Wednesday, Sept. 9
PLAN A: The Psychedelic Furs, The Church @ Observatory North Park. The Psychedelic Furs have endured for years, not simply because of "Pretty in Pink," but because they have dozens of classic post-punk songs that are just as good. And they're sharing the stage with Australian neo-psych legends The Church. You can't go wrong with a bill like that. PLAN B: Ariana Grande, Prince Royce @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre. As donut-licking, America-hating pop stars go, Ariana Grande's at the top of the list. Her take on pop leans heavy on '90s R&B influence, and you probably already love "Problem," because, let's be real, who doesn't? BACKUP PLAN: Bit Maps, Hexa @ Whistle Stop.
Thursday, Sept. 10
PLAN A: The Get Up Kids @ Observatory North Park. The Get Up Kids are emo heroes. If you grew up in the '90s, had feelings and loved the sound of loud guitars, you probably listened to the Get Up Kids. If you're in your thirties and still have feelings, you probably still listen, and with good reason—they're excellent pop songwriters. PLAN B: Jimmy Edgar @ Bang Bang. Jimmy Edgar's career has taken him from glitchy IDM to a smoother synth-funk sound, but no matter what he's playing, you'll definitely be dancing.
Friday, Sept. 11
PLAN A: North, Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Cryptic Languages, Weight of the Sun @ The Merrow. I've always been a fan of bands that can be super heavy while maintaining a stunning sense of majesty in their work, and that's just what you'll find here. North will destroy you in an elegant way. PLAN B: Seahaven, Sledding With Tigers, Paper Days @ House of Blues. Seahaven have an understated take on emotional indie rock, not unlike that of The Appleseed Cast or slower Sunny Day Real Estate songs. Their songs are as cathartic as they are pretty.
Saturday, September 12
PLAN A: Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, The Creepy Creeps, Tropical Popsicle, DJs Claire and Mr. Mazee @ The Casbah. Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects are sort of a local supergroup, featuring lots of scene veterans and their own interesting mythology. They're finally releasing their new album, and the release show is loaded with great bands. PLAN B: Destruction Unit, Die Mi?bildungen Des Menschen, DJs Craig Oliver, Handsome Skeleton @ The Hideout. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm doing a DJ set at this show. But here's the thing: I would have recommended it even if I weren't. Destruction Unit plays dense, noisy punk that will knock you on your ass. Highly recommended. BACKUP PLAN: The Garden, The Aquadolls, The Soaks, Toothpick @ The Irenic.
Sunday, September 13
PLAN A: Kamasi Washington, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble @ Soda Bar. Read my feature this week on L.A. saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who has performed with Kendrick Lamar and just released his own triple-disc debut album, The Epic . The dude's amazing, and even if you're not into jazz, you'll probably be converted. PLAN B: Willis Earl Beal, Like a Villain, Tori Roze and the Hot Mess @ The Casbah. Willis Earl Beal is somewhere between Tom Waits and Howlin' Wolf, with a lo-fi, primal blues sound that's simple, but powerful. BACKUP PLAN: King Parrot, Nukem, Thanatology, Xantam @ Brick by Brick.
Monday, September 14
PLAN A: Erik Canzona and the Narrows, AJ Froman, The Krimson Blues @ The Office. Erik Canzona's best known as the frontman for The Heavy Guilt, but his debut solo album last year proved that he's just as strong when performing on his own. Your Monday will be improved considerably by attending this show.
Tuesday, September 15
PLAN A: MOTHXR @ The Hideout. My instincts tell me it's pronounced "Mother," but however MOTHXR's name falls out of your mouth, the Brooklyn artist's synth-driven R&B is chill, funky good times. BACKUP PLAN: Low Points, Teenage Exorcists, Electric Healing Sound @ The Merrow.