Wednesday, October 7
PLAN A: IAMX, Mr. Kitty @ The Casbah. Chris Corner, better known as IAMX, has performed with the Sneaker Pimps but his solo work is defined less by trip-hop beats as by flashy and trashy synth-scapes. It's a little bit like Depeche Mode with more glam-rock sleaze, and it's a lot of fun.
Thursday, October 8
PLAN A: Braids, Tasseomancy @ Soda Bar. Canadian synth-pop group Braids have been making dreamy, abstract pop music for more than half a decade, and with each new release it's interesting to see where they take it. No matter what, however, their songs are always beautifully made and rich in melody.
Friday, October 9
PLAN A: Them Are Us Too, Drab Majesty, Nylon Apartments, DJ Mario Orduno @ Whistle Stop. Them Are Us Too have a name that confounds Google, but SEO unfriendliness aside, the group plays gorgeous shoegaze and dream pop in the vein of The Cocteau Twins, and it gets my seal of approval. PLAN B: Cannibal Ox, Liam Tracy, Parker and the Numberman @ Soda Bar. Cannibal Ox took 14 years to follow up their debut album The Cold Vein , and while new album Blade of the Ronin isn't quite as good, the hip-hop duo still have the skills and vibe to hit just as hard. BACKUP PLAN: Creature and the Woods, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, The Midnight Pine, Birdy Bardot @ Music Box.
Saturday, October 10
PLAN A: CRSSD Festival w/ Flaming Lips, Giorgio Moroder, Jamie xx @ Waterfront Park. The CRSSD Festival returns six months after its inaugural event with an even stronger lineup of indie rock and electronic acts, including disco legend Giorgio Moroder. Read my recommendations in this week's Notes from the Smoking Patio column. PLAN B: And So I Watch You From Afar, Mylets, Blis @ The Casbah. Their name is a mouthful, but And So I Watch You From Afar make giddy, mathematical instrumental rock that's both thrilling and technical. BACKUP PLAN: Ash, Midnight Satellites, Paper Days @ Music Box.
Sunday, October 11
PLAN A: CRSSD Festival w/ TV on the Radio, Todd Terje, Panda Bear @ Waterfront Park. Day two of the CRSSD Festival features even more outstanding acts, including indie rock vets TV on the Radio and Norwegian producer Todd Terje. Hope you prepared yourself for a second day of dancing. PLAN B: "Back to Basics" w/ Jedi Mind Tricks, Hieroglyphics, Necro, Brother Ali, Andre Nickatina, Bizarre Ride II, Keith Murray, 2MEX, Ugly Duckling @ Observatory North Park. If you're looking for a different event that starts while the sun is up, but with more hip-hop, then this is the show you're looking for, with top-to-bottom underground rap acts, and good ones at that.
Monday, October 12
PLAN A: Wolf Alice, Drenge, Made Violent @ The Irenic. UK alternative rock outfit Wolf Alice have been riding a wave of buzz since earlier this year, thanks to some scruffy, albeit well written rock tunes. They're one of the better bands on alt-rock radio right now, and for that I salute them. BACKUP PLAN: Amigo the Devil, The Sudden Passion, Black Oak Hymnal @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, October 13
PLAN A: Neil Young, Jenny Lewis @ RIMAC Arena. Neil Young needs no introduction. The Canadian singer/songwriter's name is on many of the best albums ever released. Granted, you'll probably have to sit through some songs about Monsanto, but for "Cinnamon Girl," it's all worth it. PLAN B: Other Lives, Doe Paoro @ Belly Up Tavern. It's hard to compete with Neil Young, but on any other night, Other Lives would be Plan A. The art-rock outfit is often compared to Radiohead and with good reason. Their atmospheric, lush songs are stunning