Wednesday, March 5
PLAN A: Gary Numan, Big Black Delta, Roman Remains @ Belly Up Tavern. Gary Numan is a new-wave legend. I'd guess anyone reading this right now already has his hit "Cars" memorized, and a fair amount are likely familiar with some of his even better songs, like, "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Down in the Park." I don't know about you, but with a catalog like that, there's no way I'd miss this show. PLAN B: Social Studies, AAN, Idyll Wild @ Soda Bar. San Francisco's Social Studies blend a little bit of dreamy synth-pop with some reverb-laden indie rock, resulting in something surprisingly fresh, no matter how familiar the separate components. If you prefer a more richly layered indie-pop sound, then this is the band for you. BACKUP PLAN: Painted Palms, Holychild, Kidtrails @ The Griffin.
Thursday, March 6
PLAN A: Warm Soda, Peach Kelli Pop, Big Tits @ The Hideout. Warm Soda is one of the less-appealing band names of late (though it's definitely no Diarrhea Planet), but the old-school melodic punk they create is excellent indeed. There's a little T. Rex here, some Saints there, and the whole Stiff Records catalog in between. BACKUP PLAN: JD Samson and Men, Mystery Cave @ Bar Pink.
Friday, March 7
PLAN A: The Pizza Underground, Toby Shank, DJ Mike Turi, DJ Kid Wonder @ U-31. The Pizza Underground is a pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, and Macaulay Culkin is their lead singer. All of this is true, which should be all the information you need to be convinced to see it firsthand. PLAN B: Typhoon, Phox, Line and Circle @ The Irenic. I've been over the umpteen-person indie-rock-orchestra thing for a long time (it happened somewhere between Edward Sharpe and Of Monsters of Men, I can assure you). And, yet, the idea of seeing Portland's 11-piece Typhoon at The Irenic sounds like it would be awesome. It helps that they write songs good enough to match their grandeur. BACKUP PLAN: The Casket Girls, The Stargazer Lillies, Dott, Dreamend @ The Hideout.
Saturday, March 8
PLAN A: Hills Like Elephants, Wild Wild Wets, Boy King, Jimmy Rueles @ The Casbah. Hills Like Elephants are releasing the first of three new EPs this year (see my review here), and for their release show, they're headlining a pretty damn solid lineup of local bands. Don't show up late! PLAN B: San Fermin, Son Lux @ The Loft at UCSD. San Fermin's art-pop is at times atmospheric and abstract, other times melancholy and dramatic. And while it's very cool, Son Lux's Steve Reich-ian electronic soundscapes are even better. One way or another, you're going to get a great show. BACKUP PLAN: Mystic Braves, Amerikan Bear, Muscle Beech @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, March 9
PLAN A: Russian Circles, Helms Alee, KEN Mode @ The Casbah. There are several competing metal shows tonight, which means that Satan is surely smiling upon San Diego. The best of the bunch finds three non-traditional (and awesome) heavy acts sharing the stage. Winnipeg's KEN Mode is my favorite among them, but you can't go wrong with Russian Circles or Helms Alee, either. PLAN B: Mirah, Ages and Ages @ The Loft at UCSD. Washington singer / songwriter Mirah is releasing her first solo album in five years, and in support, she's bringing her intricate indie folk our way. She writes a mean song—and she'll prove it in person. BACKUP PLAN: Scale the Summit, The Ocean, The Atlas Moth, Silver Snakes @ Soda Bar.
Monday, March 10
PLAN A: Tacocat, Teenage Burritos, Heartwarmer, DJ Robbie Butler @ Soda Bar. Not to keep talking about band names here, but Tacocat really lends itself to adorable visuals. And it's a palindrome, to boot! The band itself is hard not to like, all warm and fuzzy power-pop hooks and more vocal harmonies than you can shake a taco at. BACKUP PLAN: Ghetto Blaster, Ape Machine, Lord Howler, Young Rapscallions @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, March 11
PLAN A: Kronos Quartet @ Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD. It's kind of amazing that the Kronos Quartet have been performing for more than 40 years—even with several lineup changes—but they're a respected musical institution for a reason. The group's eclectic chamber music is innovative and frequently mesmerizing, not to mention the long list of collaborators they've worked with, which includes Philip Glass and Nine Inch Nails.