Wednesday, May 22
PLAN A: Twin Shadow, Elliphant @ Belly Up Tavern. Brooklyn's Twin Shadow are perhaps best known for their indie-rock spin on the pomp and splendor of Prince-ly, late-'80s electro-pop. But did you know that frontman George Lewis Jr. also fancies himself a storyteller? Tonight, he'll team with his dad—yep, his dad—to read one of the many tales they've prepared specifically for this True Story Tour. PLAN B: Black Pus, California Bleeding, Young Wants @ Soda Bar. When he isn't yelping incoherently and beating out loose, savage rhythms alongside bassist Brian Gibson in Lighting Bolt, drummer Brian Chippendale pretty much does the same thing as a solo artist under the name Black Pus. Fans of carnal noise-rock brutalism won't want to miss this one. BACKUP PLAN: San Pedro El Cortez, Pool Honeys, Unknown Relatives, The Frights @ The Void.
Thursday, May 23
PLAN A: Mikal Cronin, Mrs. Magician, The KABBs @ The Casbah. There's something incredibly sweet and earnest about Mikal Cronin's acoustic-tinged power-pop. On his new album, MCII, he chases his open-hearted lyrics down with big, satisfying riffs, reflecting the outlook of a college grad who's trying to figure things out but isn't in any big rush to do so. PLAN B: Nathan Hubbard Trio @ Seven Grand. Whether he's conjuring ethereal ambient textures on a drum set or crossing doom-metal with bossa nova in a 17-person ensemble, avant-garde drummer / composer Nathan Hubbard always has a new trick up his sleeve. For this birthday show, he's likely to do something quite interesting.
Friday, May 24
PLAN A: Mobb Deep @ Porter's Pub. This influential New York hip-hop duo briefly called it quits last year after some drama bubbled up on Twitter, but members Havoc and Prodigy—the guys behind bleak, minimalist classics like "Quiet Storm" and "Shook Ones Part II"—have smoothed things out just in time to celebrate their 20th anniversary of performing together. PLAN B: Turbonegro, Torche @ House of Blues. With their dirty riffs and flamboyant looks, Norway's Turbonegro have always had the seedy-rock-'n'-roll thing down. Lately, they've been relying on a new frontman, Tony Sylvester, to carry their numbskull anthems, and he seems to be doing a pretty good job. BACKUP PLAN: Brownbird Rudy Relic, Chango Rey, Savage Gospel @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, May 25
PLAN A: Love Revisited w/ Johnny Echols & Ebbot Lundberg, The Sloths, The Rosalyns @ The Casbah. The second installment of a three-night series celebrating 30 years of local publication Ugly Things magazine—known around the globe for highlighting all sorts of obscure '60s garage and psych bands—this stacked bill includes a performance by a reincarnated version of the L.A. outfit Love, known for their ornate hit "Alone Again Or." (See casbahmusic.com for a full schedule.) PLAN A2: KEN mode, VAMPIRE, Oneiregon @ Til-Two Club. They're a little metal, a little punk and a little noise-rock. But Canadian rippers KEN mode are a whole lotta gnar-gnar as they dish out their bottom-heavy riffs and brute roars. BACKUP PLAN: Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA @ Porter's Pub.
Sunday, May 26
PLAN A: Joyce Manor @ The Irenic. Like a supercharged version of Cursive, L.A. outfit Joyce Manor hark back to the glory days of emo with scream-along confessionals and riffs that are as intricate as they are crushing. Their songs are short but high-impact, and if nothing else than by sheer inertia, they breathe new life into a dated sound. BACKUP PLAN: Fortune & Maltese, The Rising Ramrods, Ty Wagner, The Unclaimed @ The Casbah.
Monday, May 27
PLAN A: Fiction Family, The Howls Acoustic @ The Casbah. When they're not busy with other things, Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman and former Nickel Creek guitarist Sean Watkins get together with a couple bandmates to make sweet, folksy pop music under the name Fiction Family. The result is expectedly vanilla, but dang, it works.
Tuesday, May 28
PLAN A: Retox, Graf Orlock, Fucking Invincible, Griever @ The Ché Café. Fronted by local hardcore vet Justin Pearson, noise-punk shredders Retox just today released a new album, YPLL (out on Epitaph), that brings just a slight dose of refinement to a truly ferocious sound. Check out my review here. BACKUP PLAN: Green Dayís American Idiot (musical) @ Civic Theatre.