Another scandal-heavy weekend is upon us in San Diego, and you're desperately in need of a beer and some good live music. That's where we come in. Here are your best bets for live shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. ---
Friday, July 26
PLAN A: Swim Party, Modern Rifles, Kalashnikov My Wife @ Soda Bar. Swim Party have been playing diverse indie-rock sounds in San Diego for a good seven years now, ably transitioning from lengthy, dreamy compositions to taut, harder-rocking gems. A must for anyone who digs guitars.
PLAN B: Hills Like Elephants, River City @ Seven Grand. Hills Like Elephants describe their sound as "Motown with drum machines." More accurately, they're a soulful rock band with a singer who can really belt. Whatever the description, they bring the jams.
Saturday, July 27
PLAN A: Shakey Graves, Amigo the Devil, New California Sun @ Soda Bar. Shakey Graves is Austinite Alejandro Rose-Garcia, a blues-country songwriter who knows how to kick-up a rustic, one-man hoedown. He'll be in good company with San Diego's resident murder balladeer, Amigo the Devil, whom Peter Holslin profiled in CityBeat back in May.
PLAN B: Montalban Quintet, Takahashi, Never Come Down, Subsurfer @ The Casbah. Montalban Quintet is a local supergroup of sorts, featuring members of No Knife, Pinback, Sleeping People and Tanner. But the band sounds nothing like any of those groups, instead creating cinematic instrumentals akin to Calexico or Ennio Morricone's film scores.
Sunday, July 28
PLAN A: Speedy Ortiz, Supermodel Razorblades, Tworooms @ Soda Bar. Remember the name Speedy Ortiz, because this band is going places. With one foot in the '90s, the band churns out amazing tunes that sound like a more progressive Breeders, or Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville cranked to 11. Prepare to be blown away.
PLAN B: Jeru the Damaja, Zoolay, Odessa Kane @ El Dorado. Jeru the Damaja made a name for himself in the '90s by dropping razor-sharp rhymes on hip-hop records like The Sun Rises in the East. His signature song is "You Can't Stop the Prophet," and the man will most likely drop some serious knowledge.