Wednesday, Dec. 7
PLAN A: The Sea and Cake, Lia Ices @ The Casbah. Famous for their Zen-like tranquility, Chicago post-rockers The Sea and Cake are as smooth as ever on this year's The Moonlight Butterfly. As one might expect, their melodious guitars, cosmic synths and gently pulsating grooves are topped with singer Sam Prekop's trademark soothing vocals. PLAN B: Red Fang, Archons, Ghetto Blaster @ Soda Bar. Portland's Red Fang play the kind of hard-charging stoner-metal that bong-smokers like Kyuss mastered in the '90s. That is to say: They sound dated, but they still kick ass.
Thursday, Dec. 8
PLAN A: Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard, Daniel Hart, Martin Starr and Common Rotation @ Soda Bar. Jeffrey Lewis isn't as famous as peers Kimya Dawson and Devendra Banhart, but he's arguably just as important. For more than a decade, the singer-songwriter has been a mainstay of New York City's “antifolk” scene, crafting off-kilter, infectious tunes with his well-woguitar and endearing layman's voice. BACKUP PLAN: Scott Kelly, Munly, Bob Wayne @ Bar Pink.
Friday, Dec. 9
PLAN A: Lee “Scratch” Perry, Shoreline Rootz, E.N. Young, DJ Carlos Culture @ 4th & B. A pioneer of dub and reggae music, Lee “Scratch” Perry has spent the past 40-odd years churning out some of the most creative, echo-drenched music Jamaica has to offer. He's released countless albums, a number of them classics, but he's never been afraid to expand his horizons: In recent years, he's dabbled in dubstep and collaborated with indie musicians. PLAN B: Troller, Cold Showers, Divers, Thousand Foot Whale Claw, DJ Mario Orduno @ Soda Bar. After a fair amount of Googling, the only solid information I could turn up on Troller is that the project hails from Austin, Texas. However, I did find an album of gloomy, immersive electropop that I hope sounds even gloomier and more immersive with the benefit of amplifiers and a PA system. BACKUP PLAN: The Cave Singers, The Builders and the Butchers @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Dec. 10
PLAN A: Wrex the Halls w/ Florence + The Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Cage the Elephant, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Naked and Famous @ Valley View Casino Center. In October, Noel Gallagher took a break from his constant feuding with brother Liam to put out his self-titled debut as Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. A collection of finely honed pop songs, critics say it's some of the best work he's done since Oasis' 1995 classic, (What's the Story) morning Glory? (Wrex the Halls continues on Sunday, Dec. 11; details at 91X.com.) PLAN B: La Santa Cecilia, DJ Adamnt @ Kensington Club. Led by a colorfully dressed diva named La Marisoul, La Santa Cecilia mixes everything from ska to salsa into its accordion-driven pop. The L.A. band can be a tad corny at times, but it's also plenty sultry and fun-loving. BACKUP PLAN: The Long and Short of It, Sleep Lady, Marsupials, Sirhan Sirhan @ The Casbah.
Sunday, Dec. 11
PLAN A: The Blind Boys of Alabama, Sean and Sara Watkins @ Belly Up tavern. In a career that's spanned more than 70 years, gospel legends The Blind Boys of Alabama have won five Grammys, performed for two U.S. presidents and sung both gospel standards and modern pop songs— indeed, you might recognize their soulful take on Tom Waits' “Way Down in the Hole” as the theme to the first season of The Wire. This year, they collaborated with songwriters like Willie Nelson on a country-themed album, and tonight they'll perform a holiday show. BACKUP PLAN: Races, Chains of Love, Foreign Film, The New Assembly @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Dec. 12
PLAN A: Digitalism, Data Romance @ Belly Up tavern. German electro-house duo Digitalism is well-known for remixing tracks by the likes of Daft Punk and The White Stripes, but they also make rock-tinged songs of their own that are just aching to be deployed on the dance floor. BACKUP PLAN: The Boxer Rebellion, The Beautiful View @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Dec. 13
PLAN A: Dinosaur Jr., Pierced Arrows @ Belly Up tavern. Indie-rock powerhouse Dinosaur Jr. will take you on a trip back to 1988 as they play their third album, Bug, front to back—starting with the catchy hooks of “Freak Scene” and ending with the hideous roars of “Don't.” They'll also sit down for an interview with former Black Flag singer (and L.A. Weekly columnist) Henry Rollins.