(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com. These are bands we especially dig, not full listings.
For those, please see "Concerts and Clubs."
PLAN A: Los Straightjackets w/ Big Sandy, Thee Corsairs @ The Casbah. Nashville's Mexican-wrestling-mask-wearing foursome adds some Hank Ballard/Chubby Checker "Twist" action to its surf-rock danceathons. It's basic, kitschy fun, and for this show, sweet-voiced roots icon Big Sandy adds some Spanglish vocals. Thee Corsairs are former members of The Cherry Valence doing some distorted scream-boogie. MS/losstraitjackets, MS/theecorsairs. PLAN B: The Fucking Buckaroos, Vena Cava @ Che Café. San Francisco's The Fucking Buckaroos are a solid addition to the punks-do-old-time-music tradition of bands like The Knitters. Locals Vena Cava are what might happen if Rainer Maria went punk. MS/thefuckingbuckaroos, MS/venacava3. PLAN C: Transfer, Buckfast Superbee, bill @ The Belly Up. Three of San Diego's better bands play a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. MS/transferband, MS/buckfastsuperbee. BACKUP PLAN: Misc. Ailments Foundation @ San Diego Sports Club (MS/miscailmentsfoundation).
PLAN A: The Shins @ Soma. What's left to say? The Shins are doing for pop music what Radiohead did for Brit-rock. They take The Beach Boys' formula and add the right amounts of imperfection. MS/theshins. PLAN B: "Faust Fest" @ The Casbah. Two of San Diego's best bands-clap-along indie punks The North Atlantic and lowrider big-band Mr. Tube-play the annual show in honor of Jacob Faust, a member and friend of the music scene who was shot and killed by the police two years ago. MS/thenorthatlantic, MS/mrtube. PLAN C: Kimya Dawson, The Paddle Boat, Voice on Tape, The Vaginals @ Che Café. Best quirky folk show in town this week (plus inspiring weirdo-rock with Vaginals), highlighted by New York's Kimya Dawson, formerly of The Moldy Peaches. MS/kimyadawson, MS/thepaddleboats, BACKUP PLAN: Clouds, Autonym @ Scolari's Office (MS/cloudsrock, MS/autonymla).
PLAN A: On the One @ Winston's. Fans of Greyboy Allstars and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe need to hear this local foursome. Anchored by Tiny Universe drummer John Staten and saxophonist Jesse Malloy (ex-Giant People), they add a good new chapter to S.D.'s history of groove-jazz. MS/ontheone. PLAN B: Toots & the Maytals @ the Belly Up. Absolute reggae and ska legends, although only Frederick "Toots" Hibbert remains from the original trio. Still, the stand-ins are hardly slouches. MS/tatm. PLAN C: Fu Manchu, Valient Thorr @ The Casbah. Pure rawk. Stoner-metal heroes Fu Manchu are always the same, always good. Valient Thorr may steal the show, though-bearded, blues-metal rockers with a sci-fi mythology and ape-shit live show. MS/fumanchu, MS/valientthorr. BACKUP PLAN: Lightning Bolt, Strip Mall Seizures @ Che Café (MS/laserbeast, MS/stripmallseizures).
PLAN A: Gina Villalobos, Truckee Brothers @ Lestat's. Gina's a real talent. Her fantastic rootsy rasp and sturdy songs made 2005's Rock 'N' Roll Pony a critical favorite, and this year's Miles Away is equally good. Imagine a less hazy Lucinda Williams. The Truckee Bros just keep getting better-once an alt-country-type thing, now just glammy, raspy rock. MS/ginavillalobos, MS/truckeebrothers. PLAN B: The Mother Hips @ the Belly Up. Very few people outside of California and Colorado know about The Mother Hips. Here they sell out shows for good reason-fantastic bluesy rock with harmonies like Of Montreal. MS/themotherhips. PLAN C: Amiina @ House of Blues Side Stage. Beautiful, spare orchestra music from the string section of Sigur Rós. It may put you to sleep, but your dreams will sound nice, and they will be epic. MS/amiina. BACKUP PLAN: Mono Mono, Bill Wesley, Glowing Ocean Blues Band @ Scolari's Office (MS/monomono, MS/billwesley, MS/glowingoceanbluesband).
PLAN A: Charlie Louvin @ Acoustic Music San Diego. Before he plays Bonnaroo, the country legend stops in San Diego. He and his brother Ira-who died in 1965-had rich, gospel-influenced country music down pat, inspiring greats like The Byrds. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, Charlie now plays solo. He's the sort of guy documentaries are based on. But don't believe me-believe George Jones, Jeff Tweedy, Elvis Costello and the dude from Bright Eyes, who are all collaborating with him on his next release. charlielouvinbros.com. PLAN B: Jedi Mind Tricks, Sean Price @ the Belly Up. Best hip-hop show this week. Philly's MC Vinny Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind sculpted some gruff-voiced gems on JMT's Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell , a tirade on terror and politics. Sean Price, ex of East Coast heroes Boot Camp Clik, just dropped his second underrated solo joint, a tough yet funny batch of old-school. MS/jedimindtricks, MS/scragbite. PLAN C: The Ponys, Deerhunter @ The Beauty Bar. PLAN A for indie kids. A bill with Chicago's stomping, noisy rock titans (think Pere Ubu, Talking Heads) with Deerhunter, Atlanta's new kings of arty, psychedelic rock. BACKUP PLAN: Rocky Votolato, Drag the River @ The Casbah (MS/rockyvotolato, MS/dragtheriver).
PLAN A: Lady Dottie & The Diamonds @ Tower Bar. Nothing else good this night, so time to revisit the best Monday-night blues jam in town. MS/ladydottieandthediamonds.
PLAN A: The Front @ The Zombie Lounge. A solid punk band from Wyoming with the raspy vocals and big pop hooks of Joan Jett. MS/thefront. PLAN B: Terezodu, Jakked Rabbits @ Hot Monkey Love Café. If you want to see the top tier of pubescent punks in San Diego (plus Venice's TDRT), this is the show. MS/terezodu, MS/thedeadreagantour, MS/jakkedrabbits.