My two cents in our year-end, resolutions-themed issue is a roundup of seven shows that are absolute must-sees in the new year.
The Redwoods Revue at The Casbah (Saturday, Jan. 9): I see no better way to kick off a year in live music in San Diego than with a showcase featuring the talents of local label The Redwoods Music. Recent cover star Birdy Bardot will be performing, along with The Midnight Pine, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, and Dani Bell and the Tarantist.
Killing Joke, The Soft Moon at Belly Up Tavern (Tuesday, Jan. 26): Killing Joke are one of the longest running bands to have emerged from the post-punk era, and they endure because their music evolves with the times. They still carry the danceable darkness of early years, but with an even heavier edge.
Julia Holter at The Irenic (Thursday, Jan. 28): Art-pop singer/songwriter Julia Holter makes ethereal, complex compositions that'll have you mesmerized. And just imagine how much more intriguing they'll be in this converted church venue.
Meat Wave at Soda Bar (Saturday, Feb. 13): Meat Wave is one of my favorite discoveries of 2015, a rowdy but tuneful punk band in the vein of Hot Snakes or Metz. They rock hard, but with melodies that get lodged in your head for days.
Protomartyr at Soda Bar (Wednesday, March 2): Protomartyr swung through San Diego in 2014 (which you probably missed, but it was great). And now they're returning in support of new album The Agent Intellect, which is one of my favorite records of the year. Prepare yourself for a dark and moody good time.
Abbath, High on Fire, Skeletonwitch, Tribulation at Observatory (Saturday, March 26): Tribulation were absolutely amazing when they opened for Deafheaven in October, and they're kicking off a jam-packed metal showcase as part of the Decibel Magazine tour. You'll get metal four ways, from Skeletonwitch's party thrash to Abbath's classic black metal.
Modern English at The Hideout (Tuesday, May 17): UK post-punk group Modern English are famous for their new wave hit "Melt With You," and at this special show they'll be performing the Mesh and Lace album in its entirety. A classic band, a classic album, an intimate venue—sounds amazing.