PLAN A: Broken Social Scene, The Sea & Cake @ House of Blues. Earlier this year, Canuck indie-rock legends Broken Social Scene came out with Forgiveness Rock Record, the warmest, brightest record of their career. I wouldn't be surprised if I get a little teary-eyed at this show. PLAN B: Electric Six, The Constellations, Schitzophonics @ The Casbah. Electric Six have put out eight records in seven years, but I'd be stoked just to see the Detroit rock band play the ass-kicking and hilarious 2003 hits “Gay Bar” and “Danger! High Voltage.” BACKUP PLAN: Lyrics born, Chali 2na, The House of Vibe, Rakaa, DJ GarGar @ Belly Up.
Thursday, October 21
PLAN A: Azure Ray, Tim Fite & Whispertown @ The Loft at UCSD. Azure Ray, who we feature on Page 25, emerged from a long hiatus at just the right time. In a world saturated with “nostalgic” lo-fi bands, the duo's dreamy electro-pop captures what nostalgia really sounds like. PLAN B: Ra Ra Riot, Villagers and Givers @ Belly Up. How could you not like Ra Ra Riot? There's cello and violin—and they're not just cheap frills. Vocalist Wes Miles sounds like a total sweetheart. “Can You Tell” evokes that fluttery sensation of falling in love. I mean, seriously: How could you not like that? PLAN B: Russian Circles, Keelhaul, Call Me Lightning @ The Casbah. It's pretty impressive that the two longhaired dudes behind Russian Circles are capable of creating such awe-inspiring instrumental rock. Throw in a live bassist and there's no telling how thunderous their storied live show will get. BACKUP PLAN: Interpol, White Rabbit @ SOMA.
Friday, October 22
PLAN A: Joe Nice, Austin Speed, EshOne, CRMNL @ Kava Lounge. I've been looking forward to the latest installment of “Dead Technology,” Kava Lounge's new all-vinyl night, all month. Joe Nice, a founder of the seminal NYC dubstep event called Dub War, is bringing a stack of dubplates (acetate test pressings) of unreleased material by boundary-pushing producers like 2562. Expect subsonic bass, swinging beats, icy-cold vibes and none of that cock-rock-style bass wobble that's so trendy. PLAN B: Elf Power, Half Handed Cloud, Red Pony Clock @ Che Café. Indie-rockers Elf Power have always been one of my favorite members of Athens, Ga.'s legendary Elephant 6 Collective—partly for their funny name, but mostly for their lush folk vibes. Be sure not to miss tonight's screening of the thoroughly bizarre short film Major Organ and the Adding Machine. BACKUP PLAN: Sqwonk @ Sushi Performance & Visual Art.
Saturday, October 23
PLAN A: El Ten Eleven, Jamuel Saxon, Weatherbox @ Soda Bar. Would I still like El Ten Eleven's layered, anthemic jams if Kristian Dunn didn't wield a badasslooking double-necked guitar / bass? Of course. But they wouldn't look nearly as cool as the two guys in electro-pop act Jamuel Saxon (including a new drummer), who don glow-in-the-dark body paint for their dance-intensive set. PLAN B: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth @ Sound Wave. Hailing from the golden era of hip-hop, the newly reunited Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth come bearing horn-laden hooks and thoughtful rhymes. PLAN C: The Silent Comedy, Fitz & the Tantrums, Get Back Loretta, Cash'd Out, Midnight Rivals, The Howls, The Styletones, Little Hurricane @ University Avenue and 29th Street. Ah, “Rocktoberfest.” Gallons of quality beer. Tons of great local bands. And then there's Fitz & the Tantrums, L.A.'s favorite Motown throwback. How could you go wrong? (Starts at 11 a.m.) BACKUP PLAN: Wallpaper, Butterfly Bones @ The Casbah.
Sunday, October 24
PLAN A: The Octopus Project, Starfucker, Strength @ The Casbah. I love The Octopus Project not just for the fact that the Austin instrumental band pits drum machines and synths against live instruments—perhaps my favorite musical combo—but also because they clearly have so much fun doing it. Don't miss Starfucker, an electro-rock band from Portland whose catchy hooks could get even the dourest crank smiling. PLAN B: K'Naan, Paper Tongues @ Belly Up. Born in Somalia and raised in the ghetto of Toronto, K'Naan knows a thing or two about hard knocks. But he's also got a knack for pop hooks, as he makes clear in “Wavin' Flag,” the World Cup's K'Naan official theme song.
Monday, October 25
PLAN A: Schitzophonics, northern Towns, Kera & The Lesbians @ The Casbah. Schitzophonics frontman Pat Beers doesn't play guitar so much as use it as an extension of his body. As the rhythm section holds down a steady groove, he'll flail around like he's possessed by Jimi Hendrix, playing a moaning solo with one hand. BACKUP PLAN: Bleach Bloodz, The Watusis, Wax Bones @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, October 26
PLAN A: Nico Vega, Imagine Dragons, Saint Motel @ The Casbah. When they go on stage, L.A. rockers Nico Vega have the ferocity of a feral animal. They were absolutely rabid when they played at Bar Pink a while back, so bring tranquilizers—er, I mean, earplugs. BACKUP PLAN: The Derailers, Brawley @ Soda Bar.