Wednesday, May 25
PLAN A: Pentagram, King Woman, Wax Idols @ Brick by Brick. Pentagram are doom metal old-schoolers, their career launching in the 1970s, not long after Black Sabbath's first roar. They're still trucking after more than 40 years, and rocking harder than ever. PLAN B: Angelic Upstarts, Rat City Riot, Stalins of Sound, PSO @ Soda Bar. My basic feeling about San Diego is if you can't find a group of punk rock old-timers performing on any given night, something is seriously wrong. Thankfully this UK anti-fascist punk outfit is here to remedy any concern.
Thursday, May 26
PLAN A: Trails and Ways, The End @ The Hideout. Trails and Ways make dreamy indie pop with great melodies, but more importantly their Facebook profile pic features their heads Photoshopped onto penguin bodies. So there's that! BACKUP PLAN: Moving Units, Billy Changer, Visions, Glass Spells @ The Casbah.
Friday, May 27
PLAN A: Gary Wilson, JJUUJJUU, Mantra Love @ Brick by Brick. I do love a weirdo, and Gary Wilson's one of the weirdest we got. The dude's been bringing bizarre to San Diego's shores since the 1970s, and his mannequin-and-duct-tape-filled live sets are a hell of a sight to see. PLAN B: Moderat @ Observatory North Park. In the words of Joey Ramone, "do ya wanna dance?" Of course you do! Experimental techno outfit Moderat will provide the soundtrack, with an eclectic and glitchy set of electronic gems. BACKUP PLAN: D.O.A., The Executives, Social Spit, Records With Roger @ The Casbah.
Saturday, May 28
PLAN A: U.S. Girls, Fiver, Chill Pill @ Soda Bar. U.S. Girls' music is atmospheric, synth-driven and full of philosophical musings on feminism. Don't confuse their live show for a grad-school course though. You can have fun and think about society's shortcomings at the same time. PLAN B: Le Chateau, Wages, @Quarium @ Bar Pink. Le Chateau, one of our favorites from last year's Great Demo Review, are working on some new music and you just might get a chance to hear some of it at this show. Sounds like a winning option to me. BACKUP PLAN: Upsilon Acrux, Aleuchatistas, INUS @ The Hideout.
Sunday, May 29
PLAN A: Big Black Delta, James Supercave @ The Casbah. Big Black Delta is dark and danceable, which is a combination of sounds I have to give a major thumbs up. They've got a new set of music out now, and while they sometimes get a little too ambitious, it's always interesting. BACKUP PLAN: Giuda, Residuels, Santa Ana Knights @ Soda Bar.
Monday, May 30
PLAN A: Refused, The Coathangers, Plague Vendor @ Belly Up Tavern. I'm not that cynical about the whole alt-rock reunion trend, especially when it meant I got to see Refused for the first time in 2012. They're legendary for a reason: I don't think I know of a hardcore band that puts on as elaborate a live show. PLAN B: GZA, Koolbeef Productions @ Observatory North Park. Wu-Tang Clan alumnus GZA (or Genius as he's sometimes known) is making another stop in town to perform his 1995 album Liquid Swords in its entirety. Enter the 4th Chamber and prepare for a hip-hop sword duel. BACKUP PLAN: Go Dark, Metal Mother, Sound Lupus @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, May 31
PLAN A: AlunaGeorge, Kiiara @ Observatory North Park. I was an early adopter of AlunaGeorge's bass-inspired R&B sound back when they released "You Know You Like It" about four years ago. They've gotten pretty big since then, so they're just having an even bigger dance party. Get down. PLAN B: The Briefs, The Widows, Dead on the Wire @ Soda Bar. I first caught wind of The Briefs' old-school punk rock sound back when I was in college, and their snotty, fuzzy approach won me over instantly. They're still doing their thing, but older, louder and still pretty snotty.