Wednesday, Dec. 26
PLAN A: Turquoise Jeep Records, Tha Maad T-Ray @ The Casbah. Looking like characters out of a Wayans Brothers movie, Turquoise Jeep artists Flynt Flossy, Slick Mahoney, Pretty Raheem and Yung Humma serve up hilarious, '90s-style hip-hop and R&B jams about sexy things like stretchy pants, spankings and "smanging it"—that is, smashing it and banging it at the same time. Andy Samberg, you've met your match. PLAN B: San Pedro el Cortez, Sixties Guns, Legs @ Soda Bar. If garage-rock were ice cream, San Pedro el Cortez's tunes would taste like a mix of blood, dirt and Tecate. Hailing from Tijuana, the band specializes in fist-pumping riffs and banging drums. BACKUP PLAN: Cherub, Pal&Drome, Adam Salter, Camron @ The Griffin.
Thursday, Dec. 27
PLAN A: Louis XIV, The Howls, Boy King @ The Casbah. Not to be mistaken with the French monarch of the same name, local poprockers Louis XIV gained national notoriety (and ill-repute) in the '00s for their sassy, sexually charged songs. They're playing this rare reunion show to prep for some dates with The Killers. PLAN B: Primus @ Balboa Theatre. This isn't any old Primus concert— it's a 3-D show featuring moving lights and other surprises. Of course, Les Claypool's deep, rubbery bass lines will still be a highlight. BACKUP PLAN: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up Tavern.
Friday, Dec. 28
PLAN A: The Donkeys, Cuckoo Chaos, Teenage Burritos @ The Casbah. My year wouldn't be complete without one last dose of Cuckoo Chaos' tightly woven, triple-guitar grooves. A chance to hear The Donkeys' crisp, retro rock makes this show all the more enticing, and the ramshackle garage pop of Teenage Burritos should be fun, too. PLAN B: Meraki, Lua, Proud Moon, Palien @ Ché Café. Fans of heady indie-rock bands like Rodan and Q and Not U would dig Meraki, a local quartet with a gift for math-y guitar interplay and muscular, swinging rhythm. BACKUP PLAN: Johnny Deadly Trio, The Fink Bombs, Gone Baby Gone, The Grass Heat @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, Dec. 29
PLAN A: Zongo Junction, In Motion Collective, Snuffaluffagus @ Soda Bar. Even if you're skeptical of Afrobeat bands that consist mostly of white guys, you're likely to fall under the sway of Brooklyn 11-piece Zongo Junction. They've got lots of horns, lots of percussion and enough hard, funky grooves to warm a cold December night. PLAN B: Slipping Into Darkness, Tar Halos, Harsh Toke, Plant Tribe, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Eleven. Sometimes all you need is some dumb, skeezy, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll to brighten a bummer day, and Riverside County's Slipping Into Darkness are sure to deliver. Don't miss Tar Halos, a gnarly local band that crosses twisted electronics with guitar squall. BACKUP PLAN: Requiem for the Rockets, Black Cassette, Duping the Public @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, Dec. 30
PLAN A: DJ Mustard, DJ Beatnick, Cali Cam, DJ Dead Serious @ Soda Bar. Known as the guy behind Tyga's club-rap hit "Rack City," L.A. producer DJ Mustard has gotten West Coast clubs bumping all year with a style called "ratchet": sleek beats with a funky, sinister edge. The beauty of the term is that it has many uses, so you can bet your sweet ratchet that people are going to get ratchet tonight.
Monday, Dec. 31
PLAN A: Little Hurricane, Get Back Loretta, The Creepy Creeps, Blackout Party, Shake Before Us, The Amandas, Creepxotica @ The Lafayette Hotel. The historic hotel is playing host to several rad local bands for this New Year's celebration. I'm sure The Creepy Creeps' surf-punk madness will be in full effect by the time the clock strikes midnight. PLAN B: New Mexico, Wild Wild Wets, Bruin @ Soda Bar. I have a blast whenever I see any of these bands. Thus, expect the fun to rise threefold at this party. BACKUP PLAN: Dirty Sweet, Grand Tarantula, Deadly Birds @ The Griffin.
Tuesday, Jan. 1
PLAN A: Hangover Hansel & The Smoothie Boys @ Time Bar. There isn't much live music going on, so you might as well take this time to look back on all the cool music that came out in 2012. See our best-of coverage here and here.