Wednesday, June 4
PLAN A: tUnE-yArDs, Sylvan Esso @ The Irenic. Merrill Garbus' oddball, cartoonish pop music is kind of an all-or-nothing proposal. Either you dig it (like me) or you absolutely can't stand it (like Chuck Klosterman). And if you fall in the latter camp, I can't do much for you, but if it's a goofball dance party you seek, this is where you should be. PLAN B: The Jezabels, Gold and Youth @ The Casbah. The Jezabels' single "Rosebud" sounds like a shoegazer Fleetwood Mac covering Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA." Amazing, right? Absolutely, which is why you should carve out some time to see and hear the group's big, dreamy sound in person. BACKUP PLAN: Schitzophonics, Heavy Glow, Neighbors to the North, Grim Imperials @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, June 5
PLAN A: Love and the Skull, Stripes and Lines, The Llamadors, Privet @ Soda Bar. Local dudes Love and the Skull are a little bit garage rock, a little bit pop and a pretty heavy dose of The Smiths. Sounds like a formula for success, if you ask me. PLAN B: Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, The Palominos @ Til-Two Club. Tighten up your bolo tie, don your best stetson and button your Nudie suit, because we've got ourselves a great night of country rock and honky-tonk on El Cajon Boulevard. If you're the type who says, "I like all kinds of music—except country," then maybe this show will fix that for you.
Friday, June 6
PLAN A: Sister Juanita, Amerikan Bear, Grizzly Business, The Young Gents @ The Casbah. Anybody can throw some reverb and other disorienting effects on top of a power chord and call it psychedelic pop, but it takes a bit more effort to make it stand out from the paisley hordes. Sister Juanita have that extra-special something, playing melodic and captivating psych-pop that's reminiscent of The Dandy Warhols, if they were a lot less jokey. BACKUP PLAN: The Donkeys, Extra Classic, Octagrape, John Meeks @ The Irenic.
Saturday, June 7
PLAN A: Wanda Jackson, Shawn Rolf and the 7th Day Buskers @ The Casbah. Wanda Jackson is a total badass. She's one of the most iconic pioneers in rockabilly, along with the likes of Link Wray and Gene Vincent, and she's got a deep catalog full of fun and impossibly catchy classics. My personal favorite is "Funnel of Love," which started as a B-side but came to be one of her most celebrated songs. PLAN B: Lionel Richie, Cee-Lo Green @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre. We had a little chat about this at CityBeat HQ, and the consensus was that, corny or not, going to see Lionel Richie would probably be a blast. The man's got more hits than I can count, and you probably know all the words. "Hello / Is it me you're looking for?" BACKUP PLAN: Little Hurricane, Lincoln Durham, Ed Ghost Tucker @ House of Blues.
Sunday, June 8
PLAN A: Fatso Jetson, The Freeks, The Finkbombs, Disastroid @ Tower Bar. Sgt. Fatso Judson was Ernest Borgnine's character in From Here to Eternity, but Fatso Jetson are pioneers of desert rock. Long before Queens of the Stone Age were headlining festivals, this Palm Desert group was bringing thunder in heavy doses. PLAN B: Brownout presents Brown Sabbath @ The Casbah. Brownout is a Latin funk band from Austin, which is cool enough on its own. But, on this tour, they're putting their soulful spin on the Black Sabbath catalog. Seriously, check out the live video of "The Wizard" on their Facebook page and you'll be convinced. BACKUP PLAN: Wild Ones, Idyll Wild, Paper Days @ Soda Bar.
Monday, June 9
PLAN A: Rocky Votolato, Lotte Kestner, Kevin Long @ The Casbah. It seems like this week, San Diego's being invaded by an unusual number of acts from Washington, including singer / songwriter Rocky Votolato. Back in the day, he was a member of punk band Waxwing, but he's long since mellowed out, instead favoring a much prettier, more personal indie-folk sound.
Tuesday, June 10
PLAN A: King Buzzo, Field, O @ The Casbah. Pacific Northwest sludgemongers The Melvins put The Casbah on their itinerary on a regular basis, but now the group's leader, King Buzzo, is returning as part of a solo jaunt. It'll be something a little different, but knowing him, it'll still kick ass. PLAN B: The Current Swell, Danny and the Tramp, Creature and the Woods @ Soda Bar. The Current Swell play rowdy rock 'n' roll with lots of slide licks and harmonica. That might sound like a lot of bands, but I can assure you, they do it that much better.