Wednesday, Nov. 9
PLAN A: Brandt Brauer Frick, Mystery Cave, Bruisecaster @ Soda Bar. Conflict-of-interest alert! My band Bruisecaster is playing this show. But even if we weren't playing, I'd give Brandt Brauer Frick top billing. Sounding like a cross between Steve Reich and Kraftwerk, the dapper-dressed German trio uses live instruments to play sleek, rhythmically complex techno. PLAN B: We Were Promised Jetpacks, Royal Bangs, Bear Hands @ The Casbah. I'm not a fan of We Were Promised Jetpacks, but I'd show up early for Tennessee indie-rock trio Royal Bangs—they absolutely killed it when I saw them at Soda Bar in April, tossing off wicked guitar licks and catchy pop hooks. BACKUP PLAN: Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve, Yellow Ostrich @ Belly Up.
Thursday, Nov. 10
PLAN A: Four Day Weekend @ Sunset Temple. Solid bands, reasonable ticket prices, all-ages—sounds like a blast. Flip to Pages 16 and 24 for more info, and head to sezio.org for a full lineup. PLAN B: Austra, Grimes, Lunar Maps @ The Casbah. Canadian electro-pop trio Austra have been getting plenty of buzz lately, but I'm just as excited to see fellow Canadian artist Grimes, the project of songwriter Claire Boucher. Her moody, effects-drenched electro-pop might be as dark as night, but it's got just enough R&B zest to keep you transfixed. BACKUP PLAN: DJ Vadim, Mateo Bambaataa, Jon Wesley @ Kava Lounge.
Friday, Nov. 11
PLAN A: Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program, DJ Pound, Mike Gao, Illuminauts, Mystery Cave, DJ Cleancut @ Kava Lounge. A mainstay of L.A.'s forward-thinking beat scene, Ras G reflects a wild array of influences—legendary beat-maker J Dilla, cosmic jazz composer Sun Ra, traditional African music, dub and dancehall—and mixes it all together into a supremely spaced-out brand of instrumental hip-hop. PLAN B: Nigel Tufnel Day w/ Twelve, Rocks Off @ Eleven. Spinal Tap lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel is famous for owning an amp with volume settings that go to 11, which explains why his fans have named this day, 11/11/11, in his honor. But local cover-band mad-genius Adam Gimbel wants to do the mock-rockers one better, so he named his new Spinal Tap tribute band Twelve. BACKUP PLAN: Boris, Tera Melos, Weatherbox @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Nov. 12
PLAN A: Rebirth Brass Band @ Winstons. This funky brass band has been a New Orleans fixture since its start in the early '80s, and they're still going strong— indeed, they're at the head of the jazz parade in the opening scene of the 2010 series premier of Treme, the excellent HBO show about post-Katrina New Orleans. They're as funky as ever on their new album, Rebirth of New Orleans, mixing in Mardi Gras stomp and Latin grooves. PLAN B: Lunar Maps, Thurlow, Zaptra, Clockart @ Tin Can Ale House. I'm really digging Lunar Maps, a new-ish local band featuring former members of No Knife. They call their spooky, hypnotic electro-rock “pleasure beat,” but they've also heard it described as “'80s prom night on heroin,” which I think is a bit more accurate. BACKUP PLAN: JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 13
PLAN A: Holy Ghost! @ Soundwave. With their über-sexy electro-disco grooves, these New Yorkers sound like they came here straight from a Manhattan nightclub. In the early '80s. Via a time machine. PLAN B: The Spits, Spider Fever, Mouthbreathers, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Til-Two Club. Seattle's The Spits play break-neck punk-rock with heavy guitars, surly vocals and occasionally a junky-sounding keyboard. Considering the incredible scumminess of it all, I wouldn't be surprised if they bought their instruments at a junk shop, recorded their music in a sewer and plied the highway in a burnt-out van. BACKUP PLAN: Brokedown in Bakersfield, The Country @ The Casbah.
Monday, Nov. 14
PLAN A: High on Fire, Indian, Sleep Lady @ The Casbah. Metal-heads love 'em. Hipsters love 'em. Hell, I bet even grannies love 'em. Indeed, High on Fire seems to be the primordial metal band. They don't wear corpse paint, eat bat heads or compose ridiculous operas; they just scream their guts out, shred like crazy and generally kick a whole lot of ass. BACKUP PLAN: James and Evander, Mystery Cave, Parentz, Phen Swan, DJs Dirty Rock, Vegan Flytrap @ Tin Can Ale House.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
PLAN A: Dub Trio, The Lifters @ The Casbah. I don't get excited at the thought of a hard-rock / dub-reggae hybrid, but Brooklyn's Dub Trio actually sound kind of gnarly, putting down heady, King Tubby-style grooves in between fierce, angular riffs. BACKUP PLAN: Little Scream, Bobby, Odd Shapes @ Soda Bar.