Wednesday, June 1
PLAN A: Thick Shakes, Mother's Worry @ Tower Bar. There's plenty of garage-rock bands out there these days, but hardly any of them are as exciting as Thick Shakes. No, they've never gotten buzz from Pitchfork or BrooklynVegan, but this Massachusetts band's fuzzy, organ-drenched rock is fast, scrappy and catchy as hell. PLAN B: Mattson 2, Zombie Surf Camp, The Secret Samurai @ Soda Bar. Mattson 2 and Zombie Surf Camp are two of the city's best bands that use surf guitar, but definitely show up early for The Secret Samurai. Their new CD, Zanshin, is an instrumental powerhouse with circus-y breakdowns, oodles of reverb and slippery guitar licks that would make Dick Dale proud. BACKUP PLAN: Cage the Elephant, Manchester Orchestra, Sleeper Agent @ SOMA.
Thursday, June 2
PLAN A: Dale earnhardt Jr. Jr., TV Girl, So Many Wizards @ The Casbah. Dale earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s dreamy indiepop might be catchy (you can read about them on Page 27), but they had better make sure they don't get upstaged by TV Girl, a red-hot local band that puts on an incredibly fun live show. PLAN B: 14KT, Kas One, Medi, G Rocka, DJ Cleancut, DJ PWC, Mike Gao, eLan, DJ Pound @ Kava Lounge. 14KT's laid-back boom-bap beats are all well and good, but the guy I'd be here to see is eLan. This local beatsmith is celebrating the release of a 12-inch brimming with the kind of chest-caving bass lines and off-kilter beats that would fit right in at Low End Theory, the beat-scene showcase in L.A. BACKUP PLAN: Fractophone, Young Heel, Gloss, Djiipu @ Tin Can Ale House.
Friday, June 3
PLAN A: Tape Deck Mountain, Woodsman, LesVilles, DJ Rob Dylan and Pet Rock @ Soda Bar. Tape Deck Mountain's dark songcraft usually calls to mind sulking singer-songwriters like Lou Barlow, but a new track, “Kellies,” shows the local band moving in a livelier direction: Beneath howling vocals and a miasma of ghostly electronics, a metallic beat and a distorted bass-line push the song forward. With two new members on board tonight, here's hoping for more of this promising new material. PLAN B: Downspell, To Violently Vomit, All Will Suffer, Semitext Vest, Imbalanced, Jesus Christ vs. the World @ Brick by Brick. Downspell's bio reads like a paramilitary training manual (“The percentage of hostile insurgent takeover grows by the second…”), their song titles are gruesome (“50 Caliber Facelift,” “A Lesson Before Dying”) and their gut-churning grindcore conjures thoughts of somebody being shoved through a human meat-grinder. Pretty fucking awesome, huh? BACKUP PLAN: The Undertones, The Widows, Clorox Girls, Jungle Fever, DJ barnesey @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, June 4
PLAN A: Gayngs, Jamuel Saxon @ The Casbah. Gayngs had critics scratching their heads last year in response to Relayted, an ambiguously ironic and decidedly druggy homage to '80s soft-rock with laid-back beats, sultry R&B vocals and more than a few soothing sax solos. But while it's easy to dismiss the midwestern indie collective's debut album as an elaborate joke (after all, it does feature Bon Iver's Justin Vernon rapping), it's often surprisingly infectious and ultimately way more artful than its source material. PLAN B: JFA, Shitfaced Tattoos, Solis @ Shakedown Bar. In the early '80s, JFA (Jodie Foster's Army) banged out chaotic hardcore with breakneck tempos and incoherently screamed lyrics. They're much older now, there have been several lineup changes and they've even got songs with piano breakdowns, but these pioneering skate-punks still thrash around like they were kids loaded up on Jolt Cola. BACKUP PLAN: Diego Garcia @ Anthology.
Sunday, June 5
PLAN A: Damon and Naomi, Amor De Días @ Soda Bar. Don't be bummed if you couldn't get tickets to today's FM 94/9's sold-out Independence Jam in Oceanside. Damon & Naomi are best known as the former rhythm section for indie-rock legends Galaxie 500, but they're also great in their own right. On their gorgeous new album, False Beats and True Hearts, they craft folk-rock with lush arrangements and glimmering textures. Don't miss Amor de Días, a collaboration between The Clientele's Alasdair MacLean and Spanish singer Lupe Núñez-Fernández. BACKUP PLAN: The Quick and Easy Boys @ Bar Pink.
Monday, June 6
PLAN A: Terradactyl, The Makeup Sex, Gunpowder Sunset, Jason De La Torre & Noel Jordan @ The Cas bah. The latest band headed by the local rock 'n' roller known simply as O., The Makeup Sex churn out oldschool indie-rock replete with the massive guitar riffs and gnarled solos you'd expect from Mudhoney or Dinosaur Jr. BACKUP PLAN: Lady Day, A Book About Elephants @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, June 7
PLAN A: The Globes, Italian Japanese, Phasers on Stun @ The Casbah. The Globes might at first sound like an Unwound knockoff, but that's not exactly the case. On their new album, Future Self, the Washington indie-rockers lay out taut grooves swelling with tension and punctuated by subtle changes, calling to mind the likes of Tortoise and Radiohead, as well as the Northwest indie-rock heavyweights. BACKUP PLAN: Tomcat The Globes Courtney @ La Gran Tapa.