Will the Planner Spin Off Wheels 2.0 Anytime Soon? All in Good Time, Kiddies

Before I tell you about this edition of the Planner, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my mom, I love you. Now, on to this week’s agenda.

We’re spotlighting some really cool new bands this week. These Green Eyes, from Connecticut, which just came across my desk, was the best of the week, and we will definitely be following them over the next couple of weeks. Another really cool band making some noise is Bad Veins. I was also impressed by new S Curve artist Little Jackie when I caught her show at the Viper Room on Tuesday. Imagine a hybrid of Lauryn Hill and Lily Allen. She has an amazing voice and is very pretty; I look for big things from her in the coming months. Props to Steve Greenberg for signing this talented artist.

We’re joined this week by barrister extraordinaire and occasional HITS contributor Jeff Leven, who will be telling us about one of his new bands. Lots of goodies this week, kids, so enjoy the Planner and keep sending me music, [email protected]. And check out the introductory piece about our new A&R column, Wheels 2.0, in this week’s magazine, which features Usher on the cover.

Fri., June 6th
The Dreaming @ Safari Sams, Hollywood,
Bonnie Raitt w/Garrison Keillor @ The Geek Theatre, L.A.
Chuck Berry @ B.B. Kings Blues Club, N.Y.
The 44's @ Francies, Corona, CA
Chicago Blues Festival (day two of this four-day event) featuring Koko Taylor, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater and more @ Grant Park, Chicago (
The Dead Kennedys @ House of Blues, West Hollywood

Sat., June 7th
Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Celtics vs. Lakers on ABC
KITS/Live 105 BFD radio show, featuring The Kooks, Pennywise, Everlast, Flobots, Airborne Toxic Event and many more @ Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA (www.live105.com)
Nada Surf @ The Bluebird, St. Louis
Kanye West w/Lupe Fiasco @ Staples Center, L.A.
Billy Bragg @ The El Rey Theatre
Andrew WK @ Baker Center Ballroom, Athens, OH
The Rowdy Frynds Tour featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., Gov't Mule, Miranda Lambert, Marc Broussard and more @ Bama Jam, Enterprise, Al

Sun., June 8th
Saving Abel @ The Conservatory, Oklahoma City
Nonpoint & The Exies @ The Key Club, West Hollywood
Russell Brand @ The Roxy, West Hollywood

Kung Fu Panda:
The new animated movie from DreamWorks, starring the vocal talent of Mr. Jack Black, looks to be, if nothing else, fun for the whole family. I am a sucker for these animated movies, and throwing in Jack Black further entices me.

You Don’t Mess With The Zohan:
This new Adam Sandler movie looks to be more along the lines of what we have come to expect from Mr. Sandler. Of late, Adam has been taking on more dramatic rolls, and while he has done well, I believe putting him back in his comedic element will brings tons of people out to see the movie. Plus, the early word of mouth is that this movie is hilarious.

These Green Eyes:
Their CD just came across my desk this week, and I’m touting them as the best band of the week (and maybe for many weeks to come). Although I’ve only heard a few songs off the album so far, “Paramedic” sounds like a for-sure smash. They are playing a free all-ages show in N.Y. June 10 at Rehab. We’ll be writing about these guys a lot more in the coming weeks, stay tuned and check out their page. (www.myspace.com/thesegreeneyes)

Bad Veins
: A really cool indie rock band from Ohio. Think Arcade Fire meets The Killers. They showcased for a bunch of labels in N.Y. last weekend and were able to lock down a deal with a very cool website. More details to come. (www.myspace.com/badveins)

Monte Negro:
The bands that carve out a special space in your heart are often bands that act as a starting point for other discoveries but are an institution in and of themselves. Monte Negro (www.myspace.com/montenegrorocks) is one of those bands that, to borrow a phrase, could be your life. In the same way that The Clash were a force of their own while also channeling classic reggae or the Stones turned a generation onto Chicago blues while still retaining their own identity, the effortlessly bilingual Monte Negro mix multiple musical cultures in a way that is thrillingly authentic. An L.A. band with roots in Mexico, Monte Negro is the type of band that can cover The Doors and Soda Stereo with equal authority. With their debut coming out Aug. 5 on Epic, a steady presence on MTVTres and songs like the infectious “Gimme Love” already winning converts, the band is poised to enthrall music lovers of all stripes. Look for them on the road this summer, with a host of package dates throughout the country as well as appearances at Summerfest and the Pemberton Festival.

Here are some other cool bands/artists to check out:
Science & Fiction: This modern-rock group out of Hollywood, FL, is rapidly making a name for itself by fusing the best elements of alternative, mainstream rock, industrial, classic rock and pop; garnering fans around the world via Internet promotion, radio play, indie distribution and word-of- mouth. To sum them up, they’re an Alice in Chains for a new generation; lead singer Rick Bauer has been described as Layne Staley reborn. The weasels have started sniffing around for good reason, and the group definitely warrants keeping an eye on. (www.myspace.com/scienceandfiction.

Lisa Bouchelle: This up-and-coming singer/songwriter, in the mold of Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat, and Sara Bareilles, is garnering a lot of buzz and has been deemed a “superstar” by renowned radio promoter Michele Clark. Her album, completed last year at Jon Bon Jovi’s home studio, was released on her own label and distributed by Fontana. Additionally, it has been picked up for the new Starbucks download kiosk program. Lisa just finished recording a duet with John Popper of Blues Traveler, as the two did a national tour last fall. Written with Lost Highway Records recording artist John Eddie, the song is a late-night, hook-up-at-the-bar song, similar in feel to the Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow duet "Picture." It's being co-produced by Tony Black, who has a Grammy for the album Diary of Alicia Keys. Lisa is a seasoned performer who has sung backup for Rob Thomas, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. (www.myspace.com/lisabouchelle)

The Ruse: The band’s influences include U2 and Coldplay, and they have a remarkably polished sound for an unsigned band, in part because debut album Midnight in the City was produced by Jorge Vivo, one of David Foster's engineers. The Ruse rocked their hometown fans when they played the El Rey two weeks ago, putting on a killer show despite the crappy sound at the venue. They'll be playing N.Y.’s Bowery Ballroom next month. (www.myspace.com/rusemusic)

Year Long Disaster: L.A. rock band signed to Volcom records and led by Daniel Davies, son of The KinksDave Davies. They currently have an ultra-hip animated video on the adultswim site; watch it at www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=8a25c3921a006d1d011a01b019db0003. And be sure to check their MySpace page (www.myspace.com/yearlongdisaster) for upcoming shows and music. Their debut album is available on iTunes now.

The Airborne Toxic Event: Shout! Factory will release the debut album of this arty L.A. group Aug. 5, and they’ll open a pair of shows for The Fratellis next week in N.Y. and Boston. The single “Sometime Around Midnight” is spinning on the radio now. And starting this week for the next 10 weeks (the final week being the release of the album), Airborne is releasing a different song from the album performed acoustically on YouTube, all shot in one take. Week 1 is Track 1 on the album, and so on. Here’s the first song, "Wishing Well”: http://youtube.com/watch?v=-PPWQVt7lFQ