PLAN A: Wye Oak, Pattern is Movement @ Belly Up Tavern. Last week, I profiled Baltimore duo Wye Oak, who recently transitioned from scruffy indie rock to a more electronic, streamlined sound on new album Shriek. They're an outstanding live act, and with some added diversity and an expanded dynamic to their sound, there's even more reason to pencil this show into your plans. PLAN B: S. Carey, The Pines @ The Casbah. Sean Carey has performed as a member of Bon Iver, but I find him more compelling as a solo artist, combining folk, minimalism and jazz in a unique package. BACKUP PLAN: Diatribes, TV Girl, Brothertiger @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, July 10
PLAN A: Tiny Ruins, Børns @ Soda Bar. Tiny Ruins is New Zealand singer / songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, whose sound is serene and gentle but thoroughly entrancing without escalating in volume. I'm always impressed by artists who can capture my attention without raising their voices, and Fullbrook succeeds on that front. PLAN B: High Functioning Flesh, RedRedRed, Crocodiles (DJ set), DJ Mario Orduno @ The Hideout. Before EDM there was EBM, or electronic body music, which is basically industrial's version of a dance-floor jam. High Functioning Flesh are young enough to have probably not witnessed first-wavers like Nitzer Ebb, but they successfully channel the hard-hitting beats and seductive darkness. BACKUP PLAN: Ilya @ Hard Rock Hotel.
Friday, July 11
PLAN A: E-40, Fiyah Deez @ Spin. You can't mention Bay Area hip-hop without talking about E-40, an MC who's known for helping put hyphy on the map, being a shameless self-promoter and one of the more prolific rap artists in recent years. There's no way this show won't be one hell of a party. BACKUP PLAN: Manuok, Little Tybee, LIFE @ Tin Can Ale House.
Saturday, July 12
PLAN A: La Roux, Big Data @ House of Blues. U.K. electronic duo La Roux have a much more impressive presence than many of their peers, and not just because of vocalist Elly Jackson's bright-red, asymmetrical hair. Their synth-driven grooves call upon '80s-era Prince, Bowie and Human League to deliver something contemporary and fun with just enough vintage appeal. PLAN B: Sister Nancy, Africanpostman, Irieality, Soulective @ Soda Bar. The name Sister Nancy might not ring a bell if you're not a die-hard reggae fan, but the Jamaican-born Nancy Russell earned a reputation for being the first female dancehall DJ and released a series of underground hits including "Bam Bam." If you're not familiar, school yourself and hear Sister Nancy testify.
Sunday, July 13
PLAN A: 'For the Fucking Kids Fest' w/ Danny Tanner, Retox, Kids, Sledding with Tigers, many more @ The Che Café. It's hard not to feel a little bit emotional about this Plan —this is the last show that'll be held at The Che Café for the foreseeable future, thanks to a lack of funding and the collective's impending eviction from UCSD. But that doesn't mean they can't put on one hell of a final blowout, and this one is going to be amazing. So far, Andrew W.K. isn't playing, but I'm holding out hope that he'll come through. PLAN B: Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, Javier Escovedo @ Soda Bar. Detroit outfit Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas rock pretty hard, and with plenty of soul to spare, but the real reason to check out this show is super-funky local super-group Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, who lay down grooves better than just about anyone else in town—save for maybe a few of their members' other bands.
Monday, July 14
PLAN A: Octagrape, Oh Spirit!, Big Bad Buffalo @ The Casbah. Mondays are typically not a great night to go out and see a show, but we've got one rock-solid exception right here. Local garage-rock weirdos Octagrape are headlining a $6 show that's worth every penny. Why stay home when you can get freaky with psychedelic riff-mongers?
Tuesday, July 15
PLAN A: Goatwhore, Lord Howler, Eukaryst @ Soda Bar. You don't get that many opportunities to say you've seen a band called Goatwhore, and if that's not something to cross off the bucket list, then I don't know what is. But you get the added bonus of seeing a super-badass metal band that combines death-metal ugliness with the hedonistic spirit of rock 'n' roll. BACKUP PLAN: Meg Myers, Gayle Skidmore @ The Casbah.