Wednesday, June 13
PLAN A: The Temper Trap, Crocodiles @ House of Blues. Ever the triumphant pop-rock outfit, Australia's The Temper Trap will be the highlight tonight. But don't miss local skuzz-rockers Crocodiles, who've just released a solid new album, Endless Flowers. PLAN B: John Doe, Nena Anderson and The Mules @ Soda Bar. His name might be a clever play on anonymity, but, seriously, we should all know who John Doe is by now. A pioneering L.A. punk-turned-guitar-strumming folkie, last year he released a collaboration album with singer-songwriter Jill Sobule. BACKUP PLAN: The Drowning Men, River City Extension, Low Volts @ The Casbah.
Thursday, June 14
PLAN A: Van Halen, Kool & The Gang @ Viejas Arena. Well, we certainly lucked out on this one, didn't we? Van Halen recently postponed more than 30 dates on this tour, but every show before June 27 was spared—which means lots of hits and no brown M&Ms for San Diego. Sorry, Cleveland. PLAN B: Here We Go Magic, Thrillionaire, Ditches @ Soda Bar. Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic give their tightly wound synth-rock grooves a spit-shine polish on their new album, A Different Ship, but they still exude all the anxious uncertainty of a hip young professional stuck in a midlife crisis. It's a rather infectious neurosis, if you ask me. BACKUP PLAN: New Edition @ San Diego Civic Theatre.
Friday, June 15
PLAN A: soundON Festival of Modern Music @ Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Get a taste of musical extremes at this threeday festival, which starts on Thursday and explores unearthly soundscapes and dance-oriented rhythms. PLAN B: Privet, Young Hunter, Red Pony Clock, DJs Dave Mead, Jackson Milgaten @ Tin Can Ale House. Want to get your Pinback fix without the big cover charge? Check out Privet, a local combo whose wispy guitar lines, crisp vocal harmonies and breezy melodies could've been lifted straight off a Pinback b-sides EP. BACKUP PLAN: Switchfoot @ San Diego County Fair.
Saturday, June 16
PLAN A: Japandroids, Cadence Weapon @ The Casbah. Japandroids play the kind of fist-pumping, beer-swilling, life-changing indie-rock that makes it seem like nothing else in the whole world matters. Don't be surprised if the Vancouver duo's awesome new album, Celebration Rock, ends up on more than a few year-end best-of lists. PLAN B: Shiva Trash, Northern Tigers, The Last Years, The Electric Healing Sound, Needle Dick Dee Jays @ Til-Two Club. Plenty of bands play pop punk and garage rock, but few are as uniquely gnarly as those associated with Cholo Punks, an up-and-coming local collective and record label. Tonight, they'll celebrate the label's first release, a 7-inch by Shiva Trash. BACKUP PLAN: Rebirth Brass Band @ Winstons.
Sunday, June 17
PLAN A: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Cold Cave, DJ Mario Orduno, Phantom Radio @ House of Blues. As Jeff Terich writes in this week's cover story, noise-pop icons The Jesus and Mary Chain have influenced all sorts of bands over the years, most recently the likes of Crocodiles and Vivian Girls. But now it's time to get a taste of the real thing. PLAN B: Leftover Cuties, Ugly Boogie, Erika Davies @ Soda Bar. Taking cues from performers like Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan, the folks who make up Venice, Calif.'s Leftover Cuties dress up in vintage outfits and strum ukulele over upright bass and brushed drums. BACKUP PLAN: Beat Connection, White Arrows, Mmoths @ The Casbah.
Monday, June 18
PLAN A: THEESatisfaction, Revulab @ The Casbah. THEESatisfaction are as weird as they are wonderful. On their latest album, awE naturalE, the electro-soul duo takes the same approach as fellow Seattleites Shabazz Palaces, cooing elevated, politically conscious verses and rhymes over alluringly experimental beats. BACKUP PLAN: Pilots, Inspired and the Sleep, Rubedo, The Color of Glass, Wild Pack of Canaries @ Ch