Wednesday, Oct. 30
PLAN A: Dax Riggs, The Palace Ballroom @ The Casbah. Dax Riggs once fronted sludge-metal weirdoes Acid Bath but now focuses on bluesy garage rock that's a little more accessible to those disinclined to enjoy molasses-speed churn. Henry Rollins is a fan, and if it's good enough for Henry, then it's good enough for me. PLAN B: Lord Dying, Black Queen, Archons @ The Void. If it's sludge metal you're looking for, though, then it would be best to head to The Void for Lord Dying, whose thick riffs recall High on Fire's meatiest moments. BACKUP PLAN: Gateway Hugs, Slow Season, Boondock Brothers @ Tin Can Ale House.
Thursday, Oct. 31
PLAN A: Rocket from the Crypt, The Creepy Creeps, Deadbolt, Beehive and the Barracudas, Mrs. Magician, Devfits @ House of Blues. If you have the option to see Rocket from the Crypt on Halloween, then I think it's pretty clear that's what you should be doing on Oct. 31. For more Halloween shows this week, click here for a full rundown. PLAN B: Thee 4th Annual Halloween Spooktacular w/ Roxy Jones, Emerald Rats, Bangladesh, Teddy Fantastico @ Soda Bar. Another Halloween option is this party, in which local bands dress up as their favorite musicians and play cover sets. BACKUP PLAN: Blood Dancer, Coda Reactor, Lord Howler @ Tin Can Ale House.
Friday, Nov. 1
PLAN A: Father John Misty, Kate Berlant @ House of Blues. Father John Misty, aka onetime Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, does ragged folk rock that sticks to your ribs and burrows its way into your brain. Beards and western shirts optional. PLAN B: The Schitzophonics, Shake Before Us, Flaggs, Chinese Rocks @ The Casbah. Or you could keep it local and check out The Schitzophonics, whose dynamic stage presence and hard-rocking tunes guarantee a fiery, drunken good time for all. BACKUP PLAN: Wreck of the Zephyr, Gateway Hugs, Ultra Violent Rays, Dead Broke Down, Masteria @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, Nov. 2
PLAN A: The Sadies, The Loons @ The Casbah. When not collaborating with Neko Case or The Mekons' Jon Langford, The Sadies are strumming out some jangly, alt-country tunes with a bit of Southwestern noir and some surf influence. They've made many stops at The Casbah, and each time, it's a hootenanny-and-a-half. PLAN B: Flatbush Zombies, Bodega Bamz @ Porter's Pub. Up-and-coming Brooklyn hip-hop outfit Flatbush Zombies built some buzz with the release of mixtapes D.R.U.G.S. and Better Off Dead, which blend atmospheric darkness with a heavy synth sound and off-beat but on-point lyrical skills. Expect them to blow up in a big way in 2014. BACKUP PLAN: Busdriver, Kool A.D. @ The Void.
Sunday, Nov. 3
PLAN A: Deerhoof, LXMP, Kids @ The Irenic. Bay Area art rockers Deerhoof have made an interesting evolution from a more abrasive, intense unit to one that puts a higher premium on melody. After more than a decade together, they've amassed a back-catalog of underground classics, from which they're likely to pluck quite a few highlights. PLAN B: Narrows, Early Graves, Secret Fun Club @ The Casbah. Seattle's Narrows are a hardcore super-group of sorts, featuring members of Botch, These Arms are Snakes and San Diego's own Some Girls. But the style of post-hardcore they play is heavy on melody and hooks, making a powerful sound even more fun. BACKUP PLAN: Ugly Boogie, The Heavy Guilt Duo @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Nov. 4
PLAN A: Subhumans, Bumbklaat, Sculpins, Records with Roger @ The Casbah. If you've never heard Subhumans, you've at least seen the British punk legends' logo embroidered onto some teenager's denim vest. But the band is still together and bringing U.K. anarchy back to the U.S. BACKUP PLAN: Teen Daze, Camp Counselors, Bruin @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Nov. 5
PLAN A: White Lung, Antwon @ Soda Bar. I caught White Lung earlier this year at SXSW in Austin, and the Canadian punk band delivered a blistering set. In 30 minutes, they'll singe your eyebrows off and give you one hell of a shiner. Bring a little extra padding and get into the pit. PLAN B: Gayle Skidmore, Debbie Neigher, Saba @ Tin Can Ale House. Gayle Skidmore won the San Diego Music Award for Best Singer / Songwriter this year, and it was a wise choice on the part of the voters. Her intricate indie folk is simply gorgeous. BACKUP PLAN: Active Child, JMSN, Lawrence Rothman @ The Casbah.