Wednesday, June 5
PLAN A: Cut Hands, Black Rain @ The Void. While many noise artists are content to bludgeon the listener with droning feedback, William Bennett takes a more ritualistic approach with his "Afro noise" project Cut Hands. Crossing twisted electronics with gnarled rhythms performed on djembe and doun-doun drums, he sounds like a cyberpunk cyborg leading a West African possession ceremony. PLAN B: Generationals, Young Empires @ The Casbah. In the mood for a happy-go-lucky dance party? New Orleans duo Generationals have you covered. Bearing loads of guitar-pop jingle-jangle, they're relentlessly breezy and quite charming. BACKUP PLAN: Suburban Campers, El Toro De La Muerte, The Paper Thins @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, June 6
PLAN A: Cayucas, JBM @ The Casbah. With their quirky, sun-dappled tunes, Santa Monica indie-popsters Cayucas come across like a harmless, off-brand Vampire Weekend. But I'm on to them! In a video recently recorded for NPR—in which they sit poolside and strum out an acoustic rendition of their song "High School Lover"—they take the form of a hipster Sublime. PLAN "ME": Bruisecaster, Vaginals, Invisible Path @ Tin Can Ale House. If you were actually me, youíd be onstage tonight, screaming into the microphone and rocking out with my gnarly disco-sludge band Bruisecaster. But you're not actually me, so you'll just have to stand in the audience. That doesn't mean you can't scream along, though. BACKUP PLAN: Grace Potter and The Nocturnals @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay.
Friday, June 7
PLAN A: The Dwarves, The Fuzz Bombs, Coda Reactor @ Soda Bar. Nearly 25 years after making their Sub Pop debut with an album whose cover bore two naked women and a dwarf covered in blood, The Dwarves are still doing all they can to rile you up and gross you out with lewd punk-rock anthems. PLAN B: The Black Sands, Kenneth Brian Band, Mrs. Henry @ Tin Can Ale House. If Alabama country outfit Kenneth Brian Band were barbecue, it'd be an overcooked turkey leg—seemingly impressive but much too dry. Still, stick around for locals The Black Sands, whose catchy melodies come wrapped in dark, moody folk-rock vibes. BACKUP PLAN: Nekromantix, Silver Shine, The Gore Horsemen @ The Casbah.
Saturday, June 8
PLAN A: The Tree Ring @ Laguna Mountain Recreation Center (2 p.m.). To get to this "hike-in" show, you'll have to drive an hour east of Downtown and then walk three miles through the woods (or seven, if you feel like taking a more challenging route). That might sound tough, but there's no better way to catch The Tree Ring, whose gorgeous sound is steeped in nature. See tree ringmusic.com for directions, etc. PLAN B: The Donkeys, The Cat Burglars, TV Mike and The Scarecrows @ Soda Bar. When it comes to fun, easygoing vibes, no local band can step to The Donkeys. They've got cool hooks. They've got groovy guitar solos. They even have a member who occasionally jams out on sitar. BACKUP PLAN: The Beach Boys @ San Diego County Fair.
Sunday, June 9
PLAN A: Teenage Burritos, The Trashies, The Stalins of Sound, Kids in Heat @ The Tower Bar. Much like the burrito itself, Teenage Burritos provide a great deal of radness in a simple, compact package—their riffs are crude, their vocal harmonies ramshackle and their hooks irresistible. PLAN B: Dilated Peoples, People Under the Stairs, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Visionaries, Revolutionary Rhythm @ House of Blues. Beloved in the world of underground hip-hop, Dilated Peoples are masters of the soulful beat and the socially conscious rhyme. BACKUP PLAN: The Fixtures, New House @ Soda Bar.
Monday, June 10
PLAN A: Xander Harris, Pharaohs @ The Void. With a love for industrial, techno and horror-movie soundtracks, Xander Harris—who takes his name from a character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer—makes delightfully gloomy electro tracks that would sound right at home at The Bronze, that nightclub Buffy and her friends are always going to. BACKUP PLAN: Gregory Michael Thielmann @ Tin Can Ale House.
Tuesday, June 11
PLAN A: GZA @ Porter's Pub. A master of chess with a bulletproof flow, the GZA has always seemed like a smart guy. But the Wu-Tang Clan co-founder (alternate nickname: The Genius) really shows his wisdom on his upcoming new album, Dark Matter, which is themed around the Big Bang. BACKUP PLAN: Bad Veins, Harriet, Grampadrew @ The Casbah.