Wednesday, Jan. 11
PLAN A: Country Lips, The Lowland Drifters, People Might Scream @ Soda Bar. By no means would I ever say that Country Lips is even close to a good band name, but their music is a different story. The group essentially plays old-school, Cash-style country with bigger arrangements: honky-tonk piano, violin, accordion and the like. It scratches that rootsy itch.
Thursday, Jan. 12
PLAN A: The Schizophonics, Taken by Canadians, The Paragraphs, Electric Mud @ Belly Up Tavern. It’s always pretty fun to see local bands playing somewhat bigger stages, especially with sound as good as that of the Belly Up. The Schizophonics put on a great live show—you already know that—so a slightly longer drive up the coast is definitely worth it. BACKUP PLAN: Mint Field, San Pedro El Cortez, Yip Yops @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Jan. 13
PLAN A: Winter, Quali, Lavender Blush @ Whistle Stop. Los Angeles’ Winter is a hypnotic, effects-heavy dream pop band that’ll likely remind you of some of the best vintage 4AD bands of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, such as Lush and Cocteau Twins. Get there early for Quali, who are doing similarly cool shoegazey things in town. PLAN B: Le Chateau, Mexico City Rollers, Empty Gods, The New Addiction @ Soda Bar. I remember witnessing the chaos of The Mexico City Rollers firsthand back when Scolari’s was the place to go for a punk rock show in North Park. They’re joining Le Chateau, whose new EP Brutalism is a fine slice of moody synth-pop. BACKUP PLAN: The Little Richards, Alice Bag Band, The Widows @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Jan. 14
PLAN A: Grant-Lee Phillips @ Brick 15. Grant Lee Buffalo had a fairly successful run in the ‘90s, though I’d still say they’re an underrated band. (“Mockingbirds” still gets me every time.) Their singer and songwriter Grant-Lee Phillips continues to perform as a solo artist, and his catalog should provide an evening of gems. PLAN B: Midge Ure Band, Warsaw @ The Casbah. Midge Ure has been a member of a long list of bands—Ultravox, Visage, even Thin Lizzy—and he’s performing material from both his solo catalog and that of his other bands. Probably not Thin Lizzy, but you never know. BACKUP PLAN: Hiroshima Mockingbirds, Imagery Machine, Of Ennui @ Black Cat Bar.
Sunday, Jan. 15
PLAN A: Born Rivals, Ash Williams, Castoff, Que Oso @ Soda Bar. Sunday night’s alright for punk rock. Born Rivals play catchy, melody-heavy punk with some touches of emo, so if you need to rock out with your feelings, this is where to do it.
Monday, Jan. 16
PLAN A: Entombed A.D., Full of Hell, Turbid North, Poison Headache @ Brick by Brick. Swedish death ‘n’ roll is an acquired taste, but it shouldn’t be. Entombed A.D., an offshoot of death metal innovators Entombed, manage to pair guttural growls and heavy AF guitars with hooks and rollicking rhythms. A gnarly, fun way to start the week. PLAN B: Lucinda Williams, Aaron Lee Tasjan @ Belly Up Tavern. Lucinda Williams is a rock and Americana treasure. She doesn’t really need any introduction, but if you haven’t heard her music yet, start with Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. You’ll be glad you did. BACKUP PLAN: Captain Auzmo, Garden Echo, Cochinas Locas @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Jan. 17
PLAN A: Filthy, Svelte, DJ Rees Withrow @ Blonde. Texas-based group Filthy are a particularly noisy and chaotic sort of post-punk, with heavy percussion and cacophony bordering on industrial. In short, it is indeed pretty filthy. BACKUP PLAN: Many A Moon, Star Jungle, The Twinfins @ Soda Bar.