Photo by Angelina Castillo
Wednesday, April 19
PLAN A: Spiral Stairs, Henry Clay People, Sick Balloons @ Soda Bar. Pavement broke up about 17 years ago, then reunited about eight years ago, and now they’re done for good, as far as I know. But guitarist Spiral Stairs is still doing his own thing, which I’m sure includes plenty of noisy riffs. BACKUP PLAN: SOHN @ Observatory North Park. SOHN is the stage name of London-based artist Christopher Taylor, whose R&B bona fides have led him to write songs for none other than Rihanna. Yet the singer and producer makes some stunningly ethereal indie soul of his own.
Thursday, April 20
PLAN A: Beach Slang, Mercy Music @ The Casbah. Beach Slang are the rare indie rock band that actually looks like they really want to be onstage, playing music for you, instead of hopelessly aloof. They make fun, short, punky songs with big hooks. And I’ll bet you see CityBeat web editor Ryan Bradford at the show! PLAN B: Califone, Tara Jane O’Neil, Rachel Blumberg @ The Hideout. Califone is one of the most consistently great bands of the past couple decades, as well as one of the most consistently underrated. Their blend of alt-country and spacy psych always yields something new and wonderfully weird. BACKUP PLAN: Twin Peaks, Hinds, The Gloomies @ The Irenic.
Friday, April 21
PLAN A: Cold Cave, Body of Light, DJ Jon Blaj @ SPACE. The Hideout is officially making the transition over to its new name and brand, SPACE, with two headlining shows from goth/synth-pop outfit Cold Cave. I can think of no better way to mark a special occasion than with some catchy darkwave. PLAN B: Morgan Delt, Amerikan Bear, Dream Joints @ Soda Bar. If psych-pop sounds a bit more appealing, then check out this roundup of heady, effects-loving groups, headlined by recent Sub Pop signee Morgan Delt. BACKUP PLAN: Ab-Soul, Little Simz @ Observatory North Park.
Saturday, April 22
PLAN A: Ghost Bath, Astronoid, Ash Williams @ Soda Bar. Read Ben Salmon’s feature this week on Boston-based “dream thrash” metal outfit Astronoid, who combine a massive heaviness with ethereal effects and a spectacular melodic sensibility. It’s metal with a sensitive, spacious side. PLAN B: Dream Burglar, Echo Bombs, Exasperation, Soft Deadlines @ Bar Pink. Dream Burglar is the new band fronted by Justin Cota of Gloomsday and Bosswitch, and they’re pretty badass. They’re essentially a rock ‘n’ roll band with traces of post-punk and psych, and some weird, wild, dark elements. Make sure to get there early for Exasperation, while you’re at it. BACKUP PLAN: The Pixies @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre.
Sunday, April 23
PLAN A: Free Salamander Exhibit, Hours, Penis Hickey @ Soda Bar. Free Salamander Exhibit is a weird, arty band with a ridiculous name who will most likely put on an interesting show. That being said, I’m mostly recommending this show for Hours, who make awesome post-metal that’s simultaneously ethereal and heavy as fuck.
Monday, April 24
PLAN A: Vieux Farka Touré, Omar Velasco @ The Casbah. Malian desert-blues guitarist Vieux Farka Touré can play a mean guitar—he’s even been called “the Hendrix of the Sahara.” But nicknames aside, his music is incredible, with a sound that transcends the language barrier.
Tuesday, April 25
PLAN A: Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Brent Cobb @ Observatory North Park. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary country on the whole, but there’s been a lot of impressive, twangy talent of late. Margo Price caught my attention last year with her accessible blend of gritty folk, country and rock that’s, to quote a Wilco song, “beautiful and stoned.” PLAN B: Wrekmeister Harmonies, ANA @ SPACE. On the more epic spectrum is Wrekmeister Harmonies, who blend a spacious post-rock approach to composition with the all-encompassing doom heaviness of Earth.