Wednesday, August 24
PLAN A: The Black Heart Procession, Systems Officer, Nylon Apartments @ The Casbah. The Black Heart Procession is playing a handful of reunion shows around the upcoming Psycho Las Vegas festival, and we're lucky to have one of them right here. Relive the gloom of one of San Diego's all-time greatest bands. PLAN B: Helen Money, John Haughm, Bleak Skies, Monochromacy @ The Merrow. Helen Money makes intense, doomy sounds from just a cello. It's powerful stuff, and she'll be joined by former Agalloch frontman John Haughm, so expect all kinds of heavy sonic treatments. BACKUP PLAN: Rotten Sound, D.I.S., Condemned, Poison Headache, Lurid Memory @ Brick by Brick.
Thursday, August 25
PLAN A: Todd Terje and the Olsens @ Observatory North Park. Todd Terje was here last year for the CRSSD Festival, doing a solo electronic set. This time, the Norwegian disco artist is joined by his band The Olsens, so you can expect a more elaborate stage show with no skimping on the grooves. PLAN B: A Storm of Light, 16, Sorxe, Cave Bastard @ Brick by Brick. A Storm of Light is kind of a metal supergroup, in a way that so many metal collaborations are these days. But they're also an atypical metal group, incorporating atmospheric sounds and interesting instrumentals. BACKUP PLAN: Eukaryst, Sentinel, Damned Age, Old Man Wizard @ The Merrow.
Friday, August 26
PLAN A: Gonjasufi, Johaz, The Kleenrz, The Koreatown Oddity, Skrapez, DJ Pound, Analog Burners @ Til-Two Club. Psychedelic beatmaker and singer/songwriter Gonjasufi has just released his new album, Callus, and it's darker and bigger than anything he's released before. He's returning to his onetime home of San Diego for this showcase of similarly experimental electronic music. PLAN B: Hot Chip, Marcus Marr @ Observatory North Park. When I first saw Hot Chip live about 10 years ago, they turned The Casbah into a hot and sweaty dance party. There's no reason to believe the electronic indie pop outfit won't do the same for a much bigger venue. BACKUP PLAN: Cumbia Machine, Sonidero Travesura, Angel Peralta Project, DJ Viejo Lowbo @ The Merrow.
Saturday, August 27
PLAN A: The Zeros, Cruz Radical, The Bassics @ Til-Two Club. It's Saturday night, and you could use some punk rock. Local punk legends The Zeros are headlining this set of power chords and pop melodies. Just make sure to get there early for young MVPs The Bassics. BACKUP PLAN: The Blackout Party, New Kinetics, The Slashes, Mrs. Henry @ The Casbah.
Sunday, August 28
PLAN A: Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Blank Range @ The Casbah. Would you believe I saw Black Joe Lewis first perform at Street Scene (R.I.P.)? It's true, and they rocked then. If you like your rock 'n' roll blended with Stax soul, this is the show to see.
Monday, August 29
PLAN A: He Whose Ox Is Gored, Bosswitch @ Soda Bar. Seattle's He Whose Ox Is Gored is a band I've just recently gotten into, but Iíll recommend to anyone whoíll listen. Theyíre a little sludgy, a little on the post-hardcore side, with lots of trippy synth in the mix. It's great, massive stuff. PLAN B: Jagwar Ma @ The Casbah. Australian group Jagwar Ma makes the kind of indie pop I can get behind: Big on synthesizers and super-catchy melodies, with lots of elements from electronic club music. I can dig it. BACKUP PLAN: Deftones, Sister Crayon @ Open Air Theatre.
Tuesday, August 30
PLAN A: Baroness, Pallbearer @ Observatory North Park. I go back and forth on who my favorite contemporary band is. One is Savages. The other is Baroness, whose live show is not to be missed. They rock hard, with lots of intricate guitar work (shorter me: they shred) and the best songwriting in heavy music today. No joke. PLAN B: Pinkish Black, Mother, Clean Room @ Til-Two Club. Texas duo Pinkish black take goth rock to a dense extreme, layering on eerie sounding synthesizers and dirgey psychedelia. It's weird and big and creepy, and most of all, awesome.