Wednesday, July 7
PLAN A: Leon Russell with The Reflectacles @ Belly Up. With his majestic white hair and country drawl, Leon Russell has put his stamp on countless hits of the past 40 years, having played with anyone from Sam Cooke to Willie Nelson. The 68-year-old pianist underwent brain surgery earlier this year, but that didn't stop him from recording an album with Elton John. PLAN B: Bully Blinders, Parker and the Numberman, PCH, 50/50 @ The Casbah. Hip-hop duo Bully Blinders can rap about some asinine shit (see the track “Breakfast of Champions”), but Parker and the Numberman get mad credit for their languid rhymes and tight beats. BACKUP PLAN: The Howls, The Tall Ships, Roswell That Ends Well, Terrordactyl @ U-31.
Thursday, July 8
PLAN A: Vegetarian Werewolf, The Night Rocker, DJ Luxury Death Machine @ Tin Can Ale House. If you read our feature about Vegetarian Werewolf mastermind John Paul Labno in last week's issue, you'd know that he recently released an album of spooky dub tracks inspired by Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. At this record release show, he'll play a set of beguiling, introspective new songs that have nothing to do with video games. PLAN B: Switch @ Voyeur. Switch, the U.K. DJ / producer who's the second half of electro act Major Lazer, sits at the center of a subgenre aptly called “fidget house.” Expect to be mired in a dance party guided by wacky synths and paroxysmal 4/4 beats. BACKUP PLAN: Addiquit @ Beauty Bar.
Friday, July 9
PLAN A: Kenseth Thibideau, Nothingful, Soul Junk @ Che Café. Kenseth Thibideau, of Pinback and Sleeping People fame, will soon release an excellent album full of dreamy, trance-inducing guitar grooves. If you'd like to imbibe, then I advise seeing him at the Whistle Stop on Thursday, July 8. Otherwise, enjoy the Che's vegan ice-cream sandwiches as Thibideau blows your mind. PLAN B: Kings of Leon, Built to Spill, The Features @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. The only reason I'd go to this is to see indie-rock stalwarts Built to Spill. But if you agree that it's ridiculous to pay $35 to $55 to see one band, consider… PLAN C: The Burning of Rome, Black Hondo, The Kabbs, Roswell That Ends Well @ The Casbah. The last time I saw The Burning of Rome, their crazy guitarist cut up his feet because somebody dropped a glass on the floor and he was running around barefoot—which I thought perfectly summed up the band's maniacal outlook. BACKUP PLAN: Ying Yang Twins @ Hard Rock Hotel.
Saturday, July 10
PLAN A: Harlem, Sunday Times, What Laura Says, DJ Halloran @ Bar Pink. Sure, all you Dead Weather fans will see Harlem open for them at House of Blues next week. But it'd feel more natural to see this gritty Austin trio's homespun rock at a cozy neighborhood bar. And it might be our last chance—their infectious Matador debut, Hippies, portends a future of headlining big venues. PLAN B: The Donkeys, Red Pony Clock, Derek Papa @ The Casbah. Fresh from a tour, locals The Donkeys offer up their famously mesmerizing folk-rock. Don't miss Derek Papa, a folkie with haunting guitar licks. BACKUP PLAN: Shapes of Future Frames, New Mexico, Whqles @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, July 11
PLAN A: Golden Triangle @ Bar Pink. Youmight recognize the Golden Triangle song “Cinco de Mayo,” ahard-driving slab of garage-rock with “ooh” and “aah” vocals, from arecent BMW commercial. Like Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls, thisBrooklyn sextet's retro rock has reverb-y guitars and girl-groupharmonies. PLAN B: Violent Affair, Dirty Mugs, San Deviants, Back Alley Hooligans @ Radio Room. RadioRoom is being sold to the owner of Hamilton's Tavern and he doesn'tplan to continue booking tons of punk bands, so this might be one ofyour last chances to see some gnarly dudes in Mohawks scream “Fuckracism!” at this dive. BACK- UP PLAN: Bad Astronaut, Joey Cape, Mike Hale @ The Casbah.
Monday, July 12
PLAN A: The Non, Wols @ Tin Can Ale House. Oklahoma City's The Non throw down unpredictable instrumental rock, setting up mazes of intricateguitars only to smooth them out in lush soundscapes. Texas duo Wolswill start things off mellow with their pretty folk duets. BACKUP PLAN: The New Regime, The Gift / Curse, I Own the Secret @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, July 13
PLAN A: Sleep Lady, Drug Wars, Swore @ The Casbah. Isaw newbies Sleep Lady play their first show recently, and they nearlyblew out my eardrums with their epic instrumental rock. If you wearearplugs, make sure they're custom-molded, highfidelity plugs so youdon't miss out on the finer textures of their wailing guitars andominous keyboards. PLAN B: Water & Bodies, Heavy Glow @ Soda Bar. Water& Bodies have a horribly sappy vocalist, but Heavy Glow have beengetting some buzz for their fuzzy psych-rock. If I smoked weed, I'dprobably listen to the grizzled guitar solo on “Hot Mess” over andover. PLAN C: The Secret Samurai, Old Man Johnson @ Bar Pink.