Wednesday, April 16
PLAN A: Chrome Sparks, Pal&Drome, Tiger Milk Imports @ Soda Bar. Chrome Sparks is Brooklyn producer Jeremy Malvin—a cosmic beatmaker, soundscapist and all-around chill dude. The uninitiated would do well to listen to his Sparks EP from last year to get a good idea of the blissfully disorienting electronic sounds he conjures. If it's a mesmerizing, laid-back show you seek on a Wednesday evening, this is the place to be.
Thursday, April 17
PLAN A: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Shockwave Riderz @ The Casbah. Jon Spencer doesn't play no blues—he plays rock 'n' roll. And more than 20 years after first proving that point with raw, bluesy riffs and fiery, garage-rock intensity (and the vocal cadence of a Baptist preacher), the Blues Explosion are still going strong. They're one of the few Coachella acts you'll be able to catch in San Diego this week, so take advantage. PLAN B: Cypress Hill @ House of Blues. A lot of '90s hip-hop legends have been coming through town lately, from Too $hort to Mobb Deep. Now the perpetually blunted Cypress Hill are making a stop here, and while their most recent material isn't much to write home about, if they drop "Pigs" into the set, then it's all good.
Friday, April 18
PLAN A: Tropical Popsicle, Wild Wild Wets, The Electric Magpie, Slow White @ Til-Two Club. The San Diego Freak Out is back! The event, launched by Wild Wild Wets, offers another set of dark and trippy groups, including local favorites Tropical Popsicle and San Francisco's The Electric Magpie. Lava lamp optional. PLAN B: Loma Prieta, Fucking Invincible, Ghostlimb, Griever @ The Che Café. Hardcore punk comes in many varieties, though one that's been due for a resurgence of late is the awkwardly titled "Screamo" subgenre. San Francisco's Loma Prieta are one of the few that continue to keep the sound of blistering, emotional and rhythmically complex hardcore alive, and for that, I raise my invisible orange. BACKUP PLAN: Marsha Ambrosius, Miki Vale @ House of Blues.
Saturday, April 19
PLAN A: Kids, Michael Vidal, Post-Life, French Vanilla, Nimzo Indians @ The Che Café. Kids earned the esteemed "Extraspecialgood" designation for their entry in our 2014 Great Demo Review and put on a hell of a show. (They kinda upstaged Perfect Pussy a couple weeks ago—just sayin'.) So get on it already and see these dynamic, high-energy indie rockers prove themselves onstage. PLAN B: WL, Colleen Green, Lube @ The Hideout. As far as I can tell, WL is pronounced "well," and the Portland group does shoegaze that alternates between colossally loud and ethereal and gorgeous. Either way, you're going to hear something great. BACKUP PLAN: Badabing, JJCNV, Sleeping Ghost @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, April 20
PLAN A: King Parrot, Vattnet Viskar, Memory @ Soda Bar. King Parrot are a pretty ridiculous metal band from Melbourne, Australia, and I'm sure they're entertaining and all, but the band you should really check out is Vattnet Viskar, a North American black-metal group that has the ambience and the melodies to match its blast-beat intensity.
Monday, April 21
PLAN A: Deadphones, Kithkin, Tropical Popsicle @ The Loft at UCSD. If you haven't seen Deadphones live yet, I have to ask: What's the freakin' hold-up? Sure, you probably caught them as Cuckoo Chaos sometime in the last couple of years, but they're a lot different now if you didn't get the memo. Dark vibes, dreamy atmosphere—great stuff.
Tuesday, April 22
PLAN A: Thou, Dangers, Cloudrat, Age of Collapse @ The Che Café. There's heavy and then there's heavy. And Baton Rouge sludge-metal band Thou is definitely heavy. Their newest album, Heathen, is an epic slab of molasses-speed metal density that blocks sunlight and good vibes with its crushing enormity. I just hope The Che is testing the structural integrity of its building. PLAN B: Ancient Warlocks, Chiefs, Lazy Cobra, Hobosexual @ Tower Bar. If you want something that's just heavy but not necessarily heavy, then head to Tower Bar for Ancient Warlocks, who offer a more accessible take on melodic stoner metal. Metal shouldn't always be so terrifying, and if you agree, then here's where you should be. BACKUP PLAN: Ancient River, Amerikan Bear, Raja Lyon, Sister Juanita @ Soda Bar.