Wednesday, Nov. 27
PLAN A: Stripes and Lines, Jackson Price, Ed Ghost Tucker @ The Casbah. Stripes and Lines appear to have learned all the right lessons from alt-rock, and the group finds the right balance between intensity and atmosphere, hooks and intrigue. Dance off a few calories before the big feast on Thursday. PLAN B: Too $hort, DJ Brett Bodley @ Fluxx. Oakland MC Too $hort is a hip-hop legend, having once sold 50,000 copies of an album the old-fashioned way: word of mouth and self-promotion. The posh Gaslamp club Fluxx might be an odd fit for his old-school West Coast g-funk, particularly with an enforced dress code, but as Tom Haverford of Parks and Recreation might say, "Treat yo self!" BACKUP PLAN: Nightlands, Stag, Jeans Wilder @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Nov. 28
PLAN A: Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Pie @ Your House. On Thanksgiving, this is the only lineup I care about. Sure, some punk band will probably put together a house show after everyone's drained the bottles in the liquor cabinet, but it's safe to say most of us will be nursing a pretty serious food coma by then. Just be careful if you're planning on deep-frying that bird. Pass me another drumstick!
Friday, Nov. 29
PLAN A: Fever the Ghost, Golden Beaches, Island Boy, Tiger Milk Imports @ Soda Bar. Los Angeles' Fever the Ghost haven't been around long, but they've been quickly building up buzz with their Syd Barrett-meets-T. Rex acid-laced rock freakouts. They may be green, but they most certainly rock. Get in on the ground floor and check them out before the buzz grows even louder. PLAN B: Sweatson Klank, DJ Pound, Sleeve, Nick Lang, Dream Repeat @ The Void. Paris-born, Los Angeles-based producer Sweatson Klank deals in grimy, atmospheric beatscapes that fit comfortably next to those of Flying Lotus or his extended Brainfeeder family. Shake the Thanksgiving hangover with some of his hallucinatory IDM.
Saturday, Nov. 30
PLAN A: Julianna Barwick, Mark McGuire @ Luce Loft. Click here for our feature on Julianna Barwick, a singer who uses her vocal abilities like an instrument, layering loops of her own voice until they create a heavenly, ambient sound. And come early for guitarist Mark McGuire, who creates some heady, psychedelic sounds of his own. PLAN B: Redd Kross, Octa#grape, Joel Jerome + Babies on Acid @ The Casbah. Redd Kross grew out of the L.A. punk scene of the '80s to evolve into a revered indie-rock group in the '90s. Their newest album, Researching the Blues, keeps intact their ultra-fun blend of power pop and glam rock. It's impossible to feel bad while listening to this band. BACKUP PLAN: Modern Life is War, Somali Pirates, Suspect @ The Che Café.
Sunday, Dec. 1
PLAN A: Capsula, The Wooly Bandits, Zero Zero @ The Casbah. Argentinian rock group Capsula have been honing their psychedelic alt-rock sound for 15 years, and in that time, they've toured with Tropicalia legends Os Mutantes and collaborated with David Bowie producer Tony Visconti. Check out their new album, Solar Secrets, for a fine display of hook-laden space-rock. BACKUP PLAN: Neighbors to the North, Muscle Beech, Cut @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Dec. 2
PLAN A: Nightmares on Wax, Illuminauts @ Belly Up Tavern. Nightmares on Wax, aka George Evelyn, is a trip-hop pioneer, having been recording down-tempo electronic material for more than two decades. And the U.K. producer just keeps on crafting new smoky, atmospheric and crackly grooves. Dance, chill out or just feel the vibes—this show will help wash Monday off after a long weekend.
Tuesday, Dec. 3
PLAN A: Kaki King, Jerome Holloway @ The Casbah. Whenever a magazine publishes a list of the greatest guitarists, somehow Kaki King manages to just miss the cut, which is baffling. She's one of the most talented contemporary guitarists, and she does her thing in the framework of a gorgeous pop song. Watch her fingerpicking style up close and be in awe. PLAN B: Secret Samurai, The Trebants @ Tin Can Ale House. It doesn't get very cold in San Diego in December, so it's not entirely out of the question to jam out to some instrumental surf-rock as the holidays draw near. Secret Samurai does old-school surf-guitar tunes that sit comfortably between The Ventures and Dick Daleóright where they belong. BACKUP PLAN: Together Pangea, The So So Glos, Buddy Banter @ Soda Bar.