These are bands we especially dig, not full listings. For those, please see “Concerts and Clubs”. For more top shows featuring local acts, please see “Nightgeist”
Wednesday, April 1
PLAN A: Valient Thorr @ The Casbah. If Turbonegro went full-metal, dropped the homosexual shtick and were from North Carolina, they'd be Valient Thorr, who are apparently impressive enough to inspire the formation of Thorrior “chapters” around the world. PLAN B: Wirepony, The Exfriends, AM Vibe @ Belly Up Tavern. Featuring “O” (Olivelawn, Fluf, Reeve Oliver) on bass, all-around shredder Eddie Glass (Olivelawn, Fu Manchu, Nebula) on drums and Patrick Dennis (Truckee Brothers) on vocals and guitar, it won't take much for Wirepony to rise out of obscurity with a twang-y, sun-charred grittiness. BACKUP PLAN: Golden Animals, Heavy Glow, Ninja Love @ Beauty Bar.
Thursday, April 2
PLAN A: Dex Romweber Duo @ Radio Room. Jack White has been praising former Flat Duo Jets guitarist Dexter Romweber for years now, which, surprisingly, hasn't upped Romweber's profile much. Still, he carries on the American roots tradition with great pride, banging out heartfelt rockabilly tunes with reckless abandon. PLAN B: The White Buffalo, The Vision of a Dying World, John Meeks @ The Casbah. The White Buffalo (Jake Smith) looks like a young Duane Allman, sounds like a 60-year-old country singer with a heavy drinking habit and is sponsored by two surf companies. It should bring in quite the diverse crowd. BACKUP PLAN: Swim Party, Secret Apollo @ Bar Pink.
Friday, April 3
PLAN A: Fever Sleeves, Empty Rooms, By Sunlight @ Soda Bar. Math-rock didn't die; it just moved from Chicago to the West Coast and hid out in the basement, giving itself vocal lessons and working on calculus problems. Here, it emerges rejuvenated. PLAN B: The Styletones @ Bar Pink. Big Fish Recording Studios producer / engineer Ben Moore holds down organ duties for this eight-piece soul group, whose impassioned singer, Stevie Harris, may have found the perfect forum for his positive, politically charged vocals. BACKUP PLAN: Anya Marina, The Traditionist, The Wrong Trousers @ The Casbah.
Saturday, April 4
PLAN A: Autolux, Mini Mansions, IO Echo @ The Casbah. It's taken Autolux five years, and they still haven't released another album, even though their debut, Future Perfect, presaged the (bullshit) shoegaze revival by a good three years. Take some credit, guys. And hurry up with that new record. BACKUP PLAN: The Bloodflowers, Buddy Akai, The Slow Down @ Beauty Bar.
Sunday, April 5
PLAN A: Stereo Total, Leslie and the Lys, Microphone Mike @ The Casbah. Impossibly chic Berlin duo Stereo Total sound like Tarantino and Godard had a love child and it grew up obsessed with Nintendo, garage rock and cheap Casio synthesizers. I can't decide if it's really cool or just a pretentious mess. PLAN B: Rademacher @ Bar Pink. Americana as delivered by hip, young Fresno residents whose desperation could only be the product of coming from the southern San Joaquin Valley. Have you ever been through Fresno? Then you know what I'm talking about.
Monday, April 6
PLAN A: Japanese Sunday, Marasol @ The Casbah. Japanese Sunday recently completed a tour of Japan, where the on-stage banter may have gotten a little awkward: “Hi, we're Japanese Sunday from San Diego. So, do we have any Shintoists out there who watch American football? No? So, what do you guys do on Sundays?” PLAN B: Rachel Yamagata, Greg Laswell @ House of Blues. Substitute Norah Jones' jazz affectations with pop ambitions, and you have Rachel Yamagata, whose music would probably make a perfect soundtrack to any teen drama currently running on the CW channel. Only, she's far better than that makes her sound. BACKUP PLAN: Aluminum Babe, Lights On @ Bar Pink.
Tuesday, April 7
PLAN A: Leonard Cohen @ Copley Symphony Hall. Pop music's finest deadpan miserablist is playing his first series of tour dates in 15 years, and there's no reason to miss the show if you can afford tickets. That's a big “if,” but there's no guarantee that he'll ever be back in town, so shell out the bucks, tightwad. PLAN B: Jerkagram, Talibam!, White Fang, Pregnant, Beware We Are the Werewolves of Belial, Fortress of Amplitude, Stag Hare, Italic Indian, Rob Walmart @ Che Café. Even if organizers are billing this show “Countdown to the End Times,” there are just as many good vibes here as bad ones. In particular, Talibam!'s frantic avant-garde buzzing should inspire at least a few smiles. BACKUP PLAN: Junior Reid @ Belly Up Tavern.