Wednesday, Nov. 19
PLAN A: Shake Before Us, Flaggs, Soft Lions, Shady Francos @ The Casbah. Garage-pop group Flaggs are releasing a new EP, and this release show sounds like a pretty sweet way to spend a Wednesday evening. There are four great local bands playing, and if it's anything like Flaggs' new video for "Got You Down," it'll turn into a kick-ass pool party with surfing dogs. PLAN B: Steel Bearing Hand, Ghoulgotha, Idols Plague @ Tower Bar. Dallas' Steel Bearing Hand is one of those metal bands that dabbles in it all—black metal, death metal, thrash, grindcore, etc. It's kind of the new normal in metal: It's hard to make a splash when your approach is too rigid. They're also pretty good at all the sounds they take on, so that's another notch in the "pro" column.
Thursday, Nov. 20
PLAN A: Frontier Ruckus, Dead Satellites, Speaker In Reverse @ Soda Bar. Not every band that plays guitars has to do so with the distortion cranked all the way up. Frontier Ruckus understands this; the Detroit group has the kind of shimmering guitar sound that recalls early R.E.M. or mid-'80s Paisley Underground bands, touched up with horns, piano and other sonic bric-a-brac. It's pretty stuff but still kinda rocks.
Friday, Nov. 21
PLAN A: Kevin Morby, The Paragraphs, Le Ra @ Soda Bar. Kevin Morby used to play bass in psychedelic-folk outfit Woods, but he's gone solo, and his own folky, jangle-pop tunes are at least as good as his former band's—maybe better. Check out his new album, Still Life, which mixes garage-rock energy with a penchant for warm, fuzzy balladry. PLAN B: Nekrogoblikon, Theosis, The Midas Touch @ Porter's Pub. OK, here's the deal: The style of melodic death metal that Santa Barbara's Nekrogoblikon play isn't necessarily anything special. It's fine, just not terribly innovative. But their singer performs in a goblin mask, so, at the very least, you'll have some fun watching them. It doesn't have to be Halloween for you to enjoy some goblin metal. BACKUP PLAN: The Woggles, The Rosalyns, The Diddley Daddies, DJ Tony the Tyger @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, Nov. 22
PLAN A: Love Revisited, The Loons, Bunnynose @ The Casbah. I'm not crazy about nostalgia trips, but if it's the right artist and album, then sometimes it's worth it. Love Revisited are helmed by original Love guitarist Johnny Echols, and they're performing the entirety of Forever Changes. Now, it might not be quite as amazing as when Shuggie Otis performed with the band after the passing of vocalist Arthur Lee, but I'm still thinking it'll be a show worth seeing. PLAN B: Purling Hiss, Octagrape, Die Mißbildungen Des Menschen @ The Hideout. Purling Hiss are hands-down one of the loudest bands I've ever seen live. It didn't help that, when I saw them, they were sandwiched between two other super-loud bands. My ears must have been ringing for a week. So bring earplugs, and you'll be prepared for their hard-rocking good times. BACKUP PLAN: Ed Ghost Tucker, Beginners, Nicky Venus @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 23
PLAN A: Space Heat, Habits, Alligator Indian, Via Meteor @ Soda Bar. Bleeding Gold Records is throwing a showcase party at Soda Bar, featuring some cool bands that you should get to know if you haven't yet, including synth-glam outfit Habits and North Carolina new-wave weirdos Alligator Indian.
Monday, Nov. 24
PLAN A: Island Boy, The Black and the White, Bakkuda @ The Casbah. If you haven't yet shaken your posterior to the exotic, synth-laden sounds of Island Boy, you're missing out on one of the best artists in San Diego right now. Richard Hunter-Rivera mixes post-punk, Latin and electronic music in one heady and danceable blend. BACKUP PLAN: Life Leone, Foreign Film, Does it Explode @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Nov. 25
PLAN A: Alvvays, Absolutely Free, Scruffles @ Soda Bar. Click here for my feature this week on Toronto indie-pop group Alvvays, whose reverb-heavy guitars and unshakeable melodies have made their self-titled debut album one of the year's most endlessly listenable records. While you're at it, arrive a little early for Absolutely Free, who combine krautrock grooves with synth-pop melodies. PLAN B: Taurus Authority, Sueno Stereo @ The Merrow. Taurus Authority are a trio comprising DJ Greyboy, drummer Jake Najor and keyboardist Delmos Wade, and their combined years of experience add up to one chill, funky sound. If your Tuesday night is too rhythm deficient, move your ass on over to this show.