Wednesday, Jan. 14
PLAN A: Pinback, Astra @ The Casbah. Another week, another Plan A for Pinback. But can you blame me? A Wednesday night at a Pinback show far outweighs a Wednesday night not at a Pinback show. BACKUP PLAN B: Amerikan Bear, Ocelot, The Blue Moonies @ Belly Up Tavern.
Thursday, Jan. 15
PLAN A: Mimi Zulu @ Seven Grand. Mimi Zulu brings the jams. The singer / songwriter has a unique style of funky soul that brings together elements of hip-hop, R&B and Gil Scott-Heron-style spoken word, with plenty of groove to spare. If you're inclined to shake your ass, then this is where you should be. PLAN B: Mutant Supremacy, Eukaryst, Ruines ov Abaddon @ The Merrow. On the other end of the spectrum is Mutant Supremacy, a death-metal band that you probably can't dance to, but you can certainly sustain some injuries while listening. And you know what, there's something to be said for a band that can kick your ass, metaphorically, of course. BACKUP PLAN: The New Kinetics, Gloomsday, Schitzophonics, Cardielles @ The Casbah.
Friday, Jan. 16
PLAN A: Wild Wild Wets, Kim and the Created, Max Pain and the Groovies, Swift Beats, Moonshine, Slow White, Sixties Guns @ The Casbah. Local psych-rockers Wild Wild Wets are releasing their debut album this month, and the celebration coincides with the latest installment of the San Diego Freakout. So, while you should definitely come for the Wets, there are six other bands here to blow your mind. PLAN B: Curren$y @ The North Park Theatre. New Orleans rapper Curren$y releases a lot of music for a dude who smokes as much weed as he does, and it's pretty much all solid. Hear him spit some rhymes over some laid-back, jazzy samples at the first show of the North Park Theatre's new phase. BACKUP PLAN: The Great Electric Quest, Desert Suns, The Munsens, Toke @ Tower Bar.
Saturday, Jan. 17
PLAN A: Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds, Uke-Hunt, Low Volts @ The Casbah. Kid Congo Powers has been in a lot of great bands—The Cramps, The Bad Seeds, The Gun Club—but he's had a pretty prolific career on his own, too, and his current band, The Pink Monkey Birds, is heavy on great, tuneful rock 'n' roll with plenty of style to spare. PLAN B: Andy Rourke (DJ set), Jimbo James, Robin Roth @ The Hideout. I don't usually put DJ sets in this column, not for any particular bias—I do some of those myself! But when the DJ in question was a member of The Smiths, you make an exception. I wouldn't expect to hear "This Charming Man," but it should be fun regardless. BACKUP PLAN: The Dickies, Midnight Eagle, Oddball, The Stalins of Sound @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Jan. 18
PLAN A: Castle, Bhorelorde, Beira @ Tower Bar. Bay Area group Castle are generally considered a metal band, but they're more accurately a rock band that tunes its guitars to C-sharp and lets the roaring riffs fly. Most importantly, though, they've got melodies to back up those roaring riffs, which is something a lot of young metal bands could learn from. PLAN B: Eric Church, Halestorm @ Valley View Casino Center. Last week, I wrote about country singer Eric Church and why he's a good step forward for mainstream country music. I'm just going to go ahead and recommend this show with some caveats: I hate arena shows, and there's an extremely high douche-factor probability here. That said, if you can overlook these, you'll get what'll basically be a big arena rock show. BACKUP PLAN: White Arrows, Nicky Venus, The Eiffels @ The Casbah.
Monday, Jan. 19
PLAN A: Mariachi El Bronx, Pounded by the Surf, Creepxotica @ The Casbah. Last year, The Casbah threw a pretty incredible 25th-anniversary celebration that featured a whole month's worth of incredible shows. This year, it's the venue's 26th anniversary, which isn't quite the nice round number that 25 is, but there are still some cool shows to watch, like this one featuring Los Angeles' Mariachi El Bronx. BACKUP PLAN: Swim Team, Island Boy, Other Bodies, Tape Waves, DJ Nik Ewing @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Jan. 20
PLAN A: Calabrese, Chapel of Thieves, 13 Wolves @ Kensington Club. Calabrese call themselves "dark rock," which tells you more than you might think. They've got a burly goth sound that's sort of like Glenn Danzig fronting The Mission (with some AFI in there, too). There's plenty of schlocky horror-rock themes, as well, if you're into that thing, but shtick or no shtick, they're damn catchy.