Wednesday, Oct. 8
PLAN A: Mark Gardener, Hether Fortune, Jacob Turnbloom @ The Casbah. Ride are pioneers, one of the most important bands of the shoegaze era in the early 1990s, and if you haven't listened to their first album, Nowhere, then you should get on that right this second. In any case, their frontman, Mark Gardener, is headlining a showcase of notable front-people—including Wax Idols' Hether Fortune and Mrs. Magicianís Jacob Turnbloom—that will be well worth your time. PLAN B: Saintseneca, Robert Francis and the Night Tide, Joel Jerome, Busman's Holiday @ Soda Bar. Ohio's Saintseneca made an unexpected move earlier this year when they dropped out of a festival headlined by R. Kelly, whose history of unsavory and possibly illegal sexual practices was the subject of a recent Village Voice story. But they don't just have integrity; they also have good songs, which range from intricate acoustic tracks to moody rock songs.
Thursday, Oct. 9
PLAN A: Barbarian, Tropical Popsicle @ Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. It's been a little while since I've recommended a Thursday Night Thing on this page, so now's as good a time as any to remind you that two of the best bands in town, Barbarian and Tropical Popsicle, are going to make your Thursday night a lot better with this outdoor show.
Friday, Oct. 10
PLAN A: Neil Rolnick @ Bread and Salt. You can always count on headliners of the Fresh Sound series to bring something interesting and unusual to San Diego, and this should be no exception. Neil Rolnick is a multi-instrumentalist who heavily incorporates synthesized and sampled sounds into his avant-garde performances. They range from disorienting to beautiful, and there's no reason why music can't be both simultaneously. PLAN B: Tacocat, Colleen Green @ The Hideout. Tacocat have a cuddly, indie-pop sound that's as warm and inviting as their name, but I just recently found out they also have their own branded ice-cream flavor! I don't know if they're bringing any pints to town, but it's worth finding out. BACKUP PLAN: La Santa Cecilia @ California Center for the Arts.
Saturday, Oct. 11
PLAN A: The Long and Short of It, Bumbklaat, Archons @ Soda Bar. Local bruisers The Long and Short of It took a well-earned break last year and were nominated for a San Diego Music Award for an album they didn't release. But they have a new album that's very real and plan to mark the occasion by rattling some ribcages at Soda Bar. BACKUP PLAN: Sleep ? Over, Vaniish, Body of Light, Tropical Popsicle @ The Hideout.
Sunday, Oct. 12
PLAN A: Ana Tijoux, The Earful @ Belly Up Tavern. Chilean artist Ana Tijoux raps in Spanish, but you don't need to be fluent to pick up on the vibe. In fact, you might already be familiar with her music if you watched Breaking Bad. If you didn't, school yourself—Tijoux's got the songwriting and lyrical skills to make you look at hip-hop entirely differently.
Monday, Oct. 13
PLAN A: The Horrors, Moon Duo @ Belly Up Tavern. The Horrors are keeping the dream-pop and shoegaze flame alive in their native U.K. and have progressed nicely since starting out as a kitschy shock-rock band. Those days are behind them, however, and they've been on an impressive streak ever since. PLAN B: Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Taurus Authority @ House of Blues. New local trio Taurus Authority, who appear in this week's "Notes from the Smoking Patio", are making their debut at House of Blues. And you might want to stick around for Mos Def, who's now calling himself Yasiin Bey. He hasn't done much in the last five years, but you never know—he could surprise you!
Tuesday, Oct. 14
PLAN A: David Bazan and Passenger String Quartet @ The Irenic. David Bazan made a name for himself as the songwriter and singer behind Pedro the Lion, but on this tour, he's performing with Passenger String Quartet, who lend his music a haunting elegance. This is a seated show, so no getting rowdy. PLAN B: Polica, Web of Sunsets @ The Casbah. I'm not always that crazy about the Doomtree collective. Some of the artists affiliated with the Minnesota network are alright (P.O.S.), and some are terrible (Gayngs), but Polica stand out by delivering fantastic electronic pop. BACKUP PLAN: J Roddy Walston and the Business, Fly Golden Eagle @ Belly Up Tavern.