Wednesday, June 11
PLAN A: Grave Babies, Vice Device, Amanda Schoepflin @ Soda Bar. A name like Grave Babies might make you picture something like death rock gone adorable. That's not exactly the case, but the Seattle goth garage rockers definitely split the difference between party time and full-on gloom-out. And it's pretty sweet, so get drunkenly dark with 'em at Soda Bar.
Thursday, June 12
PLAN A: Pelican, Tombs, Mustard Gas and Roses @ The Casbah. Click here for my feature on Brooklyn sludge-metal group Tombs, who've expanded their sound on their incredible new album, Savage Gold , incorporating more elements of post-punk and psychedelic rock. They're opening for the instrumental-metal group Pelican, who pretty much shred. PLAN B: San Diego Musicians playing covers, Stewardess @ The Hideout. Here's a cool one: As a kind of birthday celebration for Ilya's Blanca Fowler, various San Diego musicians are getting together to play a set of covers of songs from the new-wave and post-punk era. If you like any combination of covers, darkly catchy songs or local music, then this is a good bet. BACKUP PLAN: Star Anna, Heather Reid, Maria Del Pilar @ Soda Bar.
Friday, June 13
PLAN A: Dawn of MIDI, Illuminauts, Passengers @ Soda Bar. Earlier this year, Dawn of MIDI opened for Oneohtrix Point Never at The Irenic and put on an unconventional but intriguing performance. Their sound is somewhere between minimalism and avant-garde jazz, with heavy use of standup bass. It's best heard rather than described, though. Adventurous listeners, put this on your calendar. PLAN B: Paul Collins' Beat, Javier Escovedo, Poontang Clam, My Revenge @ Til-Two Club. The Beat—now known as Paul Collins' Beat—is a classic power-pop group that formed back in the '70s. And they pretty much embodied everything great about rock music: great guitar riffs, sing-along choruses and stunning vocal harmonies. Look 'em up on YouTube and you might find a video of The Beat on American Bandstand—it's catchy, and you can dance to it! BACKUP PLAN: Flaggs @ Whistle Stop Bar.
Saturday, June 14
PLAN A: Guided by Voices, Bobby Bare Jr. @ Belly Up Tavern. I once saw Guided by Voices at 4th and B (R.I.P.), and Robert Pollard introduced the band as "Columbia recording artist Pink Floyd." Yeah, they're goofballs, heavily inebriated on Miller Lite, and have written some of the best rock tunes of the past 25 years or so. Don't miss it. PLAN B: Fu Manchu, American Sharks, It's Casual @ The Casbah. Fu Manchu were playing hook-laden stoner rock way before the hipsters were catching on, and here they are, decades later, still chugging along with a van full of fuzz and meaty riffs. And you know what? They still rip. BACKUP PLAN: The Burning of Rome, The New Kinetics @ The Che Café.
Sunday, June 15
PLAN A: Failure @ House of Blues. If you haven't yet, go back to last week's issue to read my cover story on Failure, who broke up at the height of their creativity in 1997 but recently reunited to start a new chapter. On this tour, there are no opening bands—just an extended set of classic Failure material and some long-awaited new tracks. PLAN B: The Both, Nick Diamonds @ Belly Up Tavern. Ted Leo and Aimee Mann are two of the best American singer / songwriters in recent memory, and now they've formed a new band: The Both. Her pop sensibility and his punk-rock background combine for a pretty solid mash-up of elements. And who knows? They just might add a few of their classic tunes to the setlist. BACKUP PLAN: Electric Six, Yip Deceiver, Badabing @ The Casbah.
Monday, June 16
PLAN A: The Business, The Attack, Rat City Riot @ Soda Bar. You know, I never got into Oi!, but that said, I wouldn't turn down a chance to see some U.K. punk legends in the flesh. The London group has kept up its rowdy sound for more than 30 years and shows no signs of petering out anytime soon.
Tuesday, June 17
PLAN A: Sage Francis, B Dolan, Sleep of Oldominion @ Belly Up Tavern. Rhode Island MC Sage Francis has broken a lot of hip-hop's rules since day one, his DIY and straight-edge ethos more in line with hardcore punk than rap music. But he's a dynamic lyricist and a highly entertaining performer. The proof is in his unstoppable jams.