Wednesday, December 23
PLAN A: Manual Scan, The Bassics @ The Casbah. Who's up for some Mod jams on a Wednesday night? Two generations of stylish and just-slightly nostalgic San Diego garage-rock bands will be playing some catchy tunes. Just follow everyone who has a Royal Air Force roundel sewn to their jacket. PLAN B: Gilbert Castellanos jazz jam @ Panama 66. Or for a mellower evening, catch up with Gilbert Castellanos and his weekly jazz jam. Grab a meal and some laid-back blues motifs before the holidays.
Thursday, December 24
PLAN A: Exile on Kettner Blvd., Schizophonics Stone Soul Christmas Show @ The Casbah. There generally aren't that many live shows happening on Christmas Eve, but you can always count on this Casbah tradition, in which local musicians play covers of Rolling Stones songs. It's a rockin' good time, and it's only $5.
Friday, December 25
PLAN A: Roast Beast, Eggnog, Off-Key Caroling @ Your House. You shouldn't be going out on Christmas. You should spend it by the fire, with loved ones, or at least some classic holiday episodes of TV sitcoms. You've earned a break after 350-odd nights of live music.
Saturday, December 26
PLAN A: Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects, The Bassics, Lumps @ Soda Bar. Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects is, more or less, a local supergroup, and though it took them nearly a decade to release a second album, it proved to be well worth the wait. They have a complicated mythology, but all you need to know is that they have grooves. PLAN B: The Blasters, Deke Dickerson and the Ecco-Fonics @ The Casbah. California rockabilly kings The Blasters have been letting the rock 'n' roll licks fly for more than 35 years. That's a pretty impressive run for any band, but theyíre more fun than most bands with three decades under their belt buckle.
Sunday, December 27
PLAN A: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up Tavern. David Lowery fronts both of these bands, who earned some level of alt-rock fame in the '90s and '80s, respectively. I'm more of a Camper Van Beethoven fan, personally (Key Lime Pie is an underrated album), but either way you'll get some good, witty rock 'n' roll.
Monday, December 28
PLAN A: OFF!, Cruz Radical, The Side Eyes @ The Casbah. OFF! isn't technically a local band, though their drummer Mario Rubalcaba is from San Diego. They are, however, one of the few bands keeping the sound of Southern California hardcore alive. I'm pretty sure they don't have a song longer than 90 seconds, but that's all they need to leave their mark. PLAN B: Future Age, Sights and Sages, Fake Tides @ Soda Bar. I can't help but think Future Age have listened to Failure's catalog at least a couple thousand times. That's probably why I'm immediately won over by their dense, distorted alt-rock sound. Future Age rocks in a big way.
Tuesday, December 29
PLAN A: Luna, Papercuts @ The Casbah. Read Nancy Kirk's feature this week on reunited dream-pop outfit Luna. The band built up a loyal following of jangle devotees in the '90s, and it should be adequately warm and fuzzy to hear them play gems from Penthouse and Lunapark once again. PLAN B: Chet Faker @ Observatory North Park. Chet Faker's thing is chill, easy-going soulful sounds with modern electronic production values. It's the sort of thing that probably sounds best in the wee hours at a coffeehouse, but instead you get to hear those jams in a big, historic theater. Not a bad compromise. (Sold out, but tickets are available on StubHub.)