Wednesday, July 22
PLAN A: Blackalicious, 9 Theory, Real J Wallace, DJs Artistic and Tramlife @ Belly Up Tavern. Blackalicious hasn't been terribly prolific over the last decade, but the catalog of these hip-hop legends still holds up, thanks to their laid-back beats and dazzling wordplay. PLAN B: Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, The Contortionist @ Observatory North Park. Between the Buried and Me are a sort of hybrid of hardcore and prog-rock, and definitely not the most accessible band in the world. But if youíre in for a brutal challenge, this is the show to go to. BACKUP PLAN: Gloomsday, Bronto, Melvus @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, July 23
PLAN A: The Adolescents, Weirdos, The Creepy Creeps @ Belly Up Tavern. If you like punk, then you should already know The Adolescents, whose debut album was one of the early templates for hardcore punk. They make the trip to San Diego about once a year, so make sure to attend the annual mosh-pit reunion. PLAN B: Soul Asylum, Meat Puppets, The Sickstring Outlaws @ House of Blues. I was never the biggest Soul Asylum fan, though I'll concede that "Somebody to Shove" is a hell of a tune. But I'll definitely rep for The Meat Puppets, who have been making great music for more than three decades.
Friday, July 24
PLAN A: Joseph Arthur, Grampadrew and the Gut Strings, C. Gibbs @ The Casbah. Joseph Arthur recently released an album of Lou Reed covers, but he's written more than his share of great, folky indie rock songs. I'm a fan of 2002's Redemption's Son, but the man's catalog goes pretty deep. BACKUP PLAN: Eukaryst, Ashen Earth, Sentinel, Calamitous Intent @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, July 25
PLAN A: "Exchange No. 3" w/ Bit Maps, Island Boy, Other Bodies, Quali, Spooky Cigarette, Low Points @ The Merrow. Local label Field Trips is having a special night of music, art and the release of a new zine, and it just happens to be loaded with great bands. I'd highlight them, but all six are great, so get there early and get comfortable. PLAN B: Los Amigos Invisibles @ House of Blues. Venezuela's Los Amigos Invisibles caught my attention back in the '90s with a laid-back funk track called "Sexy," and they just keep that funk flowing. If your ass needs to move this weekend, move it on over to this show. BACKUP PLAN: Subtropics, Dark Seas, The Bad Vibes @ The Hideout.
Sunday, July 26
PLAN A: Heems, Pictureplane, Grammatical B and the B-Verbs @ The Casbah. Heems used to be an emcee in the ultra-clever but short-lived group Das Racist, but his solo material shows even more versatility. Get there a little bit early for the peculiar dance music of Pictureplane, and Grammatical B's hip-hop mischief. PLAN B: Bonobo (DJ set), Lee K @ Quartyard. Bonobo is making a return trip to San Diego this fall for the second edition of the CRSSD festival, but this week he's doing a special DJ set downtown at Quartyard. Be prepared to dance.
Monday, July 27
PLAN A: Haunted Summer, Le Chateau, Awahnichi, Nite Lapse @ Soda Bar. There's a rave called Haunted Summer in L.A., but this isn't that. This is a dreamy electronic band with cool atmosphere, and local favorites Le Chateau are opening, so don't miss 'em.
Tuesday, July 28
PLAN A: Melt Banana, Torche, Hot Nerds @ The Casbah. Melt Banana is a noisecore band from Japan that's been making some truly crazy sounds since the '90s, and Torche is a sludge metal band from Miami with hooks that Foo Fighters would kill for. Together they're one of the best bills in town all week. Don't miss it!