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Voodoo garners the big headlines for some reason. But when comparing the fall’s signature event to its spring brethren, the choice is clear—better weather, better bands, better prices, better festivals (and nearby Hangout isn’t even included). It’d be easy to sit back and wait to cram all your viewing into two weekends, but these marquee events are sandwiched by music’s greatest find—small acts in smaller venues.

Can’t miss for March/April

Between the two headlining weekends, it’s a matter of age and taste. If you’re a diehard of Two for Tuesdays and Rock 10X.3, Jazz Fest is where it’s at—Santana, Clapton, Robert Plant! But anyone interested in music from the last 10 years will only enjoy the evening’s lone modern acts (weekend one it’s Vampire Weekend, in May here come Arcade Fire). In that light, Buku is the more expensive ticket but it’s worth the sacrifice. Phantogram is one of the fastest rising, cross-genre pleasing acts out there today, The Flaming Lips are legendary showmen, and Chance The Rapper put out the best record of 2013. Advantage, Buku.

If festivals aren’t your thing or you want great music on the cheap however, now is the time. Whether it’s the noise rock of Weekendthe modern jazz of Moon Hooch, or Merge’s newest offering in Ex Hex, there’s plenty available for way less than a 3-day pass. For the best ratio of buzz to bucks, Sirius XMU’s darling The Orwells are playing at One Eyed Jack’s for just $10. If that can’t get you out of the house midweek, not many things will.

If spending $50…

[The Orwells, 3/11 at One Eyed Jack’s $10] +

[San Fermin, 3/18 at Gasa Gasa—$7] +

[Moon Hooch, 3/19—Free] = $17, and Weekend at Circle Bar on 3/10 won’t be more than $15. Many PBRs in that concert future.

Curated Calendar

Weekend—Circle Bar (3/10) Mon

Ex Hex—Siberia (3/10) Mon

The Orwells/Twin Peaks—One Eyed Jacks (3/11) Tues

Broken Bells—Civic Theater (3/12) Wed

DMX—Howlin’ Wolf (3/13) Thur

Typhoon—One Eyed Jacks (3/15) Sat

Pizza UndergroundHi Ho Lounge (3/17) Mon

San Fermin—Gasa Gasa (3/18) Tue

Moon Hooch—The Square (3/19) Wed

Elton John—Smoothie King Center (3/21) Fri

The BUKU Project w/ Phantogram, The Flaming Lips, Chance The Rapper, Chromeo, Wavves, Dan Deacon, etc.—Mardi Gras World (3/21, 3/22) Fri, Sat

Waxahatchee—Siberia (4/3) Thur

Found Footage Festival—One Eyed Jacks (4/3) Th

Marnie Stern—One Eyed Jacks (4/5) Sat

Cloud Nothings—Gasa Gasa (4/24) Th

Jazz Fest (first weekend) w/ Santana, Jason Isbell, Public Enemy, Boz Scaggs, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Vampire Weekend, etc.—City Park (4/25-4/27) Fri-Sun

Black Joe Lewis + The Soul Rebels—Tiptina’s (4/27) Sun

Mogwai—Civic Theater (4/27) Sun

The Men—One Eyed Jacks (4/28) Mon

Tycho—Republic (4/28) Mon

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