Wednesday, November 4
PLAN A: King Diamond, Holy Grail @ Observatory North Park. King Diamond is heavy metal's reigning monarch. The corpse-painted former frontman of Mercyful Fate is playing his classic album Abigail in its entirety, and it's sure to be a dark, dramatic spectacle. PLAN B: Botanica Chango, Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates, Bit Maps @ The Irenic. Botanica Chango are releasing their new album, Britney , and they've put together a special event for the occasion. Several other great bands will be sharing the stage, and there's even going to be a special "flashlight show." Hope you're not afraid of the dark.
Thursday, November 5
PLAN A: Richard Thompson @ Belly Up Tavern. If you're going to spend an evening with just one musician, you could do a lot worse than Richard Thompson. The UK singer/songwriter has nearly 50 years of performing under his belt, and in addition to having many great songs, he's a hell of a guitar player. The man's a legend. PLAN B: Of Montreal, Diane Coffee @ The Irenic. Of Montreal shows are sort of like having a psychedelic experience without drugs. There are lots of bright colors, strange costumes, props and other weirdness. And the music isn't half bad either. BACKUP PLAN: Shopping @ The Hideout.
Friday, November 6
PLAN A: Drinks, Feels, Gooon, DJ Tim Hines @ Soda Bar. Drinks is the duo of Tim Presley and Cate LeBon, and they play some great raw, lightly psychedelic rock music with excellent melodies. Sometimes, that's all you need. BACKUP PLAN: Sacri Monti, Fogg, Petyr, Loom, Operation Mindblow Lightshow @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, November 7
PLAN A: Gloomsday, Ditches, The Gloomies @ Bar Pink. There's twice the gloom at this show, thanks to up-and-comers The Gloomies and hard-rocking duo Gloomsday, one of my favorite local bands. Sandwiched in between are Ditches, who round out one of the best local showcases of the week. PLAN B: Sisu, Lunar Maps, Hexa @ The Hideout. Feel like getting a little dreamy and goth? Don your black leather and eyeliner and catch Sisu, the side project of Dum Dum Girls' Sandra Vu. BACKUP PLAN: Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, Widows, Victory Mansion @ The Casbah.
Sunday, November 8
PLAN A: Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs @ Observatory North Park. New Orleans rapper Curren$y has been pretty prolific over the past few years, having released six albums since 2010. As it turns out, most of them are excellent, laid-back hip-hop gems. PLAN B: Strange Wilds, The Bad Vibes @ Soda Bar. Strange Wilds are, for all intents and purposes, a grunge band. But it's the type of grunge that existed before MTV picked up on it. This is loud, heavy, noisy stuff and it's quite good.
Monday, November 9
PLAN A: The Sloths, The Bassics @ The Casbah. California garage rockers The Sloths broke up in 1966, but they're back together and making some wild, super fun noise once again. They're joined by The Bassics, who represent the best and brightest of a new generation of garage.
Tuesday, November 10
PLAN A: HEALTH, Pictureplane @ The Casbah. HEALTH's new album Death Magic is, far and away, one of the best albums of the year. It's a noisy, sexy blend of electronic beats and industrial weirdness, and I can't help but love the hell out of it. It also translates well live, so be ready to dance. PLAN B: The Menzingers, MewithoutYou, Restorations, Pianos Become the Teeth @ Observatory North Park. The Menzingers are definitely one of the best punk bands of the moment, but I'm an even bigger fan of Restorations, who combine earnest rock 'n' roll with a blistering post-hardcore streak. I strongly endorse this band. BACKUP PLAN: The Fall of Troy, Kylesa, Powwers @ The Irenic.