Wednesday, April 15
PLAN A: Mall Walk, Geyser House, Bloom @ The Hideout. Oakland's Mall Walk don't have a lot of music out there, but their self-titled cassette is enough for me to know they're worth keeping an eye on. They combine dreamy jangle with dark post-punk, and with some excellent melodies to hold it all together. Wonderful stuff. PLAN B: The Weaks, The Soaks, The Atom Age, Diamond Lakes @ Soda Bar. Philadelphia's The Weaks are full of fuzz and full of melody. They've been compared to Weezer (and even recreated the cover photo from that band's debut), but there's a lot more old-school punk in their sound, just to scruff it up a bit. It's fun, it's catchy and it rocks.
Thursday, April 16
PLAN A: Ride @ Humphrey's by the Bay. Shoegaze pioneers Ride are playing their first shows in almost two decades, and they just happen to be making a stop in our fair city. They only released a handful of albums in their short time together, but they're all killer, especially 1990's Nowhere. Bliss out when they play "Vapor Trail," "Seagull," well, pretty much any of the highlights from their catalog. PLAN B: Ratatat, Despot @ House of Blues. I'll freely admit it's been a while since I've listened to Ratatat, but their 2004 track "Seventeen Years" is a jam that never stops, even a decade later. Get your dancing hips ready and get ready for some serious grooves. BACKUP PLAN: Cumbia Machin, Sonidero Travesura, Mexican Juligans, DJs Josex, Viejo Lowbo @ Soda Bar.
Friday, April 17
PLAN A: Cursed, Orphan Crippler @ The Merrow. There are a couple of bands called Cursed, so I'll go ahead and clear this up right now—this is the death-thrash-metal band and not the crust-punk band. With that out of the way, it's still one to keep on your radar. The band plays heavy and gnarly, and your weekend could always use a little more metal, right? PLAN B: Victis, Mooncrier, Bainbridge, Royal Death @ Soda Bar. And why stop there—here's some more metal! Victis are a visceral, raw black-metal band with some pretty nasty riffs and pummeling rhythms. This show isn't for those with delicate sensibilities. BACKUP PLAN: Mariel, Rum for Your Life @ The Balboa.
Saturday, April 18
PLAN A: Ilya, The Midnight Pine, Lost Pets @ Soda Bar. So you're not at Coachella this year—big deal. You'll have more fun seeing local favorites Ilya, who have a dark and atmospheric sound that feels big and powerful enough to fill a festival field. Their album In Blood was one of my favorite local releases of 2014, and they sound even better when they're on stage. PLAN B: Bangladesh, Church Night @ Seven Grand. Bangladesh are also one of the better bands in San Diego right now, and they've got a moody, lightly psychedelic rock sound that will translate well on a stage like Seven Grand's. Their new EP Certain Illusions is well worth a spin, so check it out and hear the melodic magic that the band creates before seeing them live.
Sunday, April 19
PLAN A: The Slashes, Speaker in Reverse, Le Chateau, The Lion and the Lady @ The Casbah. Sunday night's alright for post-punk! The Slashes recall the sound of Manchester in the early '80s, with shades of The Smiths and Joy Division in their darkly accessible jangle, and they do it well. Make it there early for Le Chateau, formerly known as Chateau.
Monday, April 20
PLAN A: Fusebox, Dirty Birdy, Landis @ Soda Bar. Fusebox have been around for a pretty long time, whether or not you're familiar with the name, or the music they play. They've got a sort of soulful, funky groove-rock sound with lots of slap bass. It's a little cheesy, but hell, it's fun. And isn't that the point of going to see a show in the first place?
Tuesday, April 21
PLAN A: Prawn, Frameworks, Big Bad Buffalo @ House of Blues Voodoo Room. Prawn combine a lot of different sounds and textures from indie rock over the years—the dreamy emo of American Football, the anthemic alt-rock of Failure, and more than a little bit of shoegaze density in their layers of guitars. So, basically, if you have two ears and a heart, they're the band for you. PLAN B: Gloomsday, Geyser House, Sound Lupus @ The Merrow.