- Photo by John Taylor
Wednesday, Jan. 9
PLAN A: Mister Lies, Matthewdavid, Room E, Different Sleep @ Soda Bar. Ooh, boy, Mister Lies is smooth. Following in the footsteps of Massive Attack and Boards of Canada, the young Chicago beatmaker mixes syncopated beats, organic textures and sampled sounds into somnolent, head-nodding electronic music. PLAN B: Gregg Allman @ Balboa Theatre. After all these years with The Allman Brothers Band, rock songwriter Gregg Allman has dealt with a number of ailments, and he had a liver transplant in 2010. But he still reportedly puts on a badass, soulful show. BACKUP PLAN: Lord Howler @ Bar Pink.
Thursday, Jan. 10
PLAN A: Han Bennink, Mary Oliver & Mark Dresser @ Space 4 Art. Dutch jazz drummer Han Bennink puts his surroundings to good use when he plays, often stepping away from his set to tap out intricate rhythms on the floor. Watching him will be one of the highlights at this improvisational performance, which pairs him and violin / viola player Mary Oliver with the masterful local contrabassist Mark Dresser. PLAN B: Camp Lo, Trek Life, Auditory Stimuli, Ross May, Sojourn, DJ Charlie Rock @ Boar Cross’n (Carlsbad). Hip-hop duo Camp Lo dropped their debut album, Uptown Saturday Night, back in 1997. To celebrate the album’s 15th anniversary, they’ll revive the hard-hitting beats and Blaxploitation-style rhymes of tracks like “Coolie High” and “Luchini AKA This is It” as they perform the album all the way through. BACKUP PLAN: In Motion Collective, Montalban Quintet, Mattson 2 @ The Casbah.
Friday, Jan. 11
PLAN A: Primitive Noyes, Psicomagia, Mystery Cave, Colony, DJ Hezus @ Eleven. Coming out of a months-long hibernation, local post-rockers Primitive Noyes are celebrating the release of a new album, Slow Emergency. They offer some wonderful sounds in the track “Hetch Hetchy Valley,” mixing colorful guitars with harried drums before closing on a slow, quiet note. PLAN B: Little Fowl, The Show Ponies, Podunk Nowhere @ Tin Can Ale House. Describing themselves as “an indie-folk band with Old Tyme Country tendencies,” L.A.’s The Show Ponies might initially come across as just another kitschy, Americana shit show. But their boy-girl duets, vocal harmonies and rough-hewn fiddle runs hit me right in the heart. BACKUP PLAN: Boy King, Hi Ho Silver Oh, Charlyne Yi, Mothlight @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, Jan. 12
PLAN A: Tropical Popsicle, New Mexico, Wild Wild Wets, Christy @ The Ché Café. As you’ll read in my feature, you don’t need drugs to enjoy psych-rockers Wild Wild Wets: Their crude, two-chord jams are intoxicating on their own. Tropical Popsicle have a similar flair for grit and grime, but they’re a touch poppier. PLAN B: The Midnight Pine, John Meeks, Pigeon Lord @ JETT Gallery. Leave it to Alfred Howard to pull yet another great band out of his afro: After suddenly appearing on the scene in late 2012, The Midnight Pine put out one of the year’s best local roots-y albums, Awake Now. They’re celebrating its release tonight, which means you’ll be treated to the lovely voice of singer Shelbi Bennett. BACKUP PLAN: Opio, Equipto, Chris Young, Mr. Groove, DJ Daeta, Norm Rockwell, 4two7 @ The Ruby Room.
Sunday, Jan. 13
PLAN A: Steve Earle @ Belly Up Tavern. I was genuinely heartbroken when Harley Watt, Steve Earle’s character on the HBO series Treme, got killed in Season 2. Thankfully, the alt-coun-try icon himself is still kickin’, putting on stellar live shows with the help of a ridiculously good backing band. PLAN B: Jennifer O’Connor, Chris Brokaw, Ghost Come Back @ Soda Bar. New York singer-songwriter Jennifer O’Connor plays unadorned indie-folk that’s complex in a subtle way. Her voice is straightforward, but she spans a range of emotions as she addresses love and loss. BACKUP PLAN: Keane @ House of Blues.
Monday, Jan. 14
PLAN A: Barbarian, Parquet Courts, Ditches @ Soda Bar. With minimalist, grimy guitar interplay and lyrics about everyday stuff, New York up-and-comers Parquet Courts offer a lighthearted take on classic post-punk. They aren’t particularly provocative, but they have infectious charm.
Tuesday, Jan. 15
PLAN A: Tycho, Doombird @ Belly Up Tavern. Tycho’s ambient, starry-eyed pop is perfect for a low-gravity dance party on the surface of the moon. BACKUP PLAN: Nightmare Air @ The Griffin.