Wednesday, Nov. 5
PLAN A: The Spinto Band, Frightened Rabbit, Dynamite Walls @ U-31. Somewhere along the line, “emo” became synonymous with “terrible.” Scottish combo Frightened Rabbit are here to change all that, by playing endearingly honest pop with a minimum of fashionable tendencies. PLAN B: Sole & The SkyRider Band, Thavius Beck @ The Casbah. In the words of Biggie Smalls, “You never knew hip-hop would take it this far.” These two epically bizarre electro / hip-hop / rock hybrid acts attempt to summon the apocalypse. BACKUP PLAN: Toubab Krewe, On the One @ Belly Up Tavern.
Thursday, Nov. 6
PLAN A: The Heartless Bastards, The Old Palominos @ Beauty Bar. Here at the CityBeat office, we don't usually agree on much. So it's a huge compliment that three members of our editorial staff concede that The Heartless Bastards' gritty, female-fronted rock 'n' roll kicks much ass. PLAN B: The Faint, Dr. Dooom (Kool Keith) @ Brick By Brick. The Faint still play morbid, grimy electro-pop, and Kool Keith has resurrected his Dr. Dooom alias, remaining the strangest MC on the planet. Not much has changed since 1999, except for the fact that they're touring together. BACKUP PLAN: The Focus Group @ Bar Pink.
Friday, Nov. 7
PLAN A: The Spinners @ Viejas. My obsession with Magic 92.5-FM is overwhelming. The Spinners are going to bring the “quiet storm” to Viejas, and there'll be plenty of baby-making following this show from the classic Detroit soul group. PLAN B: The B-52s @ House of Blues. Their latest album, Funplex, is proof that a glossy, shiny turd is a turd nonetheless, but I'd imagine shit still goes off when they rip into “Rock Lobster” and “Dance This Mess Around.” BACKUP PLAN: Charles Musket @ Ken Club.
Saturday, Nov. 8
PLAN A: TV on the Radio, The Dirtbombs, Delta Spirit @ 4th & B. What can I say about TV on the Radio that hasn't already been blurted out of every music critic's pie hole (including my own) from here to Brooklyn? Oh, I know. They'd better be careful, because The Dirtbombs and Delta Spirit are liable to blow them off the stage on any given night. PLAN B: Dragonforce, Turisas, Powerglove @ SOMA. Three “triumph metal” bands play odes to demons, barbarians and 8-bit video games with a level of technical proficiency that Yngwie Malmsteen would cut off his big toe to attain. For once, there is only one word: hilarious. PLAN C: Jedi Mind Tricks, Outerspace, Reef the Lost Cauze, King Magnetic @ 'Canes. Jedi Mind Tricks are like the death-obsessed, metaphysically inclined Philadelphia version of the Wu-Tang Clan, and they're bringing their extended family of Pennsylvanian miscreants to spread the verbal pestilence to the Golden State. BACKUP PLAN: Electric Six, Local H, Lemon Sun @ The Casbah.
Sunday, Nov. 9
PLAN A: Vic Chestnutt, Elf Power @ The Casbah. Paraplegic singer / songwriter Chestnutt has a voice haunted by years of disappointment and despair, but his songs are so deeply affecting that you kinda hope he never cheers up. PLAN B: Adam Stephens, Denison Witmer @ The Loft. Stephens is the singer for heart-on-sleeve roots-rock group Two Gallants, and his solo laments aren't much cheerier than Chestnutt's grim tunes. Pick your poison, because either way, it's gonna be a black Sunday. BACKUP PLAN: Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner Trio @ Anthology.
Monday, Nov. 10
PLAN A: Bishop Allen @ The Loft. You have to hand it to a band that puts out 12 four-song EPs in one year, a feat that Bishop Allen accomplished in 2006. For all you math majors out there, that's 48 tracks of varied indie-pop for your listening pleasure. PLAN B: The Tighten Ups @ Bar Pink. This local rock-and-soul cover band has a female singer (Laura Jane) with pipes like Janis and a commanding stage presence like Aretha. These guys are going to give Lady Dottie & The Diamonds a run for their money. BACKUP PLAN: Little Feat @ Belly Up Tavern.
Tuesday, Nov. 11
PLAN A: King Khan & BBQ Show, The Dutchess and the Duke, Pant Hoots @ The Casbah. Shambling two-person garage is the name of the game tonight. These two impeccably aliased duos belt out broke-down anthems for true believers. PLAN B: Trash Talk, Alpha & Omega, Down Again, Rotting Out @ Che Café. If there's one throwback hardcore band that's worth your time these days, it's Trash Talk. No straight-edge posturing, no metalcore shredding—just sheer, unadulterated anger and aggression. Not for everyone, but for what it is, it doesn't get much better. BACKUP PLAN: Prize Country, Magdalen @ Radio Room.