Wednesday, March 8
PLAN A: Six Organs of Admittance, Calcutta Kid @ Soda Bar. Six Organs of Admittance is the kind of band that rarely makes the same record twice, plucking gentle acoustic music one moment and getting into a noisy psych-rock freakout the next. No matter what, their music is always interesting, bold and very cool. PLAN B: Blackalicious, Khalee, DJ Artistic @ The Casbah. Blackalicious has been far from prolific in recent years, but thanks to 2000’s Nia, they’ll never not have a special place in my music library. As lame as the term “conscious rap” is, the Northern California duo made social commentary and laid-back beats cool as fuck.
Thursday, March 9
PLAN A: Bash & Pop, The Yawpers @ The Casbah. Tommy Stinson started Bash & Pop after The Replacements broke up (the first time), but with that band’s reunion tour done, Stinson is reviving his ‘90s-era project of power pop anthems. Hear some new tracks and fill some early ‘90s gaps in your collection. PLAN B: Lady Lamb, Bad & The Ugly @ Soda Bar. Formerly known as Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, this Brooklyn singer/songwriter performs intricate and dreamy indie folk with a layer of ambient psychedelia. It’s a little mysterious and exotic, but without sacrificing the hooks. BACKUP PLAN: Dude York, Active Bird Community @ The Hideout.
Friday, March 10
PLAN A: Ghostface Killah @ House of Blues. A while back I wrote an article on how Ghostface Killah’s lyrics can be applied to everyday life. It still holds up, no matter how dadaist, which is why the Wu-Tang Clan emcee remains one of the best rappers in the game. That and his songs are good. PLAN B: LVL UP, Palm, Slushie @ Che Cafe. I don’t know why LVL UP doesn’t just spell out their name with vowels, but whatever. Their high-energy, ultra-catchy, guitar-driven indie rock is good enough that I can forgive any typographical shortcomings. RCK N RLL. BACKUP PLAN: POS, Dwynell Roland @ The Casbah.
Saturday, March 11
PLAN A: Japandroids, Craig Finn and the Uptown Controllers @ Music Box. Read Ben Salmon’s feature this week on Vancouver’s Japandroids, who have matured on new album Near to the Wild Heart of Life without giving up their anthemic punk energy. They rule. PLAN B: Darkest Hour, Ringworm, Tombs, Rivers of Nihil @ Brick by Brick. Darkest Hour are a badass hardcore band that’ll for sure rip your face off. But while you still have a face, get there early for Tombs, whose mixture of psychedelia, post-punk and black metal makes them one of the best bands in heavy music today. BACKUP PLAN: Mothership, Slow Season, Beastmaker, Red Wizard, Goya @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, March 12
PLAN A: The Menzingers, Jeff Rosenstock, Rozwell Kid @ The Irenic. Figuring out that you don’t have to sound like a teenager to play pop-punk was a turning point for the genre. If pop-punk is even what you can call Philadelphia’s The Menzingers, which I’m not so sure about. Nevertheless, they do make punk that’s catchy and sounds great to this thirty-something’s ears. BACKUP PLAN: Causers, Soccer Babes, Troubled Minds, Help Me Sleep @ The Hideout.
Monday, March 13
PLAN A: QUIñ @ The Hideout. I don’t really know that much about QUIñ, other than that her music is danceable, dreamy, soulful and lots of fun. Suffice it to say her synth-laden R&B won me over pretty quickly.
Tuesday, March 14
PLAN A: Meat Puppets, Stonefield @ The Casbah. Whether you know them from hits like “Backwater,” the songs that Nirvana covered on Unplugged, or you’re actually cool enough to be a fan from way back in their cowpunk days, you know the Meat Puppets are awesome. They’re underground legends because they’ve got album after album of great twangy punk tunes. BACKUP PLAN: The Dream Ride, Pesos, Dream Joints, DJ Andrew McGranahan @ Blonde.