but his oh-so-fresh instrumental hip-hop sounds damn sexy regardless of whom he's working with. BACK- UP PLAN: The Persuasions @ Anthology.
Friday, Feb. 10
PLAN A: Knxwledge, DJ Pound, eLan, Mr. Brady, AbJo @ Kava Lounge. There are so many reasons I'm looking forward to this. Not only will the guys behind local label Kill Quanti celebrate the release of a solid split 10-inch featuring local bass-music artists eLan and DJ Pound, but they'll be hawking limited-edition cassettes of Welcome to the City, a wickedly funky new EP that pairs Deep Rooted member Mr. Brady with up-and-coming beat-maker AbJo. PLAN B: Brian Ellis Group, Corima, Psicomagia, Shark Blood, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Tin Can Ale House. Any acid-fried King Crimson fan is bound to dig Corima, an L.A. trio whose over-the-top epics feature wacky keyboard excursions, beefy bass riffs and lyrics written in a fictional language.
Saturday, Feb. 11
PLAN A: Goodbye Blue Monday, Via Satellite, Neonthief @ The Casbah. As you'll read on Page 36, Loud + Clear Records turned 10 last month, and the label has some great shows lined up. Back in the early- to mid-'00s, Goodbye Blue Monday and Via Satellite were among the city's best indie-rock bands, and they're still remembered fondly. PLAN B: The Eddie Palmieri-Brian Lynch Jazz Quartet @ Anthology. With nine Grammys and several dozen albums under his belt, Latin-jazz icon Eddie Palmieri can do whatever he wants. But instead of retiring, the 75-year-old bandleader continues to deliver red-hot grooves and gorgeous jams. (the quartet also plays at Anthology on Friday, Feb. 10.) BACKUP PLAN: Devin the Dude & Yukmouth, Chuccs N Timbs, Karma, Niore Ent. @ 4th & B.
Sunday, Feb. 12
PLAN A: Benga, Ghastly @ Voyeur. This show's a must-see for dubstep fans. Along with his buddy Skream, South London producer Benga helped invent the bass-heavy electronic-music genre that's now so famous, using inexpensive software to craft definitive tunes like “26 Basslines” and “Crunked Up.” PLAN B: Los Campesinos!, Parenthetical Girls @ The Casbah. As you'll read in our feature on Page 34, the bombastic pop of Los Campesinos! is as irresistible as it is brutally honest. Don't skip out on the weirdly amazing Parenthetical Girls, an experimental pop group from Portland. BACKUP PLAN: White Denim, Finding Francis @ The Loft at UCSD.
Monday, Feb. 13
PLAN A: Digital Leather, Tar Halos, Stalins of Sound @ Soda Bar. I'm not sure what I like more: Digital Leather's delightfully quirky DIY pop, Tar Halos' cathartically creepy noise or Stalins of Sound's fist-pumping robo-punk. Uh, I pick all three! BACKUP PLAN: The Fire Eaters @ Bar Pink.
Tuesday, Feb. 14
PLAN A: Children of Bodom, Eluveitie, Revocation, Threat Signal @ House of Blues. One of Finland's best-selling bands, Children of Bodom borrow from elements of thrash-, black-, death- and power-metal to make awesome songs such as “Every Time I Die” and “Are You Dead Yet?” BACKUP PLAN: The Chantepleures, Mohammed Qiang, Junior High @ Soda Bar.