Wednesday, June 29
PLAN A: Red Sparowes, Coliseum, Aeges @ The Casbah. The guys in Red Sparowes used to be in bands like ISIS and Angel Hair, but rather than throw down fearsome sludge-metal or face-shredding hardcore, this L.A. outfit offers up awesome post-rock in the style of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. You’ll definitely need earplugs at this show, but you might also want to bring a sponge to wipe your melted face off the floor. PLAN B: Purple Face, Eukaryst, Her Bed of thorns, Skeleton Crew @ Brick by Brick. If you’re looking for some quality San Diego metal, Eukaryst is your band. They don’t pledge allegiance to some random subgenre, they don’t wear corpse paint and they don’t have an obnoxious emo singer. Nope, they just provide gnarly riffs that’ll have you banging your head till your neck is sore. BACKUP PLAN: Paul Collins Beat, Garbo’s Daughter, Mrs. Magician @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, June 30
PLAN A: The Rosebuds, Other Lives @ The Casbah. The Rosebuds’ new album, Loud Planes Fly Low, is so excellently composed that I felt compelled to write a feature on the duo last week. But I’m almost more excited about Other Lives, a five-piece from Oklahoma that crafts gorgeous, multilayered folk-pop that sounds like a cross between Sigur Rós and Fleet Foxes. PLAN B: Ecid, Carnage, iD the Poet & Dusty Nix, Audios, Mr. Ridley, Stasiatic, Ghost Girl @ Soda Bar. iD the Poet has plied San Diego’s hip-hop underground for more than a decade, but lately he’s been collaborating with Dusty Nix on solid material that balances political awareness with a personal edge. (You can read all about iD on Page 24.) Definitely stick around for Ecid and Carnage, two hip-hop mainstays from Minnesota. BACKUP PLAN: Grandmaster Flash, DJ Seize @ Hard Rock Hotel.
Friday, July 1
PLAN A: Astra Kelly, Endoxi, Gayle Skidmore, Miss Erika Davies, DJ Coda Collins @ Soda Bar. Astra Kelly just released a catchy new EP that you can read all about on this page, but make sure to show up early for this solid alllocal bill: Gayle Skidmore is a great talent, and Miss Erika Davies will put any other local jazz singer to shame. PLAN B: Zorch, Innerds, Hot Nerds, Gloomsday @ Tin Can Ale House. Sounding like kindergartners on LSD, Zorch churn out ADHD psych-rock with cut-and-paste synth parts, spastic drums and big crescendos. This Austin outfit clearly has an affinity for Animal Collective (just listen to those Avey Tare-style vocals), but its low-budget, ultra-trippy aesthetic is zanier in all the best ways. BACKUP PLAN: Busta Rhymes, DJ Scooter, DJ Craig Smoove @ Fluxx.
Saturday, July 2
PLAN A: Dillon Francis, Bubblegum Sci Fi, Head$hake @ U-31. First, there was “Moombahton,” a booty-shaking electronic-music subgenre that slowed Dutch house beats to a sultry 108 BPM and sprinkled reggaeton elements on top. Then, there was “Moombahcore,” an even more booty-shaking electronic-music sub-subgenre that found DJs like Dillon Francis speeding those Dutch beats back up and adding kooky synth hooks and fat-ass bass-lines. The dance floor’s going to be packed tonight, so show up early. PLAN B: “Festivus Quietus” w/ Rafter, Sean Bonnette, Peter and the Wolf, Dirty Gold, Twin Brother, Drew Andrews, Maren Parusel, Falling Trees, John Meeks @ Habitat House. If you pay attention to local music, you’re bound be intrigued by this day-long mini-festival, where a solid lineup of mostly local artists will perform special, stripped-down sets. BACKUP PLAN: Heavy Hawaii, Realization Orchestra, Stupid Man Suit, United States ’11 @ Che Café.
Sunday, July 3
PLAN A: White Apple Tree, Bass Drum of Death, The Old In Out @ The Casbah (7 p.m.). Locals White Apple Tree have been getting lots of buzz in Germany for their sentimental electro-pop. But they just might end up getting their asses kicked by Bass Drum of Death, a Mississippi duo that bangs out down-’n’-dirty garage-rock jams about stealing, doing drugs and hooking up with Christian girls. PLAN B: “Don’t Tread On Me Fest” w/ Prima Donna, Midnight Eagle, Paper Bass Drum of Death Hearts, Bear Slim @ Tower Bar. What better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than with some hard-driving rock ’n’ roll, a shot or three of bourbon and a few rounds at the punching arcade game?
Monday, July 4
PLAN A: Project: Out of Bounds, Boom Culture @ Kava Lounge. Most of the clubs are closed tonight, leaving some pretty tough choices. But this bill certainly beats the REO Speedwagon show at Del Mar Fairgrounds. Yes, Project: Out of Bounds is a white-boy reggae band, but they have a soulful singer, their guitarist can shred and they keep their rock breakdowns to a minimum.
Tuesday, July 5
PLAN A: Class Actress, Freddy Cougar, DJ Meth Combz @ Soda Bar. Class Actress is maybe the most forgettable lo-fi electro-pop act to have become so trendy lately. But I’m stoked to see Freddy Cougar, the new solo project of Jamuel Saxon mastermind Keith Milgaten, who offers up summery calypso grooves that bring to mind Spanish indie-popster El Guincho.