Wednesday, Nov. 12
PLAN A: Single Mothers, Hot Nerds, Ditches @ The Hideout. Single Mothers are a Canadian punk band that sounds a bit like a super-noisy The Hold Steady. Their singer, Drew Thomson, has a sing-speak style similar to Craig Finn's, but their aggressive music is just a little bit more in-your-face. Just how I like my punk rock. PLAN B: J Mascis, Luluc @ The Casbah. J Mascis probably needs no introduction, but here's one anyway—he's the guitar-wielding frontman of Dinosaur Jr. and a singer / songwriter in his own right. The only reason I'm not giving him Plan A is because he doesn't make nearly as much noise as a solo artist as he does in Dinosaur Jr. But he's still J. BACKUP PLAN: Death From Above 1979, Biblical @ House of Blues.
Thursday, Nov. 13
PLAN A: Flying Lotus, Thundercat @ North Park Theatre. Earlier this year, I saw Flying Lotus do a trippy, beat-heavy live set at FYF Fest, and though it was essentially just one dude and his electronic devices, it was a hell of a lot of fun. The Los Angeles producer has a new album called You're Dead! that's super-good, and he's being joined by bass virtuoso Thundercat. So, really, don't miss this show. PLAN B: Twin Peaks, Meatbodies, Criminal Hygiene @ Soda Bar. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the return of Twin Peaks , but knowing that David Lynch and Mark Frost are involved makes it seem like—wait, this isn't the TV show? Oh, it's a fuzzy garage-rock band? My mistake. But, hey, they're pretty catchy!
Friday, Nov. 14
PLAN A: The Presets, Le1f, Chela, Frankie Chan @ North Park Theatre. The Presets are a fine-enough band, but that's not why I'm recommending this show. Nope, the reason to go is to see Le1f, a theatrical and flamboyant MC who needs no guest rappers or backup dancers to leave a mark. Throw your hands in the air when he drops "Wut" into his set. BACKUP PLAN: Los Straitjackets with Deke Dickerson, The Outta Sites, Low Volts @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Nov. 15
PLAN A: United Nations, Silver Snakes, Sick Feeling @ The Casbah. Click here for my feature on United Nations, an always-evolving hardcore band fronted by Thursday's Geoff Rickly. They're a bit conceptual, and a bit satirical. But if you'd prefer to ignore that aspect in favor of their roaring and eclectic sound, then that works, too. PLAN B: Blonde Redhead, Dot Hacker @ House of Blues. New York trio Blonde Redhead have a long history of releasing interesting art-pop records, from their noisy early days up to their newer, dreamier material. It's pretty much all good, and all stylish, so expect a great set. BACKUP PLAN: The Weeks, Turbo Fruits, Sol Cat @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 16
PLAN A: Water Liars, Jimmy Ruelas, Creature and the Woods @ Soda Bar. Last year, I caught Water Liars opening for The Burning of Rome and was pleasantly surprised by their raucous Americana. Imagine a younger, leaner Crazy Horse—or Fleet Foxes if they knew how to rock the fuck out. PLAN B: Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint @ Belly Up Tavern. Two of New Orleans' greatest exports are arriving in town for what looks like a hell of a show at the Belly Up. Soul legend Allen Toussaint and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are sharing the stage to celebrate the music of the Big Easy. Sounds like a hoot!
Monday, Nov. 17
PLAN A: Streets of Laredo, Max Jury, Paper Days @ The Casbah. A little bit of alt-country twang goes a long way, as far as I'm concerned, but when the right band comes along, I can never get enough. Streets of Laredo definitely have the promise and talent to be just such a band. They've got energy, heart and some great tunes. I'm eager to see where they go from here.
Tuesday, Nov. 18
PLAN A: Lord Dying, Lazy Cobra, Castle, Supersonic Dragon Wagon @ Brick by Brick. Lord Dying is not genuine nobility; it's a sludge-metal group that blends burly riffs with catchy melodies. If you're just starting to wade into heavier music, this isn't a bad place to start. And if you already love metal, then they should scratch the Tuesday-night head-banging itch. PLAN B: Musee Mecanique, Celestial Shore, Geyser House @ Soda Bar. Maybe you don't want to get pummeled on a Tuesday night. That's cool. Try Musee Mecanique instead. The California group plays pretty chamber-pop with lots of gorgeous flourishes that are a bit more soothing than a night of burly metal.