Wednesday, Aug. 13
PLAN A: The Life and Times, Modern Rifles, Sego @ The Casbah. I once saw The Life and Times in a nearly empty Casbah more than a decade ago, and they somehow still managed to be absolutely massive and deafening. The group's built up a bigger fanbase since then, but still hands out thunderous and psychedelic art rock and post-hardcore that never loses its edge. PLAN B: Foxygen, Gary Wilson @ Belly Up Tavern. I'm a little wary of recommending this show, just because of all the cancellations and fuck-ups that Foxygen's been guilty of, but every time I hear their excellently jangly 2013 single "No Destruction," I'm willing to give them a second chance. Make us proud, dudes. BACKUP PLAN: LIFE, Gletscher, Cabuloan @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, Aug. 14
PLAN A: Woods, Skygreen Leopards, Little Wings @ The Casbah. In the past, I didn't really get the hoopla with lo-fi janglers Woods, but I think their new album With Light and With Love might have changed that. Maybe their songwriting is getting better, maybe they have a bigger recording budget. Either way, I think now I'm sold. BACKUP PLAN: Tactical Fever, Love Henry, The Kernels @ Tin Can Ale House.
Friday, Aug. 15
PLAN A: Helio Sequence, Liam Finn @ The Casbah. Portland duo The Helio Sequence has been issuing electronics-tinged indie pop for quite a while now, but it's still as catchy as ever. I can't think of a better way to end the week than with their taut, heady melodies. Here's hoping they pull out old favorite "Repeater."
Saturday, Aug. 16
PLAN A: The Sonics, Mrs. Magician @ The Irenic. The Sonics just might be the first punk band. Having pioneered a raw and uproarious style of garage rock in the 1960s, their blend of R&B hooks with lots of fuzzy effects and vocal howls makes them as exciting now as they were 50 years ago. PLAN B: Thumpers, Ilya, Black Map @ The Casbah. U.K. group Thumpers plays pop music, but it's a sophisticated and artful type of pop that doesn't always reveal all of its myriad charms on first listen. They write arrangements that catch your attention the first time you hear them, but grow more fascinating with each listen. Not that you need to do your homework before this show—no matter what, they'll offer something that sounds great. BACKUP PLAN: Beach Day, Amanda X, Sleeping Ghost, Future Age @ Kensington Club.
Sunday, Aug. 17
PLAN A: Mrs. Magician, Viv Vates, Subtropics @ Soda Bar. If you happen to miss that Sonics show—or if you just can't get enough of Mrs. Magician's surf-inspired indie rock—then head to Soda Bar for an encore performance. It sounds like they'll at least be sticking around for a little while, so you might as well get comfortable having them back in your life. PLAN B: Octagrape, Spray Paint @ Til-Two Club. Austin's Spray Paint have a pretty dark take on post-punk. Their new single "Cussin" recalls Sonic Youth at their no-wave-iest, all weird tunings and jarring, discordant chords. That's a good thing, in case you were wondering, and if you're ready to brave some eerie and jittery sounds, this is the show for you.
Monday, Aug. 18
PLAN A: The Fresh and Onlys, Wild Wild Wets, Amerikan Bear @ The Casbah. The Fresh & Onlys were born of a mid-'00s boom of Bay Area garage rock that breathed new life into trippy, fuzzy lo-fi sounds. They've since progressed quite a bit, and their new album—House of Spirits—feeds a moody post-punk approach through a neo-psychedelic filter. They're one of the better bands making fuzz into unique shapes right now, so don't miss out.
Tuesday, Aug. 19
PLAN A: Quilt, Cosmonauts, Cotillon @ The Casbah. You'd think people would eventually run out of interesting things to do with guitars, basses and drums. And we'll probably get there eventually, but listening to Quilt's hypnotic psychedelic pop, I'm thinking there's still plenty of new sounds to be made from a simple, six-string approach. PLAN B: DWNTWN, Travesura, The Hunt @ Soda Bar. The all-caps, vowel-free-name trend has reached the limits of tolerability, and I might prefer it if DWNTWN just became Downtown. But stylization aside, their hook-laden, dreamy electro-pop is a winner, even if the name kind of SCKS.