PLAN A: Perfect Blue, Everess @ Tin Can Ale House. Taking inspiration from all that is shoegaze (My Bloody Valentine, Ride, etc.), Perfect Blue's soft, fluffy, sometimes jangly indie rock conjures images of angels floating atop clouds as the sun cracks just beyond the horizon. Those on first dates, take note. BACKUP PLAN: Tron Wayne, Full Revolution @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Jan. 6
PLAN A: Monette Marino-Keita, Mamady Keita and The Tribal Energy Dance Troupe @ Anthology. As I write in my feature on Page 21, Monette Marino-Keita is a local percussionist with a knack for mixing West African and Latin American rhythms with American funk. But this show is going to be extra funky with the help of her husband, Mamady Keita, a world-class master drummer from Guinea. PLAN B: Universal Greetings, DJ Deprave, Holbach @ Bar Pink. “Connect Four,” a new weekly hip-hop showcase, has a promising opening lineup: DJ Deprave is a wizard when it comes to crafting beats and working the decks. BACKUP PLAN: A Scribe Amidst the Lions, Black Hondo, The Mashtis @ The Casbah.
Friday, Jan. 7
PLAN A: No Age, Protect Me, Rene Hell, Heavy Hawaii @ Che Café. Hopefully you read our feature on No Age in last week's issue. There's good reason this noisy L.A. duo's newest album, 2010's Everything in Between, landed on more than a few year-end lists: Harnessing blasts of feedback into irresistible hooks, they threw down some of the boldest pop all year. PLAN B: The Pharcyde @ 4th & B. Known for their feisty delivery and organic production, alternative hip-hop legends The Pharcyde put down some unique hip-hop in the '90s—and they've been going strong since their 2008 reunion. PLAN C: The Long and Short of It, Retox, Grand Tarantula, Scales, Drug Wars @ The Casbah. An ass-kicking lineup in the strictest sense: These are some of the loudest, hardest, craziest bands San Diego has to offer. Don't miss Retox, a new side project featuring Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian of The Locust. BACKUP PLAN: T.S.O.L., Youth Brigade, Rats Eyes @ Brick by Brick.
Saturday, Jan. 8
PLAN A: Man / Miracle, Beta Lion, The Spires, Jake Mann @ Tin Can Ale House. Sounding like a cross between Public Image Ltd. and King Sunny Adé (if you can imagine that), Oakland's Man / Miracle combine glossy Afro-pop-style guitar, post-punk grooves and spastic vocals amid sunny indie rock that's as chaotic as it is catchy. PLAN B: Pete Escovedo Orchestra feat. Juan & Peter Michael Escovedo @ Anthology. If you didn't get enough percussion at Monette Marino-Keita's show on Thursday, drop by for some off-the-hook conga solos from this family of Latin jazz greats. BACKUP PLAN: Drivin' 'N' Cryin', Alex Woodard, Sara Petite, John Meeks @ 4th & B. Alex Woodard's overproduced country pop is no match for John Meeks' dusty ballads, whose lovelorn lyrics could leave even the hardest cowboy misty-eyed.
Sunday, Jan. 9
PLAN A: Kenseth Thibideau, Little White Teeth, Primitive Noyes @ The Casbah (starts at 7 p.m.). Finally, somebody had the good sense to book Primitive Noyes at this premier indie-rock venue! With swirling guitar textures, philosophical lyrics and occasional forays into awe-inspiring free-rock improvisation, this excellent local outfit is the very antithesis of the flash-in-the-pan buzz band. Oh, and the rest of this lineup is great, too. PLAN B: Kellen Malloy, Parker Ainsworth @ Lestat's. Keep your eye on Kellen Malloy in 2011. An electro-folk innovator whose work has appeared in ad campaigns for Oakley and the Keep-A- Breast Foundation, this San Diego-based mad genius plays acoustic guitar in ways you never thought possible and crafts maximalist electro-pop on par with Passion Pit. Jesse LaMonaca and the Dime Novels, Kamp Camille, Craig Browning @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Jan. 10
PLAN A: Pinback Presents The Rob & Zach Show, JP Inc. @ The Casbah. If you read our feature on Page 20, you know that Pinback fans are in for a treat tonight: In an effort to showcase their stripped-down new setup, Pinback co-founders Rob Crow and Zach Smith will play their 1999 debut This is a Pinback CD front to back, plus some extra goodies. On Tuesday, they'll do the same with their 2001 classic, Blue Screen Life. BACKUP PLAN: The Lions Mouth, Future You, Della!Della! @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Jan. 11
PLAN A: Everest, Writer, Maren Parusel @ Belly Up. It's easy to understand why Everest opened for Neil Young in 2008: The Los Angeles quintet specializes in the kind of twanging, homespun rock that Young mastered 40 years ago. They might not be breaking new ground, but they sound damn good. PLAN B: Champagne Champagne, Mad Rad, Young Olmos @ Soda Bar. An indie-kid-friendly rap group from Seattle, Champagne Champagne deliver irreverent rhymes over spaced-out beats in highlights like “Soda Poprocks” and “Molly Ringwald.” BACKUP PLAN: Vegetarian Werewolf, Night Rocker, DJ Luxury Death Machine @ Tin Can Ale House.
Editor's note: The first installment of "Connect Four," the new Thursday night hip hop event, was originally booked for Kadan Club and featured Fiftyfathms. After we went to press, Fiftyfathms canceled and the show was moved to Bar Pink.