Wednesday, Jan. 8
PLAN A: No Knife, SISU, Modern Rifles @ The Casbah. If you only go to one show this week, and you don't already have tickets to the sold-out Jan. 9 No Knife show, then, for the love of all that is holy, go to this one. The last time No Knife played The Casbah was five years ago, during the venue's 20th anniversary, which gives you some indication of how often they come out of hiding. They're one of the finest rock bands this city has ever produced—don't miss out. PLAN B: Badabing, Kodiak, Stalins of Sound @ Tin Can Ale House. But there are other great local bands to see in San Diego the same night, like this triple bill of eardrum-wrecking bands, each of which provides a different flavor of gnarly. BACKUP PLAN: Netherfriends, Chrome Wilderness, Swim Team, Vulpixic @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Jan. 9
PLAN A: Barbarian, Spirit Vine, Young Wants @ The Griffin. Click here for our feature on local post-punks Barbarian, who plan to release their debut album later this year. They describe it as darker than anything they've done before, so wear black to this show.
Friday, Jan. 10
PLAN A: Mobb Deep, Chris Young Raps, DJ Jam @ House of Blues. Next year is the 20th anniversary of Mobb Deep's breakthrough album, The Infamous, which can go toe-to-toe with any of the biggest East Coast hip-hop records of the '90s. And, for that matter, few can compete with the kind of lyrical menace that Prodigy and Havoc wreak. This will be one of two appearances they make in San Diego this year, so be sure to hit up at least one of them. PLAN B: Monochromacy, Karl Blau, Jason Begin, Steve Flato @ Craftlab Gallery. Looking to get weird in the new year, and willing to make the trek up to Oceanside to do so? Then Stay Strange has the show for you, a North County noise showcase featuring guitarist Monochromacy, K Records alum Karl Blau and micro-cassette artist Jason Begin. Let that freak flag fly. BACKUP PLAN: Brothers Weiss, Strange Vine, Buddy Banter @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, Jan. 11
PLAN A: Sweet and Tender Hooligans, The Companies @ The Casbah. Just before The Casbah announced its 25th anniversary, Sweet and Tender Hooligans, Los Angeles' Smiths tribute act, celebrated their 20th, which is an impressive length of time for a band to be together. In fact, it's four times the lifespan of the actual Smiths. And since that band's never getting back together, here's the next best thing. PLAN B: Nipsey Hu$$le @ Porter's Pub. Nipsey Hu$$le's name is one of my favorite hip-hop puns, just beneath Fidel Cashflow, but the Southern California MC has the skills to back up the double dollar signs in his moniker. If hardcore hip-hop with laid-back beats is your thing, then roll on up to this one. BACKUP PLAN: Muscle Beech, Cinder Cone, Front Removal @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, Jan. 12
PLAN A: KIDS, Sheep's Head, Great Ghosts, Suzy's Dead, Pretty Teen @ The Che Café. Local indie rockers KIDS are releasing a brand-new cassette titled Growing Up, and based on a recently surfaced live recording of new track "Mess," the band's getting into some dense, heavy territory. And, by golly, I like it. Whether or not you have the proper hardware to play their newly released analog goods, experiencing the songs live is a capital idea.
Monday, Jan. 13
PLAN A: Janelle Monae, Roman Gianarthur @ House of Blues. Janelle Monae had to cancel her September appearance in San Diego due to some vocal exhaustion, but the conceptually driven, stylish and dynamic singer is making good on that rain check. Her new album, The Electric Lady, sounds better to these ears with each listen, so having a little extra time to spend with her new songs has only made anticipation rise for her inevitable return. Make sure to wear your (apocalyptic) dancing shoes. BACKUP PLAN: The Meat Packers, The Midnight Pine, Hong Kong Fuzz @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Jan. 14
PLAN A: Pinback, Deathfix, Octa#grape @ The Casbah. Considering how big a crowd Pinback drew at the Del Mar Racetrack last summer, it's hard to pass up an opportunity to see the group play in a club as intimate as The Casbah. Their taut indie-pop tunes always made more sense in a club than on a big outdoor stage, anyhow, so your best bet is to take advantage of it. BACKUP PLAN: The Lonely Wild, Low Volts, The Palace Ballroom @ Soda Bar.