Wednesday, Aug. 19
PLAN A: Metz, Retox, Hot Nerds @ The Casbah. As FYF Fest draws closer, more bands playing it are descending upon our city, and Metz is a band you have to catch. They play short, intense bursts of post-hardcore that hit with an impressive impact. Their new album II is one of my favorites this year, but they're even better live. PLAN B: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic @ House of Blues. Funk legend George Clinton has fronted two classic bands and they're combined into one hits-laden showcase. Free your mind, and your ass will follow. BACKUP PLAN: Matias Aguayo, Echo Park Social Club, DJ Viejo Lowbo @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Aug. 20
PLAN A: Saxon, Armored Saint, Symbolic @ Brick by Brick. Saxon are heavy metal icons, having been one of the pioneering bands of the 1980s, with albums like Strong Arm of the Law . Strap on your bullet belt and hoist those horns. PLAN B: Soft Lions, Globelamp, Garden Echo @ Soda Bar. Soft Lions just underwent a little bit of a lineup change but the garage rock trio hasn't slowed down at all, especially after just releasing a new EP. They're an awfully fun live band, and if you haven't had the chance yet, this is as good a time as any to do so.
Friday, Aug. 21
PLAN A: Vieux Farka Toure, Steph Johnson @ The Casbah. Mali musician Vieux Farka Toure is the son of desert blues legend Ali Farka Toure, and he's got a soulful, powerful sound of his own. Get to know one of the great guitarists of our time, and an icon of African music. PLAN B: Tropical Popsicle, Lowlands, Vowws, Angels Dust, DJs Craig Oliver, Richie Lauridsen @ Soda Bar. Tropical Popsicle has been a little quiet of late, but they've got a busy fall ahead of them. They're one of this town's best bands, so get ready to get weird and have some fun. BACKUP PLAN: Juice Box, Little Dove @ The Balboa.
Saturday, Aug. 22
PLAN A: The Loons, The Bassics, Gloomsday @ The Casbah. It's interesting that Saturday seems like the quietest day this week for live music, but that doesn't mean there's no rocking to be had. Get your fiery, danceable garage rock fix at The Casbah with three solid rock 'n' roll bands from our fair city. BACKUP PLAN: Whiskey Shivers, Lexington Field, Ypsitucky @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Aug. 23
PLAN A: Savages @ The Casbah. Read my cover story this week on London post-punk group Savages. They're releasing a new album next year, and there's a good chance you'll hear a good chunk of it at this show. But singles like "Shut Up" and "She Will" are all the reason you need to go check them out.
Monday, Aug. 24
PLAN A: Trancers, Groms, Bad Kids @ Soda Bar. Trancers' neon-colored Bandcamp page will most likely make you temporarily blind, but the Detroit group's melodic post-punk sound goes down much easier. It's catchy, jangly and just a little bit abrasive, with a touch of Devo's endearing weirdness. Hard not to love that.
Tuesday, Aug. 25
PLAN A: Nails, Death Eyes, Crime Desire @ The Casbah. Oxnard group Nails play a hyper-aggressive, super-concise style of hardcore known as "powerviolence." That might not mean all that much when you're getting thrown around in the pit, but it's sure fun to say. And their music is brutal in the best way. PLAN B: Painted Palms, Barbarian, The Gloomies @ The Merrow. Painted Palms is a synth-pop band with a flamboyant streak, not unlike a more new wave version of Of Montreal. They make fun tunes that compel you to dance, so don't even bother fighting the urge. BACKUP PLAN: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Mild High Club, Amerikan Bear @ Soda Bar.