Wednesday, Jan. 16
PLAN A: Cannibal Ox, Keith Masters, Double A.B., Kenyattah Black, I Realz @ Soda Bar. In 2001, New York City duo Cannibal Ox dropped an underground hip-hop classic with The Cold Vein, a debut album full of smoky, futuristic beats and bleak, lyrical rhymes. Now, after years of inactivity, they're back together and reportedly working on a new album. (Cannibal Ox also play at Kava Lounge on Friday, Jan. 18.) PLAN B: Sea Wolf, The Donnies The Amys @ The Loft at UCSD. Sounding as quaint as a picnic on the prairie, L.A.'s Sea Wolf mix Jack London's bucolic imagery with Bright Eyes' rich, confessional songcraft to make sweet, wholesome indie-pop. BACKUP PLAN: Social Distortion @ House of Blues.
Thursday, Jan. 17
PLAN A: Red Bull Thre3style w/ DJ Slowhand, DJ G-Roy, Chris Cutz, DJ FishFo- nics, DJ Fresh One @ Voyeur. This year, DJs from around the globe will go head-to-head in a competition to prove who's best at what Red Bull hilariously calls the "art of Party Rocking." Here's hoping this local qualifying round features all the drama of an MMA cage match. PLAN B: Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Wolfgang Von Cope feat. Juju Namjai @ Belly Up Tav ern. Femi Kuti isn't quite as hardcore as his dad, the late, great Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. But the younger Kuti sure has endur ance as he and his band lay down explosive funk. BACKUP PLAN: Dirty Sirens, Deadly Birds, Two Wolves, DJ Andrew Mills @ El Dorado.
Friday, Jan. 18
PLAN A: The Burning of Rome, The Nervous Wreckords, The New Kinetics, Okapi Sun @ The Casbah. Plenty of folks will be coming out to see The Burning of Rome and The Nervous Wreckords at this all-local show. But The New Kinetics will also be a highlight, serving up rough 'n' tumble pop-rock with the help of a singer whose voice resembles that of Karen O. PLAN B: Downpour, Rammoth, Country Rockin' Rebels @ The Griffin. Rammoth is a rad band name (a "rammoth" sounds like a cross between a ram and a woolly mammoth), and Rammoth also seems to be a rad band. With crunchy riffs and falsetto screams, their '80s-style heavy metal is so cheesy, it's irresistible. BACKUP PLAN: Joy, Harsh Toke, Primitive Noyes @ Tin Can Ale House.
Saturday, Jan. 19
PLAN A: AK1200, Ghost MD, DJ Ronnie, Adia Break, Animate, DJ Calypso, Ridda, Subliminal @ The Ruby Room. While plenty of club-goers go crazy for the heaving barf of mainstream dubstep, some prefer the pulsing bass and skittering break-beats of drum 'n' bass. Few do it better than Orlando drum 'n' bass pioneer AK1200, who's been dishing out sensual tunes and hard-hitting bangers since 1989. PLAN B: The Atom Age, Grand Tarantula, Bloody Mary Bastards, Subsurfer @ Soda Bar. The newly reunited Rocket from the Crypt don't have any local shows lined up (not yet, at least), but you can still get a dose of bruising, horn-heavy rock 'n' roll from Berkeley's The Atom Age.
Sunday, Jan. 20
PLAN A: Erik Deutsch Band @ Space 4 Art. Jazz keyboardist / composer Erik Deutsch prefers sizzling soul-jazz over avant-garde austerity. On his 2012 album, Demonio Teclado, he and his bandmates tear it up with deep grooves and lush, psychedelic sounds. PLAN B: Glossary, Future You, Zozo Fiasco @ Soda Bar. You can't get more genuine than Tennessee's Glossary. Offering up a hodgepodge of rock, R&B, gospel and country, they burst with unconditionally good vibes. BACKUP PLAN: Cumbia Machin, Buyepongo, Batwings, Bumbklatt, Revival, Piracy, Odessa Kane, Scat- ter Brain, BDP&T @ The Casbah.
Monday, Jan. 21
PLAN A: Muse @ Valley View Casino Center. This big, bombastic rock band seems to have a big, bombastic live show planned: On their recent U.K. tour, concerts reportedly involved dancing aliens and a giant, LED pyramid.
Tuesday, Jan. 22
PLAN A: Coda Reactor, The Fuzz Bombs, Oddball @ The Casbah. As you'll read in our feature, you never know what to expect from Coda Reactor. I've seen their live show devolve into chaos, and I've seen them throw down a rockin' set. Whatever the case, they always kick lots of ass. BACK- UP PLAN: Kamau Kenyatta Trio w/ Ben Schachter @ The Loft at UCSD.