Wednesday, September 14
PLAN A: Entrance, Joshua Emery Blatchley @ Soda Bar. Entrance, sometimes known as The Entrance Band, does bluesy rock music that feels particularly haunted. Guy Blakeslee writes a catchy tune, yet howls like a madman. That's my kinda blues rock. PLAN B: Noisem, Amygdala, Poison Headache, Bonebreaker @ Brick by Brick. Baltimore's Noisem combine grindcore and thrash metal in a fun fusion between Slayer and Napalm Death. Recommended if you like metal, full stop. BACKUP PLAN: Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie, Nathan Maxwell, WT Nelson @ The Casbah.
Thursday, September 15
PLAN A: Local Natives, Charlotte Day Wilson @ Observatory North Park. Local Natives keep on gradually making their way toward a mainstream breakthrough, but even if they don't, they have sublime indie pop songs with rich arrangements that sound simply wonderful. PLAN B: Guerrilla Toss, Post Attraction, Sumatraban @ Soda Bar. If it's a dance party you're looking for, then here's your best bet. The Boston group makes beat-heavy dancepunk that'll keep you moving all night. BACKUP PLAN: Porches, Japanese Breakfast, Rivergazer @ The Irenic.
Friday, September 16
PLAN A: Retox, Silent, Foreign Bodies @ Soda Bar. I'm a fan of hardcore bruisers Retox, but I'm even more excited about Silent, a Mexicali post-punk band that splits the difference between Metz and Savages. They're going to be your new favorite band once you see them. PLAN B: Cass McCombs Band, Big Search @ The Casbah. Read Matthew Burke's feature this week on singer/songwriter Cass McCombs, whose music is never too carefully planned but always sounds sublime. BACKUP PLAN: Carla Morrison @ Observatory North Park.
Saturday, September 17
PLAN A: Eryn Allen Kane, Mimi Zulu, Inspired and the Sleep @ Soda Bar. If you're looking for a voice to keep you captivated for the evening, Eryn Allen Kane has what you're looking for. Hers is a fun and richly arranged R&B, with a voice that takes it over the top. PLAN B: Bob Log III, Deadbolt, Toothless George and His One Man Band @ The Casbah. There's also this option, wherein Bob Log will serenade you with twisted blues songs sung through a CB radio in an aviation helmet.
Sunday, September 18
PLAN A: Khruangbin, Sugar Candy Mountain @ The Casbah. Khruangbin have a name that's a bit tricky to pronounce, but their music is considerably less forbidding. The Texas-based group deals in laid-back, lightly psychedelic funk that'll end your weekend on a groovy note.
Monday, September 19
PLAN A: Seratones, Hiroshima Mockingbirds @ The Casbah. Monday night isn't usually for rocking, but you can and should make an exception for Louisiana's Seratones. They're fiery and soulful and put most contemporary rock bands to shame.
Tuesday, September 20
PLAN A: Dinosaur Jr., Heron Oblivion @ Belly Up Tavern. Dinosaur Jr. have more great songs in their catalog than they can possibly fit into one set, so that's a sign that they'll give you a great show no matter what. Add to that J Mascis' wailing guitar solos and a reputation as one of the loudest live bands ever, and you have yourself a party. PLAN B: Animal Collective @ Observatory North Park. Animal Collective's new album Painting With isn't my favorite of theirs, but that's hardly a complaint with a discography that features the trippy Merriweather Post Pavilion and hypnotic Sung Tongs. They're indie heroes for a reason. BACKUP PLAN: Xenia Rubinos, Bakkuda @ Soda Bar.