Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Wednesday, April 27
PLAN A: Har Mar Superstar, White Fang, Rig 1 @ The Casbah. My favorite story about Har Mar Superstar involves an ill-fated Strokes show at 4th and B (R.I.P.) at which Julian Casablancas was too drunk to sing. So Har Mar took over. It's just as well—the man's a soulful badass. PLAN B: Humans, Colour Vision, Astral Touch @ Soda Bar. Humans isn't the most memorable name in the world, just slightly better than The Men. But the Vancouver group's electronic pop will definitely capture your attention. They're all about the subtle, sexy, atmospheric dance jams.
Thursday, April 28
PLAN A: Modern Funk Fest w/ Psychic Mirrors, Brian Ellis' Reflection @ Til-Two Club. I profiled eclectic Escondido musician Brian Ellis in our Local Music Issue last month, and if you're not familiar with his music yet, there's a lot to dive into. He'll be playing some synth-driven funk with Brian Ellis' Reflection and will be joined by Miami groovemeisters Psychic Mirrors. PLAN B: Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Seratones @ Belly Up Tavern. Thao Nguyen has been playing well-written, melodic indie rock for more than a decade, and since fleshing out the sound with her band The Get Down Stay Down, her anthems have only grown bigger. BACKUP PLAN: Susan, Flatworms, Vyper Skwad @ The Hideout.
Friday, April 29
PLAN A: Body of Light, High Functioning Flesh, Nylon Apartments, DJ Jon Blaj @ The Hideout. Synth-pop outfit Body of Light have a sinister melodic sound that exists in the meeting place between darkwave, coldwave and new wave, with a little old-school industrial for good measure. Dress in black and be ready to slink across the dance floor. PLAN B: Immortal Technique, Big C.A.E., No1MC @ Observatory North Park. Immortal Technique sometimes leans a little heavy on the conspiracy theories, and his politics can be bludgeoning, but you can't ignore the fire he brings to his verses. This is intense, engaging hip-hop. BACKUP PLAN: Radio Moscow, Harsh Toke, Slow Season, DJ Mario Rubalcaba @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, April 30
PLAN A: Cigarettes After Sex, Hexa, Angels Dust @ The Hideout. Another night of synth-driven weirdness! Cigarettes After Sex are dark, but not necessarily in the beat-driven dance floor menace kind of way. They're slow, somber and stunning. PLAN B: Flatbush Zombies @ Observatory North Park. Flatbush Zombies do hip-hop with a heavy psychedelic aesthetic, which probably comes as a result of heavy consumption of psychedelic drugs. Whatever your choice of chemical, they've got some great, trippy beats. BACKUP PLAN: Pleasure Fix, Hand of Gavrilo, Dexter Riley Xperiment, Omni @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, May 1
PLAN A: Scott H. Biram, Jesse Dayton @ The Casbah. A guitar-pluckin' badass in the outlaw country tradition, Scott H. Biram does his Americana with a chaser of whiskey and cigarettes. It's roots music with more than its share of bruises.
Monday, May 2
PLAN A: The Subways, Pins @ The Casbah. The UK's Subways have been around a pretty long time, but with meaty guitar hooks like theirs I'm glad to know they're still going strong.
Tuesday, May 3
PLAN A: Tortoise, Fell Runner @ Belly Up Tavern. Read Scott McDonald's feature this week on Chicago post-rock icons Tortoise, whose new album The Catastrophist represents another bold new chapter in their artistic evolution. PLAN B: Explosions in the Sky, Disappears @ Observatory North Park. Or perhaps you prefer your post-rock a bit more climactic and less based in subtle grooves. Explosions in the Sky is the band that should scratch that itch, with big crescendos and dramatic instrumentals. BACKUP PLAN: Dungen, Boogarins @ The Casbah.