Rocktober's big decisions

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

So many nights this month are blessed/cursed with a knot of enticing tours. Here are some of Rocktober's toughest calls for music fanatics.

Oct. 5: For country fans only, and not a difficult choice, but it's worth asking: How did Brad Paisley and Larry the Cable Guy get scheduled on the same night? Booking agent fail. Verdict: Unless you crave catchphrases, choose Paisley.

Oct. 6: Arguably Rocktober's thickest glut. Rap aficionados must parse style (A$AP Rocky) from substance (Mac Lethal), while punk fans get rambunctious youth (Freshkills) or pretentious experience (Henry Rollins). Experimental folkies Shovels & Rope are in the mix too, but they also open for Jack White two days later. Verdict: It's A$AP's moment, plus openers Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown tip the scales.

Oct. 8: Extra tough because Jack White, Two Door Cinema Club and Polica all appeal to CD102.5 listeners (and all are sponsored by that station). Verdict: Go with White; he doesn't come around every day.

Oct. 10: This got easier when Tiesto postponed. Electro-aggressors Crystal Castles, punk icon Mike Watt and folkie songstress Ingrid Michaelson remain. Verdict: Watt's your man, but only because Crystal Castles visited last year.

Oct. 20: Not a terrible audience overlap between Phish guru Trey Anastasio, alt-country favorites Old 97s, Coldplay tourmates/alt-rockers Wolf Gang and psych scuzz monsters Sic Alps, but all notable events for well-rounded consumers. Verdict: Alps' show will be sic(k).

Oct. 24: Hardest call of the month. Good luck deciding between the iconic Morrissey, Columbus-affiliated indie supergroup Divine Fits, somewhat-Columbus-affiliated blooze-punk showmen Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Saharan powerhouse Tinariwen. Verdict: Seeing local Sam Brown with Divine Fits would win, but really, you should have seen them at Ace of Cups this summer. Morrissey might up and quit any day now, so don't miss him.