Wednesday, June 16
PLAN A: Abe Vigoda, All Saints Day, Heavy Hawaii @ The Casbah. Not to be mistaken with the actor who played Sal Tessio in The Godfather, this L.A. quartet has become famous for forging a style known as “tropical punk.” But there's nothing tropical about their wailing guitars, which seem to have emerged from the deep sea. PLAN B: Playing for Change @ Belly Up. There's a lame “Kumbaya” quality about international group Playing for Change, but rest assured that membership includes a number of great Afrobeat artists. BACKUP PLAN: Shining Through, Mothlight, Cousins, Meseta @ Che Café.
Thursday, June 17
PLAN A: Jeans Wilder, Ornithology, Israel Putnam El Americano, Indian Camp @ Tin Can Ale House. You might want to prepare for this one with a nice, big bong rip: Jeans Wilder's Andrew Caddick takes the lazy grooves of lofi acts like Best Coast and stretches them out with droning keys and echoing vocals. Portland's Israel Putnam El Americano offer up trippy jams with Eastern touches and lots of effects. PLAN B: Long Live Logos, Black Carl, The Lyon Crowns @ Beauty Bar. Locals Long Live Logos have been tugging at heartstrings lately with their romantic newnew-wave. Even a snickering hipster might unwittingly sway to the beat of “Give Us Hope,” with its bright melody and joyous chorus. BACKUP PLAN: Chiddy Bang, XV, 2 a.m. Club, The Pack @ Brick by Brick.
Friday, June 18
PLAN A: Rick Estrin & The Nightcats @ Humphrey's Backstage Live. Rick Estrin & The Nightcats have certainly had their cornier moments (see retro-rock track “Back from the Dead”), but you'll find some deliciously low-down Chicago blues in Estrin's languorous harmonica playing. PLAN B: Weatherbox, Bedford Grove, Mufasa, Chroma Season, Birds of Paradise @ Epicentre. You wouldn't want to miss Bedford Grove's soulful grooves and horn fills, but the highlight here is Weatherbox, local indie-rockers whose metallic riffs have the pull of Fugazi and Shellac. BACKUP PLAN: Boyscout, Holy Rolling Empire, The Steelwells, Music for Animals @ Beauty Bar
Saturday, June 19
PLAN A: soundON Festival of Modern Music @ Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Specializing in highly conceptual and complex music by living composers, this festival has performances running from Thursday through Saturday. Tonight's pieces, including Sungji Hong's beautifully unpredictable “Shades of Raindrops,” are some of the most out-there. (See our feature on this page) PLAN B: Sean Patrick Conway, 60s Residue, Warscroll, HRS / DYS @ Soda Bar. This latest installation of “June Gloom,” a month-long festival dedicated to extreme music, plays host to grindcore (60s Residue), hardcore (Warscroll), noise (HRS / DYS) and—well, there's no saying what to expect from Sean Patrick Conway, the man behind guerrilla marching band Bombshell. BACKUP PLAN: Space Nature, The Watusis, Wheels on Fire, Moonbeams @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, June 20
PLAN A: Billy Joe Shaver @ AMSDconcerts With his country drawl and denim suits, this Texas Country Music Hall of Fame placeholder is cowboy to the core. His 1973 album Old Five and Dimers Like Me is an outlaw country classic, and he has the credentials to back it up: A Texas jury recently acquitted him on assault IF I WERE charges stemming U CONTINUED from ON a shooting in 2007. PLAN B: Imogen Heap @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. A singer-songwriter who's traded an acoustic guitar for a computer, Britain's Imogen Heap makes electro-pop that pushes boundaries but stays pretty and melodic. BACKUP PLAN: Dieselboy, MC Question Mark, Wallcrawler, Austin Speed vs. Skandar, Knottyboy @ Voyeur.
Monday, June 21
PLAN A: Da Bears, D/ Wolves, Recordable Colors @ The Casbah. If locals Da Bears really think they're the “champagne of rock bands,” as they claim on their MySpace page, then they better make sure they're not upstaged by up-and-coming quintet D/ Wolves. Some of these guys aren't old enough to buy beer, but their lovely, electro-tinged indie-rock has sophistication beyond their years. PLAN B: Sea of Bees, Metrofique, Aaron Swanton @ Soda Bar. With performances by electro-folk group Sea of Bees and local duo Metrofique, tenderness will surely be the word of the night. BACKUP PLAN: Robin Henkel @ Humphreys Backstage Live.
Tuesday, June 22
PLAN A: Erykah Badu, Janelle Monáe @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. A pop diva with an “android pop persona” and a fantastic pompadour, Janelle Monáe seamlessly merges hip-hop, punk-rock, Disney-fied orchestral music and more on her latest album, The ArchAndroid. (See our feature on this page.) Oh, and Erykah Badu's pretty cool, too. PLAN B: Rare Form Live, Kontious & The Ko-op, Day-Go Produce, Parker & the Numberman @ Soda Bar. Rare Form Live can be a little heavy-handed with their keyboard strings and rock guitar, but local trio Kontious & The Ko-Op are as funky as they are soulful in tracks like “Lyrical Drive- By” and “We Own the Night.” BACKUP PLAN: Josh Ritter @ Belly Up. CB