Wednesday, Nov. 9
PLAN A: Protomartyr, The Gotobeds, Keepers @ Soda Bar. Protomartyr are one of my favorite bands right now, with a post-punk sound that's dark, noisy and just a little bit bleak. It's just the catharsis we need after this seemingly never-ending election season finally wraps up. PLAN B: New Mexico, Spooky Cigarette, Sol Orchid, DJ Sorry Shark @ The Casbah. Long running locals New Mexico are finally calling it a day, and here's your last chance to see them live before they ride off into the sunset. Send them off properly, San Diego. BACKUP PLAN: Death Grips @ Observatory North Park.
Thursday, Nov. 10
PLAN A: STRFKR, Gigamesh, Psychic Twin @ Observatory North Park. STRFKR (pronounced "starfucker") plays synth-pop in the vein of Passion Pit, which is to say perfect for summer road trips. Even though summer's over, it still sounds pretty great, and new album Being No One, Going Nowhere is full of big pop hooks. PLAN B: LITE, Mouse on the Keys, Stage Kids @ Soda Bar. For something with fewer hooky choruses and more instrumental dazzle, check out this showcase of instrumental math-rock groups, who'll showcase the kind of musicianship that makes you wish you had kept up with guitar lessons.
Friday, Nov. 11
PLAN A: Touche Amore, Meatbodies, Hours @ The Irenic. Earlier this year I spoke to Touche Amore about their emotionally draining new album Stage Four, which is well worth a listen. They're an intense live band, so don't miss out on their explosive post-hardcore anthems. PLAN B: Nocturnal Habits, Sleeping People, Hours @ Whistle Stop. Nocturnal Habits features two members of defunct Washington art-punk trio Unwound, which is welcome news to my ears. For longtime fans, this is probably already on the calendar, but in case you missed the announcement, get out that red marker. BACKUP PLAN: Diarrhea Planet, Lovely Bad Things, Shades McCool @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, Nov. 12
PLAN A: Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants, Hexa @ The Irenic. Car Seat Headrest's Teens of Denial is pretty high up on my list of favorite albums this year. It's classic indie rock with epic songwriting, and kind of renews my faith in anxious youngsters with guitars. PLAN B: SubRosa, Bleak Skies, Deep Sea Thunderbeast, Beira, Dhatura @ Soda Bar. I recently interviewed SubRosa about their new album For This We Fought the Battle of Ages. It's a powerful, epic piece of doom metal that's likely to level the crowd at Soda Bar. Figuratively speaking. BACKUP PLAN: Kim and the Created, The Dead Ships, Wild Wild Wets, Mission Creeps, Prism Tats, The Bassics @ Bar Pink.
Sunday, Nov. 13
PLAN A: Electric Citizen, Horisont, Red Wizard @ Soda Bar. Electric Citizen play psychedelic rock that leans heavy on vintage sounds (and sights, based on their music videos) while infusing that aesthetic with modern songwriting. It's a winning combination! BACKUP PLAN: The Dictators NYC, Motor 66, The Touchies @ The Casbah.
Monday, Nov. 14
PLAN A: Girl Tears, Band Aparte @ The Hideout. There's nothing like a good, old-fashioned punk show. Girl Tears play punk rock with noisy guitars, catchy choruses and rhythms that could get you slam dancing in no time. This is fun stuff, nothing fancy, just how I like it.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
PLAN A: Causers, Melvus, GLOE @ Til-Two Club. When it's Tuesday night and the calendar starts to thin out a little, my philosophy is: Go see some local bands! Causers, who have a sort of shoegazing take on emo, are a solid pick.