Wednesday, May 11
PLAN A: Taurus Authority @ Bar Pink. With the week half-over, treat yourself to a solid groove session from Taurus Authority, which features some of the best players in town. The show has no cover, so that leaves a little more cash for Sneaky Tikis. BACKUP PLAN: Empty Gods, Morphesia, Orphic Eye, DJ K-Hole @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, May 12
PLAN A: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, MOTHXR @ Observatory North Park. The best cover song I've heard this year so far is Charles Bradley's take on Black Sabbath ballad "Changes." He adds even more pathos and soul to the original, because of course he does. Everything this man touches is classic R&B gold. PLAN B: Beyonce, DJ Khaled @ Qualcomm Stadium. Beyonce changes lives. Just ask Minda Honey, who wrote last week's music feature about Queen Bey. Her just-released album Lemonade is fantastic, and though this is a Plan A in my heart, it is definitely an expensive ticket, so that's something to keep in mind. BACKUP PLAN: Bleached, No Parents @ The Casbah.
Friday, May 13
PLAN A: Andrew Bird, John Grant @ Music Box. Read Seth Combs' cover story this week on John Grant, who turned a troubled past into a story of artistic triumph. Oh yeah, and Andrew Bird's pretty good, too. PLAN B: Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic and DJ Zone, Homeboy Sandman, Luck and Lana @ Belly Up Tavern. Aesop Rock is back to doing what he does best: Surrealist hip-hop of the highest order. He had a brief diversion with The Uncluded, but he's a much better emcee than an indie folkster. BACKUP PLAN: Pall Jenkins, Tom Cheshire @ Bar Pink.
Saturday, May 14
PLAN A: Tall Can and Generik, Left in Company, Kaus & Emphasize, Mathias Kruse, Terrans, DIZMA, Crrts @ Kava Lounge. Tall Can and Generik's psychedelic hip-hop recording fungi.PSYCH(e).boots was one of my ExtraSpecialGood picks for this year's Great Demo Review. The duo organized this special release show, featuring a whole bunch of great local hip-hop acts. Don't miss it. PLAN B: Bad & The Ugly, Oh Spirit, The Younger @ Soda Bar. For a slightly mellower and definitely less trippy option, chill out with the folky sounds of local outfit Bad & The Ugly.
Sunday, May 15
PLAN A: Hardcore Matinee w/ Rob Crow's Gloomy Place, Octagrape, Mrs. Magician, Ale Mania @ Bar Pink. To coincide with the release of the new Hardcore Matinee compilation, a significant chunk of the bands on the album will be performing live for a special, wait for it, matinee show, including Sultans and Ale Mania, who haven't played onstage in quite a few years. PLAN B: Booze & Glory, The Warlords, Rat City Riot @ Soda Bar. The great thing about going to a punk matinee is that itís over early enough for you to go to a punk show at night, too! I recommend UK punks Booze & Glory for some rowdy, politically charged fun.
Monday, May 16
PLAN A: Sole & DJ Pain 1, Egadz, Preacher vs. Choir, These Hands Create, Omni @ Soda Bar. Veteran bearded emcee Sole has a strong live presence—I saw him way back in the early days of the Soda Bar. Ah, memories. He's still going strong and sticking it to the man via socially aware rhymes and well-honed cynicism. PLAN B: Garth Algar, Beira, Cryptic Languages @ Tower Bar. Beira was another favorite of mine from the Great Demo Review, and they're joined by two other great local heavy acts. It's gonna get loud.
Tuesday, May 17
PLAN A: Modern English, The Victoriana, Underpass @ The Hideout. Post-punk legends Modern English are doing a 35th anniversary tour for their 1981 debut album, Mesh and Lace . ("I Melt With You" isn't on that album, but I'm sure they'll still play it.) Relive the vintage sounds of the UK icons at this special show.