Wednesday, November 16
PLAN A: Colleen Green, Mannequin Pussy @ The Hideout. Colleen Green's music is simple, yet easy to like. Short, jangly indie pop songs about youthful angst and, in the words of Cypress Hill, getting toasted—nicely toasted. PLAN B: Nukem, Daemos, Downspell @ The Casbah. Local thrash metal outfit Nukem have an aggressive, fast and menacing approach to thrash that recalls early '80s material from the likes of Slayer and Exodus. Which means they rule, naturally.
Thursday, November 17
PLAN A: Vektor, Black Fast @ The Merrow. I recommend metal shows pretty regularly on this page, though I'm generally not super enthusiastic about the more technically minded metal bands. Vektor is an exception. They shred like motherfuckers, sure, but they write great songs, too. PLAN B: Karl Blau, Lake, The Gift Machine @ Soda Bar. Washington's Karl Blau has more than two decades of idiosyncratic indie pop under his belt. He's not a household name but he rarely disappoints. BACKUP PLAN: Shana Falana, Le Chateau, Fake Tides @ The Hideout.
Friday, November 18
PLAN A: Tombs, Wolvhammer, Gravespell, Deep Sea Thunder Beast @ The Merrow. Tombs have grown into one of the best bands in metal in the modern era, infusing their dense black metal sound with dark, cosmic psychedelia. They'll take you on a strange journey, for sure. PLAN B: Trash Talk, Antwon, Black Noise @ Soda Bar. Trash Talk shows tend to get a little crazy. The hardcore group is all about 90-second blasts of intensity. Paired with eclectic, unconventional hip-hop emcee Antwon, it'll be nonstop entertainment. BACKUP PLAN: William Fitzsimmons, Laura Burhenn @ The Casbah.
Saturday, November 19
PLAN A: Neko Case, Eric Bachmann, Jon Rauhouse @ Poway Center for the Performing Arts. If you haven't yet, go back and read Seth Combs' feature on Neko Case, whose career is better than most singer/songwriters today, or in any era. Her voice is incomparable, and you won't believe how amazing it sounds live. PLAN B: Vanishing Life, Super Unison, No Sympathy @ The Hideout. Vanishing Life is the new band featuring Walter Schreifels of Quicksand and Rival Schools. That's enough reason for me to recommend them, but their punchy punk songs are all the evidence you need. BACKUP PLAN: Lucius, The Cactus Blossoms @ Belly Up Tavern.
Sunday, November 20
PLAN A: Take Over and Destroy, Fantasy Arcade, Bastardsect @ Soda Bar. Phoenix's Take Over and Destroy are a hybrid of different styles, from classic heavy metal to dark, gothic post-punk. It's a little bit like being transported to underground music in 1981, yet with modern production. Basically, my dream band. PLAN B: Screaming Lord Stax and the Savages, The Gargoyles, DJ Tony the Tyger @ The Casbah. One of the more obscure tribute bands in town, Screaming Lord Stax and the Savages comprises members of The Loons and the Schizophonics with a set full of songs by theatrical psych-rocker Screaming Lord Sutch. Do a little homework beforehand and then come witness the madness. BACKUP PLAN: Fairy Bones, Paper Foxes, Bosswitch @ The Merrow.
Monday, November 21
PLAN A: Zombie Surf Camp, Jason Hanna and the Bullfighters, Millionaire Beach Bums @ The Casbah. Halloween may be a few weeks behind us, but you can enjoy a zombie-themed surf rock band any time of the year. Zombie Surf Camp, in particular, is just the kind of fun you'll need on a Monday night.
Tuesday, November 22
PLAN A: Warpaint, Goldensuns, Vs Colour @ Observatory North Park. Read Scott McDonald's feature this week for more on this Los Angeles band. They blend dream pop gloominess with dance-floor-friendly beats that add up to a heady, fun and sometimes otherworldly combination. PLAN B: Red Fang, Torche, Whores, Bosswitch @ The Casbah. As far as heavy music goes, it doesn't get more fun than Red Fang. The Portland group plays loud, certainly, but with hooks you can hoist your PBRs to (and later make a suit of armor out of the can, like they do in their "Prehistoric Dog" video). BACKUP PLAN: Radkey, The Fame Riot, San Pedro El Cortez @ Soda Bar.