Wednesday, Aug. 18
PLAN A: Lesands, Teen Daze, Gobble Gobble, Kites Sail High @ Tin Can Ale House. Locals Lesands have been getting tons of well-deserved buzz for their infectious new-newwave, but the highlight tonight is Canada's Gobble Gobble. Bubbling over with electronics, spastic tracks like “Lawn Knives” and “Boring Horror” harness outright insanity with pop songcraft. Vancouver's Teen Daze bring you back down to Earth with chill electro-pop. PLAN B: Dan Sartain, The Widows, Low Volts @ The Casbah. Like a hipster Buddy Holly, Dan Sartain dishes out retro rock with a dark underbelly. BACKUP PLAN: Misk, Osal8, P-Man, The Giant Peach @ Kava Lounge.
Thursday, Aug. 19
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real @ Belly Up. You might remember the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from their cameo on a Modest Mouse album in 2004, but these New Orleans mainstays are best known for revolutionizing the traditional brass-band style by mixing in bebop and funk. Expect a freewheeling, incredibly funky set. PLAN B: Fitz & The Tantrums, Black Diamond Riders, DJ Claire @ The Casbah. Like Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Silver Lake's Fitz & The Tantrums serve up '60s-style Motown revival with sax fills, retro organs and hard-edged vocals. As for the Black Diamond Riders, they're remarkably soulful for a band featuring members of The Adolescents and Social Distortion. BACKUP PLAN: Hyena, Profile, Irons @ El Dorado.
Friday, Aug. 20
PLAN A: Girl in a Coma, Gringo Star, Agent Ribbons @ Soda Bar. Girl in a Coma, an all-Latina trio from San Antonio, throw down badass indie rock that's all the fiercer with Nina Diaz's full-bodied vocals. Don't miss Atlanta's Gringo Star, who play scrappy garage-rock sometimes accented with hand claps and ooh-aahs. PLAN B: Crocodiles, Woven Bones, Heavy Hawaii @ The Casbah. Between Crocodiles' skuzzy riffs and Woven Bones' snarling vox, you've got some of the dirtiest (read: best) garage-rock out there. BACKUP PLAN: Ozomatli @ Del Mar Racetrack.
Saturday, Aug. 21
PLAN A: Jogger, Baths, Illuminauts @ Soda Bar. Inspired by Los Angeles beat-smiths like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing, Baths serves up hefty beats and wonderfully melodious electronic textures with a laptop and a MIDI drum pad. (Check out our feature on this page.) And make sure you catch Jogger, who make spacey electronic music that samples anything from folk guitar to death-metal vocals. PLAN B: Trouble & Bass, Adam Salter @ El Dorado. If you go to any dance party this week, make sure it's this one. The last time I saw Trouble & Bass, an electro team from Brooklyn, they sent every last person stuffed inside a packed club into a sweat-soaked frenzy with their bass-heavy cocktail of dubstep, breakbeat and techno. PLAN C: The KneeHighs, Bully Blinders, DJ Gar Gar @ Kava Lounge. Taking cues from the likes of Talib Kweli and Sage Francis, the two hip-hop mainstays on this bill— The KneeHighs and Bully Blinders—serve up inspired, enlightened rhymes. BACKUP PLAN: Hot Hot Heat, 22- 20s, Hey Rosetta! @ Belly Up.
Sunday, Aug. 22
PLAN A: Addiquit, Birthdays, Vacation Dad, Nathan Hubbard @ Tin Can Ale House. This lineup might not make sense at first glance, but it works because each act has something extraordinary up its sleeve. Local hip-hopper Addiquit dishes out languid, lyrical rhymes over funky beats. Wisconsin's Vacation Dad play delightful soundscapes with noisy keyboards and Animal Collective-style vocals. Nathan Hubbard, a member of San Diego's Trummerflora Collective, makes accomplished experimental music that's at once beautiful and disquieting. BACKUP PLAN: Bad Brains, Get Your Dub On @ Belly Up.
Monday, Aug. 23
PLAN A: Filligar, Red Arrow Messenger, All Wrong and the Plans Change, DJ Ace Bitch @ Soda Bar. With their refined musicianship and charming story (three members are brothers, the fourth a childhood friend—awww!), Chicago's Filligar have gained a reputation as a solid indie-rock band in the mold of Neil Young and Wilco. Don't miss the dreamy indie pop of All Wrong and the Plans Change. BACKUP PLAN: ESP Quintet, Dave Curtis @ Dizzy's.
Tuesday, Aug. 10
PLAN A: Innerds, Upsilon Acrux, Black Songs, Hing @ The Casbah. Math-rock never sounded so psychotic. Innerds, a collaboration between Bobby Bray of The Locust and Brandon Relf of Sleeping People, deliver spastic riffs that turn on a dime. Upsilon Acrux thrashes eardrums and rattles bones with a two-drummer, two-guitar assault. PLAN B: Owl Eyes, The Big Decisions, Button Willow Locomotive @ Soda Bar. With their banjo player's bluegrass-style finger-picking and their singer's strained country twang, The Big Decisions sound like they've rolled into town straight from the dust bowls of Oklahoma. BACKUP PLAN: The Flowerthief, Blood Beach, The New Assembly, Kelsey RaeLittle @ Tin Can Ale House.