Wednesday, Feb. 13
PLAN A: DJ Vadim, DJ Bency, DJ Mawkus, DJ Collagey @ Kava Lounge. Seemingly nowhere and everywhere at the same time, Russian-born DJ Vadim has played with a dizzying range of artists and explored all sorts of sounds since the early 1990s. But, as he shows with loose, infectious tunes like "The Terrorist," he's less a globetrotting sonic philanderer and more a wax-spinning, beat-making badass. PLAN B: Larry Ochs and Don Robinson @ Space 4 Art. Veterans of avant-garde jazz, saxophonist Larry Ochs and drummer Don Robinson have dished out enthralling, atonal sounds in a number of ensembles. They'll pair up as a duo tonight, and I'll bet they'll hit the crowd with a feral, skronky jam. BACKUP PLAN: In Flames, Demon Hunter, All Shall Perish, Battlecross @ House of Blues.
Thursday, Feb. 14
PLAN A: St. Valentine's Metal Massacre w/ Desecrate @ The Shakedown Bar. If you and your mate are the kind of couple that likes to ride Harleys, drink whiskey and head-bang the night away, you'll want to see Hollywood's Desecrate, whose technical, borderline-kitschy heavy metal owes a lot to the likes of Metallica and Dream Theater. PLAN B: Toubab Krewe @ The Loft at UCSD. On the other hand, if the two of you would prefer to get all hippie-dippie with some quasi-African instrumental rock, check out Toubab Krewe, a band of North Carolina white boys who channel the spirit of Mali with electric guitars, African percussion and a harp-lute called the kora. BACKUP PLAN: Lil' Kim @ Fluxx.
Friday, Feb. 15
PLAN A: Transfer, The Nervous Wreckords, The Palace Ballroom, Boy King @ The Casbah. The mighty Transfer will hit Europe with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in March, but they're playing one more show before they shove off. The local pop-rockers have an album in the oven, so expect to hear new tunes like "Reflections of Home"; its sweet, unhurried melody makes way for an explosive chorus. PLAN B: Mouse on Mars, Xover, 9 Theory, Illuminauts DJs @ Soda Bar. German duo Mouse on Mars have done all sorts of interesting, delightful things with electronic music during the past 20 years, and they really let loose on 2012 albums Parastrophics and WOW. Like a couple of cosmic roller-coaster rides, both efforts are crammed with dazzling melodies and playful sounds. BACKUP PLAN: Amigo the Devil, Flip Cassidy, Natasha Duchene @ The Shakedown Bar.
Saturday, Feb. 16
PLAN A: OM, Sir Richard Bishop, ANA/ @ The Casbah. In an eternal quest toward stoner-rock transcendence, San Francisco duo OM (which features a former member of stoner gods Sleep) went into full meditation mode on last year's Advaitic Songs, adding strings, chants and Eastern percussion to their doomy lurch. Meanwhile, guitar genius Sir Richard Bishop touches on everything from Indian classical music to Western swing on his 2012 album Intermezzo. PLAN B: The Colin L. Orchestra, Residual Echoes, Penis Hickey, Mudhead @ The Kava Lounge Gallery. The Colin L. Orchestra should be a treat for any weirdo who loved iconic noiserock freakazoids The USA is a Monster—this orchestra is fronted by USA's Colin Langenus. But I'm just as excited to see Penis Hickey, an amazing, hilarious and profoundly bizarre "freejazzcore" duo I write about here. BACKUP PLAN: Steve Poltz, The Rugburns, Glen Phillips, Tristan Prettyman, The Lovebirds, Jack Tempchin @ Belly Up Tavern.
Sunday, Feb. 17
PLAN A: Old English, VAMPIRE, Skrapez @ Soda Bar. National City's Old English have been holding it down in the underground hip-hop scene for a while now, and their solid, recently released album Band in Amerikkka is well worth a listen. Don't miss Skrapez, who'll happily blow out your eardrums with their confrontational beats. BACKUP PLAN: Blackalicious, Chali 2na, DJ GarGar @ Belly Up Tavern.
Monday, Feb. 18
PLAN A: Retox, Wha?, Secret Fun Club, Ghetto Blaster @ The Griffin. Throwing down quick bursts of ferocious hardcore punk, Retox are almost therapeutic in their madness. Wha?, a spooky post-punk band featuring local musician Ben Johnson, is a bit more dance-y. BACKUP PLAN: Space Town Savior, Mike Bleeds, Hyperwave, Wizwars, Dasid, Jiffypop23 @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Feb. 19
PLAN A: Night Beds, John Meeks @ The Casbah. Local dude John Meeks isn't like most country singers—he doesn't wear a cowboy hat, for one—but his soft voice and stunning ballads would wrench a tear from even the hardest cattle-hand.