Wednesday, Dec. 25
PLAN A: Plump Christmas Goose, Wassail, Die Hard @ Your House. It's not like the weather in San Diego's going to prevent anyone from getting anywhere, but Christmas typically isn't optimal, nightlife-wise. Stay home, sip from the punchbowl, put on your ugliest sweater and watch the holiday film of your choice. Yippee-ki-yay, Mister Falcon.
Thursday, Dec. 26
PLAN A: The Growlers, The Abigails, Mystic Braves @ Belly Up Tavern. If cheeky, sexually suggestive lyrics, psychedelic melodies and hooks that won't quit are your idea of a good time, then The Growlers are for you. The Dana Point band's been freaking out the squares for eight years and new album Hung at Heart is their best yet.
Friday, Dec. 27
PLAN A: Mrs. Magician, Census, The Rosalyns, Sevens @ Soda Bar. It's a major bummer that Mrs. Magician (and their alter-egos, Mrs. Physician) will call it quits after this show. So, put this high on your priority list to close out 2013. I've seen them three times in the last year, and they're consistently one of the best live bands in San Diego. See them prove it one last time. PLAN B: The Donkeys, Rafter, Teenage Burritos @ The Casbah. Maybe you just want to mellow out with some sunny guitar jangle, though, and The Donkeys definitely have you covered on that front. Add in Rafter and Teenage Burritos and, baby, you got a (kickass local-music) stew goin'!
Saturday, Dec. 28
PLAN A: Cuckoo Chaos, Snuffalufagus, The Most Hi @ Soda Bar. Sigh. Here's another band that's closing out its legacy with one last hurrah. But fret not! Cuckoo Chaos are merely morphing into an entirely new band with a new sound and some exciting developments to be revealed shortly. The next phase of the band's career will launch soon, so if you want to hear any of the old hits, this might be your only chance. PLAN B: Get Back Loretta, The Heavy Guilt, The Palace Ballroom, Chess Wars, Swambi @ The Casbah. From time to time, you'll see a lineup of local bands so stacked with talent that it's hard to resist. Now, this is a rare evening in late December with some steep competition, but if you don't make it to Soda Bar, you'd better be at The Casbah. BACKUP PLAN: Sound Lupus, Isleside, Quad IX, Six String Samurai @ The Griffin.
Sunday, Dec. 29
PLAN A: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up Tavern. Camper Van Beethoven's "Take the Skinheads Bowling" is a classic slice of smart-assed indie rock. Everyone knows this. But the rest of the band's catalog is solid, as well, particularly 1989's underrated Key Lime Pie. And if one David Lowery band isn't enough for you, Camper and Cracker are dual-headlining this special all-Lowery evening. PLAN B: Plastic City Pariah, Northamericas, Moonshine, A New Ending @ Soda Bar. Local folk-punks Plastic City Pariah have a song called "Disco with the Schizo" and tag their demo on Bandcamp as "skumz." I don't know about you, but I'm sold!
Monday, Dec. 30
PLAN A: Bowiephonics, Shake Before Us, The Little Richards, Creepxotica, DJ Claire @ The Casbah. More than a few bands in San Diego have alter-egos, and two of them are performing in the same showcase—The Schitzophonics as David Bowie cover band Bowiephonics and The Creepy Creeps as lounge-surf act Creepxotica. That's just two-fifths of what promises to be a dynamite party. Not bad for a Monday. PLAN B: Plane without a Pilot, The New Addiction, 16 Sparrows @ Soda Bar. There's a lot of talk going around about an "emo revival" (search #emorevival on Twitter). And I don't know if this applies to Plane without a Pilot, but their heart-on-sleeve indie-rock tunes definitely give me that vibe. And that's (mostly) a good thing.
Tuesday, Dec. 31
PLAN A: Scarlet Symphony, Zodiac Death Valley, Hills Like Elephants @ Soda Bar. Scarlet Symphony have broken up a few times, but that doesn't make this reunion show any less special—and on New Year's Eve at that! If you're feeling nostalgic, or just prefer your NYE blowout a little bit farther away from Downtown, this is the place to be. PLAN B: Wild Wild Wets, Barbarian, DJ Barry Thomas @ Seven Grand. Another great way to finish off the year is with two of the best bands in San Diego right now, bringing their heady psychedelic atmosphere to Seven Grand. I hear Clocksy might hit up this one (there will be Wild Turkey specials).