Wednesday, Dec. 24
PLAN A: Scheff's All Star Band Doing the Rolling Stones, Schitzophonics Stone Soul Christmas Revue, The Little Richards @ The Casbah. Ordinarily this is where you'd see "Exile in Kettner Blvd.," the annual Rolling Stones cover show at The Casbah. It's taking a break this year, but you can still catch three sure-to-be-rollicking covers sets, including The Schitzophonics playing soulful Christmas tunes. Consider this an early request for James Brown's "Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto."
Thursday, Dec. 25
PLAN A: Roast Beast, Eggnog, A Charlie Brown Christmas @ Your House. If you're looking for a show to go to on Christmas, you're out of luck. And I'm going to go ahead and recommend that you take it easy, anyway. This is a day for feasting and family or, failing that, booze and TV marathons. Take the night off—you've earned it.
Friday, Dec. 26
PLAN A: The Adolescents, Widows, Shady Francos, Bumbklaat @ The Casbah. Alright, now that you've got a day of rest on the books, it's time to get back out there and thrash with the best of them. The Adolescents are hardcore-punk legends, and just because there's a little snow on the roof doesn't mean they can't still smash a few windows. Pro tip: If you dress in layers, you'll last longer in the pit. PLAN B: Snuffaluffagus, Other Bodies, Tan Tien, DJ Keith Sweaty @ Soda Bar. Or, you can preserve your ribcage at a much more chill show headlined by blissfully smooth group Snuffaluffagus—not every show has to rip your face off to be good.
Saturday, Dec. 27
PLAN A: Hideout, Wild Wild Wets, Other Bodies @ Soda Bar. San Diego / New York duo Hideout are making their live debut, and with two extra musicians on stage with them to fully flesh out their sound. I reviewed their debut album, Rookie, recently, and liked it a lot, so I'd make this a high priority after you spend a night sleeping off the holiday cheer. PLAN B: Get Back Loretta, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, Madly, Creature and the Woods @ The Casbah. If you're more in the mood for an old favorite than a brand-new group, then head to The Casbah to see longtime local favorites Get Back Loretta, along with soulful super-group (and recent San Diego Music Award winners) Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact. There will be grooves aplenty. BACKUP PLAN: Jimmy Ruelas @ Seven Grand.
Sunday, Dec. 28
PLAN A: Second Cousins, Rosewood and Rye @ Sycamore Den. Great folk and Americana goes well with bourbon, just as a general rule, and you can have both in ample supply at this show. Grab yourself an old fashioned and get cozy while Second Cousins serenade you with their gorgeous harmonies. PLAN B: The Cobra-Las, Save Amos, Future Crooks, Aim for the Engine @ The Casbah. The Cobra-Las are self-described on their Facebook page as "hooker-STOMP." Need I say more?
Monday, Dec. 29
PLAN A: Jonah Matranga, Blake Bosgieter, Daniel Godfrey @ The Hideout. Jonah Matranga has hosted a number of notable emo and post-hardcore bands, including Far and Onelinedrawing, so there's a good chance his solo shows will bring a similar amount of emotion and melody. So get out there and feel something. PLAN B: Belle Noire, Articles, The Moderates, Hearts Like Lions @ Soda Bar. The name Belle Noire might not ring a bell just yet, but the San Jose band has a dreamy indie-pop sound that recalls Local Natives, or a more pop-friendly Grizzly Bear. There's maybe a little too much polish in their music, but beneath the gloss, the melodies are definitely worth hearing. BACKUP PLAN: Josh Damigo and the Freeloaders, The Lyrical Groove, Talk Like June, B Willing @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Dec. 30
PLAN A: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up Tavern. David Lowery is famous for fronting two bands—Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven—and, wouldn't you know it, they're playing a double headlining set just as the year comes to a close. Between the two groups, there are countless classics to anticipate, but if they decide to do a medley of "Low" and "Take the Skinheads Bowling," that would really be something. PLAN B: Hot Chip DJ set @ The Casbah. OK, seeing Hot Chip at The Casbah (which I did back in 2006) would be a little more exciting than a DJ set from two of the dudes in the band, but they've got great taste, and going out the night before New Year's Eve sounds more appealing to me than braving the crowds on Dec. 31. Prepare to dance. BACKUP PLAN: Lowlands, Prayers, Keepers, Angel Dust @ Soda Bar.