PLAN A: The Monome Community Tour @ Tin Can Ale House. The Monome is a step sequencer with a grid of buttons that can be used in conjunction with computer software to trigger music samples, stream video and more. As part of a North American tour, four artists will use the device to produce glitchy electro grooves and cloudy ambient soundscapes. PLAN B: The Sea of Cortez, Gran Sasso, Grand Tarantula @ The Casbah. The Sea of Cortez have yet to release their debut full-length, but the L.A.-based indie outfit has already garnered buzz from Stereogum and KCRW for “The Shores,” an epic six-minute track that creeps up on you before blossoming into a breezy summer anthem. BACKUP PLAN: The Adicts, Agent Orange, Igor Spectre, Invisible Humans @ House of Blues.
Thursday, Sept. 16
PLAN A: Autolux, Gold Panda, The Dabbers @ Belly Up. The three L.A.-based musicians of Autolux labored for six years in a stuffy room to make their new record, Transit Transit. What came out was something familiar yet unfamiliar: tense guitar parts (think: mid-’90s Sonic Youth) intermingling with splashes of alien noise and Eugene Goreshter’s androgynous vocals. As for U.K. producer Gold Panda, he’s won praise from Pitchfork for intricate but groovy electro that brings to mind Four Tet and minimalist composer Steve Reich. BACKUP PLAN: Slick Rick, DJ Seize @ Hard Rock Hotel.
Friday, Sept. 17
PLAN A: Judgement Day, Sleep Lady, The burning of Rome @ Soda Bar. The last time I saw Judgement Day, a head-banging “string metal” band that delivers ass-kicking riffs on violin and cello, they threw down one of the heaviest sets I’ve seen all year. (Check out my Sept. 14 interview with their violinist on our blog, Lastblogonearth.com.) Sleep Lady and The burning of Rome, two awesome local bands, will help get your metal juices flowing. PLAN B: Menomena, Suckers, Tu Fawning @ The Casbah. Portland’s Menomena may be known as wildly experimental— they built their own computer program to record, for chrissakes—but this arty trio harnessed their loose, in-your-face guitar jams into solid pop-craft on their excellent new(ish) record, Mines. Be sure to have a drink ready for Brooklyn’s Suckers, who play expansive indie-rock that makes you want to hold your bud tight and yell, “I love you, man!” BACKUP PLAN: Ana Sia, Austin Speed, CRMNL @ Ruby Room.
Saturday, Sept. 18
PLAN A: The Walkmen, Japandroids, Dan Mangan @ Belly Up. Judging by what I’ve read so far, The Walkmen’s latest album (which came out this week; see our review on Page 28) is a slightly mellower but no less awesome take on their rock balladry. Canadian rockers Japandroids fill out a big bill that’s probably on its way to selling out as I write. PLAN B: southern Culture on the Skids @ The Casbah. You might assume from their vaguely cartoonish press photos that this North Carolina country-rock trio was a joke concocted by Christopher Guest for A Mighty Wind. But rollicking tracks like “Pig Pickin” and “Soul City” prove they’re not fucking around. Not completely, at least. (Starts at 6:30 p.m.) BACKUP PLAN: Felix Cartal @ Voyeur.
Sunday, Sept. 19
PLAN A: Ty Segall, Tyevk, The northern Tigers @ Soda Bar. A one-man garage-rock powerhouse, Ty Segall can be bright and poppy on one track and losing his mind on the next, howling through an effects processor over lo-fi guitar riffs. Detroit garage-rockers Tyevk sound like they assembled their set-up from spare parts they found in a junkyard. All I could find on The northern Tigers was that they reportedly include members of The Sess and Beaters, which makes them worth showing up early for. PLAN B: Film School, D/Wolves, Dreamtiger, The Mashtis @ The Casbah. L.A.’s Film School occupy a hazy space somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Echo & the Bunnymen, though their new record finds them more radio-ready than before (see our review on Page 28). PLAN C: Daikaiju, The Secret Samurai @ Bar Pink. With their scary Japanese masks and punk-infused surf-rock, Alabama’s Daikaiju are a far cry from your average Dick Dale tribute. BACK- UP PLAN: Ratatat, Dom, Bobby Birdman @ House of Blues.
Monday, Sept. 20
PLAN A: Calexico, Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta @ Belly Up. Arizona’s been a pretty hateful place lately, so you might find some relief in Tucson’s Calexico, who incorporate elements of north and south alike into their sun-baked, horn-laden grooves. BACKUP PLAN: Taming the Fox, Echo Revolution, Byron Blocker & The Offbeats @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Sept. 21
PLAN A: Signal Path, Blockhead, Nocando, Open Mike Eagle @ The Casbah. Check out our feature on Page 24 to find our more about Tony Simon, aka Blockhead, a hip-hop producer from NYC who’s collaborated with Aesop Rock and makes fine instrumental albums of his own. PLAN B: Phoenix, Neon Indian @ SDSU Open Air Theatre. Between the cheery pop of Paris’ Phoenix and the goofy synth-pop of Brooklyn’s Neon Indian, you’ve got some über-catchy vibes.
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