Wednesday, September 21
PLAN A: Still Corners, Dani Bell and the Tarantist @ The Casbah. Still Corners are an underrated synth-pop band from the UK, with a handful of sleeper albums well worth your time. Start with Creatures of an Hour , which sounds like a cross between an '80s horror soundtrack and a vintage synth-pop album. BACKUP PLAN: Bibi Bourelly, PJ @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, September 22
PLAN A: And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Creepoid, Culture Abuse @ Soda Bar. And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have gone into different musical directions over the years, but this tour will find them revisiting their best album, 2002's Source Tags and Codes. It's a powerful and hard-rocking piece of music, and these songs slay live. PLAN B: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings @ Humphreys by the Bay. Trombone Shorty is entertaining, certainly, but I'm recommending this for Sharon Jones, who continues to bring a powerful soul revue to audiences even after undergoing cancer treatment. She's an R&B hero. BACKUP PLAN: Federale, Bit Maps @ The Casbah.
Friday, September 23
PLAN A: Alice Bag Band, The Loons, Madly @ The Casbah. Alice Bag first made a name for herself in the late '70s fronting L.A. punk band The Bags, and she's still releasing new music with that same punk spirit and knack for melody. She's the real deal. PLAN B: Peter Case @ Whistle Stop. Even if you don't know Peter Case's name, you probably know his music. He was a member of The Nerves and The Plimsouls, and he's playing an intimate solo show in one of my favorite neighborhood bars. BACKUP PLAN: Goatwhore, Ruines ov Abaddon, Orphic Eye @ The Merrow.
Saturday, September 24
PLAN A: Adams Avenue Street Fair w/ Mrs. Magician, Bakkuda, The Bassics, Juice Box. The Adams Avenue Street Fair is a must-attend event every year, not just because it's free and open to all ages, but because it brings together much of the city's best talent for one weekend-long celebration. Day one is pretty stacked, so get there early and get comfortable. PLAN B: Bloc Party @ Observatory North Park. Bloc Party's disappointed me before, but at the end of the day they're still the band that released "Banquet" and "Helicopter," which means this show will be worth seeing for those alone. BACKUP PLAN: Piebald, Limbeck, Facial @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, September 25
Mekons, Sunfoot, Sam Coomes, M. Goner @ A Ship in the Woods. Plan a daytrip for this one-of-a-kind show at Escondido art collective A Ship in the Woods, featuring post-punk legends Mekons. Read Scott McDonald's feature this week on the band, who have been making great music for nearly 40 years. PLAN B: Adams Avenue Street Fair w/ Sebadoh, The Beat Farmers with Dave Alvin, HEXA, Big Bloom. Instead of a lazy Sunday, have one full of live music with the second day of the Adams Avenue Street Fair. This one features headliners Sebadoh and The Beat Farmers (featuring Dave Alvin), which is enough of a reason to put pants on and go outside.
Monday, September 26
PLAN A: Squeeze, Look Park @ Belly Up Tavern. British new wave legends Squeeze have so many classic songs ("Pulling Mussels from a Shell," "Take Me I'm Yours," "Tempted") that this one's a pretty easy decision. Sing along if you like—everybody else will be. BACKUP PLAN: Molotov @ Observatory North Park.
Tuesday, September 27
PLAN A: Sloan, Gateway Drugs @ The Casbah. Sloan are the best power pop band to come out of Halifax. They might be the only one for all I know, but regardless, they've been making hook-laden rock songs for more than 20 years, and this show should prove how deep that catalog goes.