Wednesday, Nov. 21
PLAN A: Rush @ Valley View Casino Center. My friend Hannah Rappleye recently saw Rush in New York City, and she reports that the show was "awesome." In a three-hour set, the Canadian power trio played every song from its new album, Clockwork Angels, along with many classics. It also featured a small orchestra, a rotating drum set for Neil Peart, a short film involving "angry trickster dwarves" and—of course—a T-shirt cannon. PLAN B: Cash'd Out, The Bedbreakers @ The Casbah. Winners of Best Tribute Band in this year's San Diego Music Awards, Cash'd Out are the spittin' image of country legend Johnny Cash and his longtime backing band, the Tennessee Three. Yes, even down to Cash's slick, pomaded pompadour.
Thursday, Nov. 22
PLAN A: Turkey Tornado, Gravy Jones & The Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sam's Supreme Stuffing Band @ My House. Two years ago, my band Bruisecaster celebrated Thanksgiving by launching an impromptu jam session in my friends' garage. It was awesome, and we might end up doing a repeat this year, since there isn't much of anything going on with live music tonight. BACKUP PLAN: Tofurkey Tom and the Vegan Platter, The Julian Pie Revue @ My Friend's House.
Friday, Nov. 23
PLAN A: Coda Reactor, The Gore Horsemen, Hit Dog Hollar, The Last Years @ Soda Bar. After gorging yourself on all manner of Thanksgiving Day eats, nothing will burn off those gained calories quite like a high-intensity rock 'n' roll workout from local bruisers Coda Reactor. PLAN B: Gucci Mane @ 4th & B. Southern rapper Gucci Mane has gotten plenty of attention for his recent batch of high-profile disses (targets included Nas and Nicki Minaj). But don't let that overshadow his thumping new mixtape, Trap God, which features big names like Rick Ross and Waka Flocka Flame. BACK- UP PLAN: The Original Wailers, Zig Zag Jones @ The Griffin. Led by guitar-playing Bob Marley collaborator Al Anderson, The Original Wailers lay down organic roots reggae as it sounded back in the mid-'70s, only with a little more pomp.
Saturday, Nov. 24
PLAN A: Brotha Lynch Hung @ Porter's Pub. As pioneer of the violent, perverse style known as "horrorcore," rapper Brotha Lynch Hung is to rap what Hostel is to film. When he delivers lines like, "You don't wanna be Ryan Muir fuckin' with me / I eat dead people," one can't help but wonder if he's for real. PLAN B: Joy, Tar Halos, Harsh Toke, Eddie Dougherty & The Earwigs @ Tin Can Ale House. Remember Swamp Thing? The half-man, half-plant creature of DC Comics fame? With their mucky mix of grizzled riffs and off-kilter drum-machine beats, locals Tar Halos sound like a band Swamp Thing would rock out to. BACKUP PLAN: Zapp Band @ Anthology.
Sunday, Nov. 25
PLAN A: Delicate Steve, Dana Buoy, Idyll Wild @ Soda Bar. Don't come to this show expecting to see some glum singer-songwriter: On his new album, Positive Force, Brooklyn guitarist Delicate Steve (aka Steve Marion) lets loose with supple, slightly grizzled licks that burst with delight. PLAN B: Wild Belle, Deep Sea Diver, Strange Vine @ The Casbah. Brother-sister duo Wild Belle don't exactly blow my mind with their fusion of Afropop, soul, reggae and indiepop, but their cosmic beats and hook-y melodies sure are catchy.
Monday, Nov. 26
PLAN A: Three Mile Pilot, Vampire @ The Griffin. Obviously, everybody's going to this show to see local indie-rock favorites Three Mile Pilot, who released a new EP, Maps, in July. But I'm also curious to see Vampire, a relatively new local band that plays gloomy, Depeche Mode-style synthpop. PLAN B: Jon Kruger @ Tin Can Ale House. I've been fixin' to check out Tin Can's weekly Country Club, which goes down every Monday. Tonight, River City guitarist / vocalist Jon Kruger will recast his band's dark, quirky folk in a special solo set.
Tuesday, Nov. 27
PLAN A: Gothic Tropic, SISU, Tropical Popsicle @ The Casbah. Gothic Tropic's vaguely tropical post-punk is terribly predictable, but I can't get enough of Tropical Popsicle's gloomy, slightly whimsical psychrock. (Check out my feature about them.) Also, don't miss SISU, a Dum Dum Girls side project with an artsy vibe. BACK- UP PLAN: Zozo Fiasco, Lemonlips, Rah Rah, Hello Penelope @ Soda Bar.