Wednesday, March 2
PLAN A: Protomartyr, Chastity Belt, Octagrape @ Soda Bar. Protomartyr released one of last year's best albums, The Agent Intellect , which was an abrasive and dark take on post-punk. They were awesome the last time they played in San Diego, and they will be awesome again. PLAN B: Battalion of Saints, Nomads, Ad Seg @ Til-Two Club. Local hardcore icons Battalion of Saints are back, and they're bruising just like the good old days. The EP they released last year proved they still have the same bite as before, so steel yourself for the pit. BACKUP PLAN: Basia Bulat, The Weather Station @ The Casbah.
Thursday, March 3
PLAN A: Waxahatchee, Briana Marela, Globelamp @ The Irenic. Waxahatchee's most recent album Ivy Tripp is an emotional and energized set of indie rock. Her shows are surprisingly rocking, so get ready to feel things with the volume knob cranked. BACKUP PLAN: The Chamanas, Le Ra, Cesar Saez @ The Hideout.
Friday, March 4
PLAN A: Wavves, Best Coast, Cherry Glazerr @ Observatory North Park. Wavves are alright, but I'm more interested in throwing my endorsement to Best Coast, whose new album California Nights is the crunchy alt-rock blockbuster that they've been building up to. Lots of guitars, lots of fun. PLAN B: Agent Orange, Sculpins, Cochinas Locas @ The Casbah. Agent Orange have been playing punk rock since before you bought your first Punk-O-Rama compilation. They're Southern California vets, come to town pretty regularly and there's never a bad time to check them out. BACKUP PLAN: Xixa, Cumbia Machin, Goma, DJ Ana Brown @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, March 5
PLAN A: Ditches, Spooky Cigarette, Lower Dens @ The Casbah. Lower Dens' style of krautrock-influenced psychedelic pop is both infectious and densely layered, which makes for an interesting listening experience all around. They're a band whose music warrants repeated listens, and should prove to be an engaging live experience for that matter. BACKUP PLAN: Nervous, Daisy World, Tan Tien, Quali, Adhesive @ Che Cafe.
Sunday, March 6
PLAN A: Heron Oblivion, Color, Shujaa Saati @ Til-Two Club. Heron Oblivion just released their debut album on Sub Pop, but they're no greenhorns. This psychedelic supergroup comprises members of Espers and Comets on Fire, and they're going to take you into some weird places. PLAN B: Tycho (DJ set), Chet Faker (DJ set) @ Music Box. This weekend is the CRSSD Festival, which brings together a long list of EDM heavyweights, but for a more low key evening, check out this pair of DJ sets from a couple of its banner acts. A dance party will break out one way or another.
Monday, March 7
PLAN A: The Bulbs, Sledding With Tigers, William and the Nephews @ The Casbah. Tijuana's The Bulbs rock pretty damn hard, playing psychedelic garage rock with some beefed up heaviness. It's a welcome spin on the surfy, scraggly sounds that are so saturated in Southern California. BACKUP PLAN: Juice Box, Bomb Squad, Obtuse Goose @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, March 8
PLAN A: Le1f, Junglepussy, DJ Jeff Graves @ Soda Bar. The last time I went to SXSW, Le1f gave one of the most incredible performances of the whole week. The hip-hop artist's music is danceable, futuristic, flamboyant and unlike much of what you're probably listening to right now. BACKUP PLAN: Black Pussy, Desert Suns, Red Wizard @ The Merrow.