Wednesday, April 10
PLAN A: The Evens @ The Irenic. Fugazi's still on indefinite hiatus, but you can still get your Ian MacKaye experimental-punk fix from The Evens. The punk pioneer teams with his wife, Amy Farina, to deliver a spare, exploratory kind of indie-rock, ruminating on such MacKaye-ian topics as national security and alcohol sales in music venues. PLAN B: Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes, The Amandas, DJ Claire @ The Casbah. If you want R&B that pushes the boundaries of style and substance, listen to Frank Ocean. If want R&B that'll make you dance your ass off, check out Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes. Fronted by a diva with a big, brassy voice, this Australian combo would've driven the kids wild on American Bandstand in 1965. BACKUP PLAN: Audios, Stuntdouble & Tenshun, Mood$wingking, Brother Nature, Ta East & Cali Cam @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, April 11
PLAN A: Rihanna, A$AP Rocky @ Valley View Casino Center. The lyrics may be repetitive, and the beat may be fairly straightforward, but I canít deny it: "We Found Love" is a fucking jam. Expect that and other hits from Rihanna on the local stop of her Diamonds World Tour. PLAN B: Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact, Champ, Chess Wars, The Midnight Pine. A new local outfit, Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact features singer Jade getting super-soulful with the aid of lyricist Alfred Howard. They're but one of three bands playing a live debut tonight, and I'm also curious to see newbies Champ and Chess Wars. BACKUP PLAN: GWAR, Wilson & Warbeast @ House of Blues.
Friday, April 12
PLAN A: Kurt Vile and The Violators, F.D. and The Invisible Wizards, The Shine Brothers @ The Casbah. There's nobody else quite like Kurt Vile. On his spellbinding new album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, the Philadelphia songwriter lays down many layers of guitar over his raw, languid voice, pushing rock and folk in wonderful new directions while leaving me in a calm, reflective state. PLAN B: Mimi Zulu, Geminelle, Caresa, DJ Blackbelt Jones @ Kava Lounge. A seasoned local soul singer, Mimi Zulu sounds pretty good when she does traditional, blues-based stuff. But she really gets somewhere with her song "A Love Parade," a slow-burner guided by laser-gun synths and a creeping beat. BACKUP PLAN: Mister Loveless, The Dead Ships, The Steelwells, The Stupid Daikini @ The Griffin.
Saturday, April 13
PLAN A: Mudhoney, Tar Halos, Creepxotica @ The Casbah. More than 20 years after they first blew up, Seattle grunge godfathers Mudhoney still sound like a kick-ass garage band. They sound way more clean-cut on their new album, Vanishing Point, than they did in the late '80s and early '90s, but songs like "Douchebags on Parade" show they've hardly aged at all. PLAN B: XXYYXX, Mister Lies @ Porterís Pub (2 p.m.). Florida producer XXYYXX's deconstructed electronic beats might be too peculiar for a general audience, but you don't need to be some huge electronic-music nerd to dig Chicago's Mister Lies: His textured, down-tempo tunes are soothing and poignant. BACKUP PLAN: I*Wish*I, Secret Fun Club, The Beautiful View, Impel @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, April 14
PLAN A: Gayle Skidmore, Grant-Lee Phillips, Sean Watkins @ Lestat's. Folk fiends will probably pack the house for the celebrated singer-songwriters Grant-Lee Phillips and Sean Watkins. But don't miss Gayle Skidmore. She's one of the most honest, versatile songsmiths in the city, and this'll be her last live show before she drops a new CD in June.
Monday, April 15
PLAN A: Franz Ferdinand, Palma Violets @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Nearly 10 years on, the anthemic dance-punk of Franz Ferdinand's 2004 hit "Take Me Out" still rings in my head. They've done quite a bit in the years since, and as Stereogum reported, they recently debuted some catchy new songs at a live show in Glasgow. BACKUP PLAN: Survival Knife, Mission:Valley, The Marsupials @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, April 16
PLAN A: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sharon Van Etten @ Balboa Theatre. Thanks to Coachella, several rad acts have set up shows tonight, including brooding Aussie Nick Cave. Critics have been heaping praise on Cave's tense, atmospheric new album, Push the Sky Away, and he's sure to be as intense as ever tonight.Correction: In the original version of this article, we incorrectly reported that Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact is a trip-hop band that features Anthony Molinaro. They do not play trip-hop, nor do they feature Molinaro. We apologize for the error.