Wednesday, Oct. 31
PLAN A: The Night Marchers, Mrs. Magician @ Bar Pink. Lately, indie-rocker John "Swami" Reis has been busy playing shows with Hot Snakes and hyping surf-punks Mrs. Magician. But with a new LP on the horizon, his band The Night Marchers haven't fallen by the wayside. Tonight, expect riffs with a ferocious, rusted edge. PLAN B: Devin the Dude (Roxy Jones), Wu-Tang Clan (Brendan B & The Breaks), Blondie (Wild Wild Wets), NOFX (Teddy Fantastico) @ Soda Bar. In keeping with Soda Bar's Halloween tradition, a handful of local acts will dress up to perform as some of their favorite artists. Something tells me that Roxy Jones has stoner-rapper Devin the Dude down pat, and I'm thrilled to see what Brendan B will do with Wu-Tang. But I'm most curious about Wild Wild Wets as Blondie. Who'll play Debbie Harry? BACK- UP PLAN: Peter Murphy @ 4th & B.
Thursday, Nov. 1
PLAN A: Run Luca, Hustle and Drone, Balloons @ Tin Can Ale House. Keep an eye out for Run Luca. The local duo recently put out a promising, self-titled EP that mixes the patient, colorful tones of Beach House with the soaring, full-blooded romance of R&B. Check out my review. PLAN B: Blackbird Blackbird, So Many Wizards, Seasons, Go Yama @ The Griffin. If I have to listen to another god-forsaken "chillwave" band, I'm going to kick someone in the nuts. Blackbird Blackbird songwriter Mikey Maramag comes dangerously close to feeling my wrath—what with his murky effects and mumbling vocals—but I'm still intrigued by his beat-oriented, Radiohead-under-the-sea sound. BACKUP PLAN: Con Bro Chill, Chalkskin @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Nov. 2
PLAN A: Kid Koala, Adira Amram and The Experience @ The Casbah. Celebrated DJ / turntablist Kid Koala recently got his hands on an E-mu SP-1200 sampler— the tool of choice for hip-hop producers before MPCs and laptops came along—and used it to make a delightful new album, 12 Bit Blues. With its chopped-up, rearranged blues samples, it harks back to the beatmaking old school. PLAN B: The Donkeys, Buxton, Octa#grape @ Soda Bar. The Donkeys won Best Rock at this year's San Diego Music Awards, but they don't need a trophy to know the city loves 'em. When they played at the Golden Hill Street Fair in July, the crowd registered its plea sure by bopping around several beach balls. BACKUP PLAN: Shark Blood, Emphasize, Stuntdouble & Tenshun, Last Year's Heroes, Mr. Henshaw, Sesh, Pelengue, Unite @ The Tower Bar.
Saturday, Nov. 3
PLAN A: JJCnV, The Last Years, The Loudmouths, Gloomsday @ The Tower Bar. JJCnV used to be called Janis Joplin Crap N Vomit, and if that doesn't convince you that this Mesa, Ariz., avant-punk band totally rules, just listen to their music. On their album Brainiac Handsome, they offer up a thrilling dose of meaty, post-punk riffs, skull-crunching drums and goofy, bizarre vocals. PLAN B: Com Truise, Poolside, Bonde do Role @ The Casbah. What he lacks in naming wit, Com Truise's Seth Haley makes up for with his stylish synthesizer epics, which sound like they come from some pixilated, '80s-style version of the future. Don't bother showing up for Poolside, though, unless you like flaccid, Muzak-smooth hipster-disco. BACKUP PLAN: Waka Flocka Flame @ 4th & B.
Sunday, Nov. 4
PLAN A: Other Lives, Indians @ The Casbah. Oklahoma's Other Lives offer the perfect distillation of top-shelf indie-folk. They've got the melodic touch of Grizzly Bear; the smooth, orchestral flourish of Bon Iver; the vocal harmonies of Fleet Foxes; and a sensitive, shaggy-haired frontman to boot.
Monday, Nov. 5
PLAN A: Mike Watt and The Missingmen, Mrs. Magician, Shake Before Us @ The Casbah. After more than 30 years, iconic bass-thumper Mike Watt still roves from town to town in a tour van with his 'mates, dishing out lithe, abstract nuggets of experimental punk. BACKUP PLAN: Diamond Rings, Gold Fields, Keith Sweaty @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Nov. 6
PLAN A: Dark Dark Dark, Emily Wells @ Luce Loft. Dark Dark Dark's understated folk sounds familiar even if you've never heard it before. With their plangent piano, wheezing accordion and feather-light drums—not to mention the calm voice of singer Nona Marie Invie—they embrace listeners with open arms. BACKUP PLAN: Delta Spirit, The Growlers @ House of Blues.