May 14 2013 06:06 PM

Hanni El Khatib, Damien Jurado and The Presidents of the U.S.A. are just some of the acts we're jazzed about this week

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Photo by Piper Ferguson

Wednesday, May 15

PLAN A: Callow, Jesus Gonzalez @ Lestat's. Following in the footsteps of veteran gloomsters like Nick Cave and The Black Heart Procession, San Francisco's Callow play richly arranged ballads that creep along at a funereal pace. Even though they're sad to the core, there's beauty to be found within. (Callow's also playing at Tin Can Ale House on Thursday, May 16.) PLAN B: The Touchies, Starcrossed, Marco Polo @ The Ruby Room. One of the quirkier bands I reviewed for this year's Great Demo Review, locals Marco Polo bust out bedroom-rock anthems with crunchy riffs, chintzy drum-machine beats and the occasional rap verse. It's a bit silly, but quite charming. BACKUP PLAN: Filligar, Dead Feather Moon @ The Griffin. 

Thursday, May 16

PLAN A: Okapi Sun, Baby Alpaca, Church Hustlers @ The Casbah. Now that Jamuel Saxon and Hyena have called it quits, it's nice to have a new local electro-pop duo around. Featuring pop singer Maren Parusel, Okapi Sun get the party started with MicroKorg hooks, Auto-Tuned vocals and thumping live drums. PLAN B: Sons of Fathers, Deadly Birds, The Grass Heat @ Soda Bar. Banking on the success of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, Austin's Sons of Fathers have gotten buzz from Rolling Stone for their breezy honky-tonk with twanging guitar licks and Everly Brothers-style vocal harmonies. BACKUP PLAN: "Skoolyard Bully" MC and Beatbox Battles @ Boar Crossín (Carlsbad).

Friday, May 17

PLAN A: Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang, Illuminauts @ The Void. Zany beats, ecstatic vocal chants, busy dance floors—these are just some of the things you get when you see Sierra Leone-born singer Janka Nabay and his faithful Bubu Gang, a band of hip New York musicians who lay down super-funky grooves in the vein of traditional Sierra Leonean "bubu music." PLAN B: Brian Ellis Band, Joy, Sacri Monti @ Tin Can Ale House. When he isn't toiling in his home studio or making beats for a goofy club-music side project, local dude Brian Ellis plays the part of a manic psych-rock maestro, churning out funky, acid-fried jams with organ and Fender Rhodes. BACKUP PLAN: The Burning of Rome, Low Volts, The New Kinetics, Zero Zero @ The Casbah.

Saturday, May 18

PLAN A: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Purple Pilgrims, Tropical Popsicle @ The Casbah. A notorious wild card, Ariel Pink is just as adept at pulling off warped sonic shenanigans as sublime songwriting feats. Curiously enough, he just released Thrash & Burn, a collection of early recordings inspired by avant-garde, musique concrète composers like Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Schaeffer. PLAN B: Damien Jurado, John Meeks, Matt Curreri @ Soda Bar. Sad-sack Seattle songwriter Damien Jurado is currently on a tour that'll take him to house shows across the nation. He doesn't plan to hit any abodes in San Diego, but this should nevertheless be a hushed, intimate affair. BACKUP PLAN: North Park Festival of the Arts @ University Ave. & 30th St. (11 a.m.-6 p.m.).

Sunday, May 19

PLAN A: The Black Angels, Hanni El Khatib, Wall of Death @ Belly Up Tavern. It's always nice to bask in the drone-psych goodness of The Black Angels, but don't miss L.A. rocker Hanni El Khatib. On his new album, Head in the Dirt, El Khatib serves up a batch of rip-roaring guitar jams that're perfect for a bar fight or a one-night-stand, whichever comes first. PLAN B: The Appleseed Cast, Hospital Ships, Tiny Telephones @ The Casbah. "Post-rock" has been around so long that the genre seems to have lost its revolutionary luster, but Kansas post-rockers The Appleseed Cast will still lull you into a trance and then punch you in the face with their dreamy guitar textures and loud-quiet-loud dynamics. BACKUP PLAN: Hands, Social Club, Super Water Sympathy @ Soda Bar.

Monday, May 20

PLAN A: Pompeya, Church Hustlers, Orange Anima @ Soda Bar. Pompeya come from Moscow, but they'd fit right in on the beaches of Southern California—their catchy indie-disco bursts with sunny, chill vibes. 

Tuesday, May 21

PLAN A: The Presidents of the United States of America, Eternal Summers @ Belly Up Tavern. Did you ever listen to any of the albums The Presidents of the United States of America put out after their self-titled debut? Yeah, me neither. Tonight, they'll play the awesome 1995 album front to back. BACKUP PLAN: JJAMZ, Hills Like Elephants, Inspired & The Sleep @ The Griffin.

Email or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.


See all events on Monday, Dec 5