Wednesday, September 30
PLAN A: Ultimate Painting, Dream Boys, The Lulls @ Soda Bar. UK group Ultimate Painting know their way around a gorgeously jangly guitar riff. Their new album Green Lanes is a must-listen for anyone with a jones for '90s-era indie rock, late '80s college rock—basically anything Ben Wyatt from Parks & Recreation would listen to. BACKUP PLAN: Murs, Red Pill, King Fantastic, Noa James @ The Casbah
Thursday, October 1
PLAN A: Empress Of, Abra, Lipherma @ Soda Bar. I just recently discovered Me, the debut album by Lorely Rodriguez, aka, Empress Of. It's a beautiful set of ethereal, electronic pop songs and it's a rare set of music that immediately endears itself to you. PLAN B: Peaches, US Girls @ Belly Up Tavern. Make sure to read Scott McDonald's guide to Peaches' discography here. She's a one-of-a-kind artist, blending performance art with pop music to make something bawdy and unforgettable. BACKUP PLAN: Toxic Holocaust, Lord Dying, Christ Killer, Pissed Regardless @ Til-Two Club.
Friday, October 2
PLAN A: Ratatat, Hot Sugar @ Observatory North Park. Ratatat came to San Diego earlier this year, and now they return for another night of unstoppable electro jams. They've been getting asses moving since their 2004 debut album, and I don't expect anyone will be standing still this time. PLAN B: JEL, Mystery Cave, Ghosttraps, DJ Psychopop @ The Hideout. It's been a while since Iíve listened to Jel, but the Anticon-affiliated emcee has a uniquely abstract hip-hop sound that's worth a refresher course. BACKUP PLAN: Agent Orange, The Embalmers, Oddball, PSO @ Soda Bar
Saturday, October 3
PLAN A: The Gaslamp Killer Experience @ Observatory North Park. L.A. beatmaker The Gaslamp Killer got his start in San Diego—his name is a reference to his ability to turn Gaslamp crowds away. But things have changed; he's a big name now, and his Gaslamp Killer Experience is a spectacle featuring live musicians and visual elements. PLAN B: King Dude, Foie Gras, Crime Desire @ The Hideout. King Dude makes dark, gothic folk music that's somewhere between Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. It may be early on in the Halloween season, but he'll cast a nice pall over your weekend. BACKUP PLAN: Musiq Soulchild @ Music Box.
Sunday, October 4
PLAN A: DJ Krush, OpenOptics @ Belly Up Tavern. Japan's DJ Krush first made a name for himself in the í90s with a series of jazz-influenced albums of innovative turntablism. Heís still at it, still has grooves and the chill vibes will be in abundance. PLAN B: Holly Miranda, Gracie and Rachel @ The Merrow. Detroit singer/songwriter Holly Miranda makes a cool mix of dreamy pop music and soulful torch songs, and has even worked with some local San Diego talent, including drummer Jake Najor.
Monday, October 5
PLAN A: San Diego Music Awards @ Humphreys by the Bay. Read my cover story this week on the most memorable moments from the San Diego Music Awards. This year is the 25th anniversary of the awards show, and it's always like a school reunion, complete with live performances (from Louis XIV, Gregory Page and more) and unpredictable antics.
Tuesday, October 6
PLAN A: Beirut, Julia Holter @ Open Air Theatre. Beirut's Zach Condon has been gradually moving away from Balkan-influenced folk with each album, and the group's latest, No No No, is more soulful than ever. I'm even more excited about Julia Holter, whose music is a dreamy universe unto itself. PLAN B: Paul Weller @ Observatory North Park. I'll admit that I don't know the Paul Weller solo catalog from front to back, but he was the frontman for The Jam and The Style Council, and the man's got more good songs than anyone would know what to do with. BACKUP PLAN: PRGRM, Foreign Suns, Hexa @ The Merrow.