- Photo by Sara Amroussi Gilissen
Wednesday, June 19
PLAN A: Holy Grail, Anti-Mortem, Eukaryst @ Soda Bar. Classic heavy-metal revivalism has been in vogue for a few years, and while sometimes it comes out impossibly schlocky (Steel Panther), when done right it can kick a whole lotta ass. Enter Pasadena's Holy Grail, who've clearly spent some quality time with the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest catalogs but have more than enough original chops to hold their own as head-banging headliners. PLAN B: Beach Party, Golden Beaches, Jeans Wilder, Buddy Banter @ The Griffin. You'd be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the mere mention of the word "beach" in a band after the great chillwave / beach indie flameout of 2010. But Beach Party is a worthy exception to the band-name spam filter, offering up surf-inspired guitar riffs, big garage-rock hooks and a whole lot of fun.
Thursday, June 20
PLAN A: The Touchies, Dirty Sirens, Chica Diabla, Mittens @ The Casbah. The members of local trio The Touchies—Stanze, Mishey and Von—adopted Touchie as their collective last name, Ramones-style. Likewise, The Touchies share those punk-rock legends' affinity for simple, straightforward and fun punk rock. There's nothing particularly fancy about what they do, and there shouldn't be; sometimes punk is just about having a good time, and The Touchies certainly deliver. BACKUP PLAN: Sea Wolf, Savoir Adore, Trouble in the Wind @ Belly Up.
Friday, June 21
PLAN A: Sole, Moody Black @ Kava Lounge. One of the founders of the avant-garde hip-hop collective Anticon, Sole started his career by turning down a major-label offer and has remained ruthlessly independent since then. Of late, he's been on a political kick, fired up by the Occupy movement and having a bone to pick with capitalism. Don't expect to see too many young Republicans at the show—just lyrical science. PLAN B: She & Him @ Open Air Theatre. Not everybody is on board with Zooey Deschanel's Manic Pixie Dream Girl adorableness. I understand. But sometimes you just have to embrace it, and when paired with singer-songwriter M. Ward, Deschanel makes some sweet, dreamy pop as part of She & Him. Bonus: She & Him makes for a much better date night than a crust-punk show (usually). BACKUP PLAN: The Styletones @ Bar Pink.
Saturday, June 22
PLAN A: Blood Dancer, Phavian, Oneirogen @ Tin Can Ale House. Blood Dancer are metal as fuck. I don't mean "kvlt" or "tr00" or that they bind their records in human skin or anything. I'm talking riff-heavy, operatic, thunderous heavy metal cast down from the summit of Valhalla. Dudes got chops. PLAN B: Rappin 4-Tay @ Porter's Pub. San Francisco emcee Rappin 4-Tay claimed his spot in hip-hop history back in 1994 when he released "Playaz Club," a '90s party anthem that still crops up, to this day, at house parties (the good ones, anyway). Open a bottle of bubbly and join the club. More champagne, Mr. 4-Tay? BACKUP PLAN: Wildcat! Wildcat!, In the Valley Below, Hills Like Elephants @ the Casbah.
Sunday, June 23
PLAN A: Hooded Fang, Real Things are Good, Love Letters @ Soda Bar. Toronto's Hooded Fang have been around since 2007, but with their fuzz-heavy, super-catchy new album Gravez, it looks like 2013 is the year the buzz catches up to them. With up-tempo rhythms, distorted riffs, scrappy vocal harmonies and reverb, glorious reverb, they keep a familiar indie-rock sound fresh.
Monday, June 24
PLAN A: Bosnian Rainbows @ the Casbah. Make sure to go here and read our feature on Bosnian Rainbows, a synth-heavy post-punk band featuring members of At the Drive-In and Le Butcherettes who promise to deliver some trippy, albeit catchy new-wave vibes. PLAN B: Whitey Morgan and the 78's, El Monte Slim, Musikanto @ Soda Bar. No Stetson or bolo tie is required at this outlaw-country show. Flint, Michigan's Whitey Morgan does classic, rough-and-tumble honky-tonk with heart and grit, and if youíre lucky, he just might break out his cover of Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil." BACKUP PLAN: Punch, Holy, Higher Learning, Anthrot @ Che Café.
Tuesday, June 25
PLAN A: Room E, Mantle Sound Core, Collision Creation @ Tin Can Ale House. An ExtraSpecialGood honoree in our 2013 Great Demo Review, Room E brings kaleidoscopic instrumental hip-hop jams as joyful as they are psychedelic. BACKUP PLAN: Orange Anima, Fine, Fighting With Irons @ Soda Bar.