Wednesday, April 17
PLAN A: Mamak Khadem @ The Loft at UCSD. Singer Mamak Khadem takes inspiration from a long tradition of Persian poetry. Her latest project, "A Window to Color," is based on works by the modern verse innovator Sohrab Sepehri. But you don't need to speak a lick of Farsi to appreciate Khadem's powerful, soaring voice. PLAN B: Kaleidoscope, The Loons, Brainticket DJs @ Soda Bar. Back in the late '60s, the boys of U.K. band Kaleidoscope dressed up like Victorian dandies and played jangly, pulsing psychedelic-rock. They eventually changed their band name a couple of times, but their tunes are still trippy and enchanting. BACKUP PLAN: Foolís Gold, So Many Wizards, Tan Sister Radio @ The Griffin.
Thursday, April 18
PLAN A: Poliça, Night Moves @ The Casbah. Even Auto-Tune's detractors might have to admit that it works wonders for Poliça singer Channy Leaneagh. As the Minneapolis band lays down ethereal electronic R&B, the vocal effect makes her sound like a heartfelt cyborg thatís aching for love. PLAN B: "Makeout Weird" w/ Maniqui Lazer, Lee Reynolds, Mark E. Quark, Dazzla, Machino, DJ Monsterpussy @ Whistle Stop Bar. After three years, "Makeout Weird" is coming to a close. For one last night of bizarre sounds, hosts Bobby "Freak Sauce" Bray and Heather "Monsterpussy" Brosché are bringing in several DJs and Mexicali spazz-punks Maniqui Lazer. BACKUP PLAN: Binary Star, Dibiase, Artoo & Adamnt, Parker & The Numberman, Zoolay, Futuristic, Sojourn, DJ Charlie Rock @ Boar Crossín.
Friday, April 19
PLAN A: Cloud Nothings, Dream Buddies, Jeans Wilder @ The Casbah. In a land of sunny indie-pop and surf-punk bands, I sometimes take refuge in the raw, millennial fury of Cloud Nothings. Their 2012 album, Attack on Memory, was one of the most poignant slabs of prime-cut rock I'd heard all year. PLAN A: The Zeros, The Neumans, The Stalins of Sound @ Soda Bar. Chula Vista-bred punks The Zeros may not be quite as subversive as they were back in the late '70s, but they've certainly honed their chops. Don't miss The Stalins of Sound, the best synth-punk band in the city. BACKUP PLAN: Slum Village @ House of Blues.
Saturday, April 20
PLAN A: Gloomsday, Badabing, The Pheasants @ Tin Can Ale House. Gloomsday is a scrappy rock 'n' roll duo with a boy guitarist, a girl drummer and a song called "Cruizin for a Bruizin." Sounds good to me! Tonight, they'll celebrate the release of their new album, Paradise Tossed. PLAN B: Keyshia Cole, Chrisette Michele, Mateo @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. If you've ever been done wrong by your man, R&B singer Keyshia Cole knows your pain—on her 2012 album, Woman to Woman, she meditates on relationships that get spoiled by liars and cheaters. BACKUP PLAN: Beach Fossils, Mrs. Magician @ The Irenic.
Sunday, April 21
PLAN A: A Tribe Called Red, Cumbia Machin @ The Casbah. Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, DJ trio A Tribe Called Red mixes dubstep bass and reggae rhythm with beats and chants borrowed from Canada's First Nation aboriginal communities. The result is an intense, rather awesome brand of electronic dance music they call "powwow-step." PLAN B: Mexico City Rollers, Rail Them to Death, E.D. Sedgwick @ The Tower Bar. Fronted by D.C. journalist and musician Justin Moyer, dance-punk outfit E.D. Sedgwick bangs out delightful ditties whose funky beats make their snarky, nuanced lyrics go down smooth.
Monday, April 22
PLAN A: White Mystery, Heller Keller, The Frights, Barbarian, Wild Wild Wets @ The Ché Café. Step aside, Carrot Top—there's a new red-headed wonder in town. With their gritty garage-rock tunes and frizzy red haircuts, Chicago brother-sister duo White Mystery sound as delightful as they look. BACKUP PLAN: Mrs. Henry, Amerikan Bear, Big Bad Buffalo @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, April 23
PLAN A: Black Bananas, VAMPIRE, Skrapez @ Soda Bar. All aboard the choo-choo train to rock 'n' roll town! As I make clear in my feature, Black Bananas are the coolest, heaviest and certainly the weirdest metal / funk / hip-hop hybrid I've ever heard. PLAN B: Boris, Marriages, Bruisecaster @ The Casbah. Look up the video for their guitar-shredder blowout "Statement" and just try to tell me that Boris isn't the most ass-kicking Japanese psychedelic heavy-metal band in all the land. (Disclosure: I play in Bruisecaster.) BACKUP PLAN: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bass Drum of Death @ House of Blues.