Wednesday, July 3
PLAN A: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts @ Del Mar Fairgrounds. Joan Jett has been playing music for 38 years, and she's still way more punk than you. She's produced records by Bikini Kill and Circus Lupus, covered Baltimore post-hardcore weirdoes Lungfish, and—oh, right—only wrote and recorded some of the most badass rock songs of all time. Go for "Bad Reputation" alone. PLAN B: Opportunist, Batwings, Nite Ritual @ The Void. Arkansas' Opportunist play a weird mutation on punk with lots of bizarre tunings, but make sure to get there early for no-wave bruisers Batwings, whose mix of hardcore intensity and avant-garde weirdness will intensify your evening significantly. BACKUP PLAN: Royal Teeth, Colorist, Bulletins @ The Casbah.
Thursday, July 4
PLAN A: Fireworks, Burgers, Beer @ Your House. It's the Fourth of July, and you should be spending it with loved ones, observing the great American tradition of getting loaded and watching stuff explode. Our founding fathers would have wanted it that way. PLAN B: Grounders, Island Boy @ Soda Bar. If you must leave the house, however, check out Grounders, who evoke the likes of Grizzly Bear with their gorgeous productions.
Friday, July 5
PLAN A: Marsupials, Low Volts, Ghetto Blaster, Not in the Face @ The Casbah. First things first: Not in the Face is a name so good I wish I had thought of it. But, more importantly, head to The Casbah on Friday to check out Marsupials, whose intense, heavy punk sound recalls The Jesus Lizard at their sludgiest. PLAN B: Fleetwood Mac @ Viejas Arena. Don't. Stop. Thinking about tomorrow. Because, really, there probably aren't that many tours left in Fleetwood Mac's future. They were barely keeping it together in 1977, after all. But the infamously scandal-heavy rock legends are touring now, and even 36 years later, "The Chain" still rocks pretty hard. BACKUP PLAN: Dirt Dress, Mars Water, Sweet Valley Slumber Party, Sunblock @ Che Café.
Saturday, July 6
PLAN A: Oblivians, Octa#grape, Shake Before Us, The Kabbs @ The Casbah. Get yer ass ready for a rowdy time, because after 16 years, Memphis' Oblivians are finally back, and they're bound to cause a ruckus. The Southern bruisers do garage rock like they did back in the late '60s, with a lot of fuzz and little regard for caution. They've got a brand new album, but if they pull out a classic like "Guitar Shop Asshole" or "Do the Milkshake," brace yourself for a wild ride. PLAN B: Tiny Telephones, St. Cloud Sleepers, Bulletproof Tiger, Nicky Venus @ Soda Bar. It's fitting that Tiny Telephones have been compared to both M83 and Explosions in the Sky, as the local post-rock outfit combine the synth-driven ambience of the former with the dynamic heroism of the latter. Their instrumental dreamscapes will have you stargazing into your Christpuncher.
Sunday, July 7
PLAN A: Cash Crop, Slow Mover @ The Void. If you didn't get enough ribs or burgers on the Fourth of July, or they just weren't punk-rock enough for your palate, then get over to The Void for a BBQ Matinee with Cash Crop, a Southern California post-hardcore band that should make for a nicely abrasive complement to the smoky mesquite.
Monday, July 8
PLAN A: The Body, Subservient Fuck, Age of Collapse, Griever @ The Che Café. Got a case of the Mondays? Well, Providence doom-metal duo The Body will definitely make you feel much, much worse. The band excels at bleak, slow-moving apocalyptic churn, which can actually be quite moving when the band's not at its most utterly terrifying. I'd suggest earplugs, but it's more your ribcage that you should be concerned about. PLAN B: Spellcaster, Exmortus, Mortus Terror @ Tower Bar. Then again, if you prefer old-school thrash metal with histrionic vocals, blazing solos, a high-speed rhythmic assault and a touch of horror-movie chills, Spellcaster is the band for you.
Tuesday, July 9
PLAN A: Weedeater, ASG, Lo Pan @ Soda Bar. Weedeater's pretty heavy and all, but the real reason to come to this show is ASG, a hook-laden, stoner-rock band who don't just play loud; they also write spectacular songs. Not that they don't have guitar heroism to spare—just don't be surprised if you end up singing along to their songs halfway through the set. BACKUP PLAN: The Sinclairs, Translation Audio, Real Things are Good, Ancient Sea @ The Griffin.