Wednesday, December 2
PLAN A: Tape Heads, Mango Habanero, We Had A Name @ Soda Bar. Ease into the week with some local surf rock from Tape Heads. It’s chill.
Thursday, December 3
PLAN A: The Avengers, I Wish I, Social Spit, Widows @ The Casbah. The Avengers are punk rock legends. The Bay Area group first rose up in the late ’70s, then reformed in 2009 with a mix of original members and scene vets. They’re raw, loud and snotty, but damned if they don’t write a catchy tune. PLAN B: Jennie Vee, Vowws, Lowlands, Blood Candy @ Soda Bar. Jennie Vee plays dark pop music that’s a little goth, a little new wave and a lot of fun. She’s sharing the stage with Vowws, who have a great moody darkwave sound of their own. BACKUP PLAN: Nebula Drag, The Hand of Gavrilo, The Wind Playing Tricks @ The Merrow.
Friday, December 4
PLAN A: Brothertiger, Bakkuda, Nite Lapse, DJ Man Cat @ Soda Bar. Make sure to go back and catch my feature on Bakkuda from last week. She’s a one-woman electronic pop sensation. PLAN B: Winter’s Womb 666 w/ Hot Lunch, Harsh Toke, Carousel, Sacri Monti, Loom @ Til-Two Club. Let your winter season be filled with “holiday cheer”—the kind that makes you see green little elves and flying reindeer—at this showcase full of great psychedelic rock bands. It’ll be loud and trippy, complete with a liquid light show from Operation: Mindblow. BACKUP PLAN: Tanlines, Io Echo @ The Irenic.
Saturday, December 5
PLAN A: Pale Chalice, Morphesia, Those Darn Gnomes @ Tower Bar. Admittedly, I slept on Pale Chalice’s new album earlier this year, but the San Francisco black metal band is well worth your time. They’re intense and loud, certainly, but their music has an ornate melodic sensibility that sets them apart from other black metal acts. Check ‘em out. PLAN B: Cold World, Never Healed, Zoloa, Discrepancy @ Che Cafe. My favorite thing about Cold World is the Danzig joke in their album title How the Gods Chill . My second favorite thing is how much ass they kick. Top notch hardcore right here.
Sunday, December 6
PLAN A: Snoop Dogg, Tha Eastsidaz, Dogg Pound, LBC Movement @ Observatory North Park. Snoop Dogg might be some distance from his heyday, but the dude’s still entertaining as hell. His recent funk collaboration with Dam-Funk, 7 Days of Funk , was super fun, and you just know he’s going to be bringing out the hits: “Gin & Juice,” “What’s My Name?”, “Sexual Eruption.” I could keep going. PLAN B: Zig Zags, Grids, Wild Honey, Clean Room @ Soda Bar. You’re definitely going to need some earplugs for Zig Zags, who play rock ‘n’ roll with ear-splitting ferocity. They mix punk, psych and stoner rock into one crushing, but highly accessible assault.
Monday, December 7
PLAN A: White Reaper @ The Hideout. Louisville band White Reaper make the most out of a guitar-based rock sound. There’s nothing on the surface about it that’s unusual, but their almost shoegaze-leaning style of psychedelic punk is super catchy and rocks hard. It sure as hell gets my endorsement. PLAN B: Sallie Ford, Tacocat @ The Casbah. Sallie Ford is a versatile singer/songwriter who plays classic rock ‘n’ roll that sounds remarkably fresh. Sometimes she’s bluesy, sometimes she’s gritty, and sometimes she just rocks the fuck out. She’s playing with Tacocat, whose name is a palindrome. Fun!
Tuesday, December 8
PLAN A: The Bad Plus, Joshua Redman @ Music Box. I first got into jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman back in college, thanks to the strength of his cool, rhythmically interesting album Beyond . The Bad Plus, meanwhile, mix jazz with prog and rock sounds to make an accessible, if still unusual sound. Good stuff all around. PLAN B: Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends, Guy Blakeslee @ The Casbah. Ezra Furman nods to the sounds of ’50s and ’60s rock while employing an entirely modern approach.