(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com. These are bands we especially dig, not full listings.
PLAN A: John Vanderslice, St. Vincent @ The Casbah. After the breakup of San Francisco fave mk Ultra, skinny, fresh-faced pop savant Vanderslice wasted no time building his own reputation. He's known for fantastic melodies, warm and creaky analog instruments and a quirky personality that makes people smile. He's letting fans sing lead on certain songs for this show. St. Vincent is stellar-a dramatic singer-songwriter whose day job is in Sufjan Stevens' touring band. She just signed to indie label Beggars Banquet. MS/johnvanderslice, MS/stvin cent. PLAN B: The Strangers Six, Transit War @ Lestat's. It's the CD-release party for San Diego's The Stranger's Six-a gothy rock band with big, mainstream hooks, like Unwritten Law meets My Chemical Romance. Transit War is another talented mainstreamer-ex-San Diegans who recently made the jump to NYC (traitors). MS/thestrangerssix, MS/thetransitwar. PLAN C: Great American Taxi @ Winston's. It's good ol' beard-rock led by former Leftover Salmon vocalist-guitarist-washboard player Vince Herman. MS/greatamericantaxi.
PLAN A: Dinosaur Jr, Anders and Woods, Spouse @ The Casbah. Dino's comeback record is one of the best of 2007 (see our feature on Page 32). Anders and Woods is a spooky, folky foursome from L.A. fronted by vocal phenom Tiffany Anders. Spouse is a solid, moody, Brit-rock band from Massachusetts. MS/dinosaurjr, MS/andersandwoods, MS/spouse. PLAN B: Don Carlos @ the Belly Up. Straight from Jamaica, ex of Black Uhuru, Don Carlos is one of those living reggae legends-as close to the lionhearted motherland as it gets. MS/doncarlosinter
national. PLAN C: Clorox Girls, The Red Dons, The Power-Chords @ The Tower Bar. Great old-school punk show with two Portland bands-The Clorox Girls (no female members) and The Red Dons-playing with San Diego faves The Power-Chords. MS/cloroxgirls, MS/reddons, MS/thepowerchords.
PLAN A: Joshua James, Paul Curreri @ Lestat's. Best acoustic show in town this week. Lincoln, Neb.'s James has a tender hush of a voice that's perfectly understated, and Bible Belt-soulful when needed. Curreri is the super-talented old-time music aficionado sibling of San Diego's own Matt Curreri. MS/joshuajamesmusic, MS/paulcurreri. PLAN B: Chuck Ragan, Matt Skiba @ Epicentre. Two punk vocalists gone solo and doing it well. Chuck Ragan (ex-Hot Water Music) is a fire-throated acoustic force. Skiba is the frontman for Alkaline Trio. MS/chuck ragan, MS/mattskiba2. PLAN C: Bartender's Bible, Drunken Prayer @ Whistle Stop Bar. Shit-kicking country show at South Park's favorite dive with San Diego's Bartender's Bible and Oregon's acoustic-piano-based dirge band Drunken Prayer. MS/bar tendersbible, MS/drunkenprayer.
PLAN A: Deep Fried Funk Brothers @ Honey Bee Hive. Second-best hip-hop show in town this week (for the best, see Monday). The Sacramento trio may be best known by Xbox heads, having supplied seven songs for the game "Amped." Crisp beats, playful rhymes and a collaboration with Murs have also helped make their name in the underground. MS/deepfriedfunkbrothers. PLAN B: Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys, The Palominos, Ghost Town Deputies @ The Casbah. Seems like Big Sandy plays in San Diego every few weeks. If you haven't seen him yet, it's time to do so-one of the sweetest, high-note voices in rockabilly. He's joined by two of San Diego's better old-school western bands, The Palominos and Ghost Town Deputies. MS/bigsandyandhisflyriteboys, MS/palominosband, MS/ghosttowndeputies. PLAN C: Vinyl Radio @ The Tower Bar. A perfect local band for the venue-both are simple, old-school and rough around the edges and have a lot of loyal fans. MS/vinylradio.
PLAN A: RJD2, Happy Chichester, Pigeon John @ the Belly Up. Hard to tell which RJD2 you'll get here. One of the best cinematic producers in underground hip-hop went in a completely different direction in 2007, penning an almost Brit-rock electronic album. Either way, everything he touches turns to at least high-quality silver. The openers seem to represent his split personality-the talented Ohio-based indie-pop artist Happy Chichester and the utterly entertaining hip-hop MC Pigeon John. MS/rjd2, MS/hap pychichester, MS/pigeonjohn. PLAN B: North Atlantic, The Long and Short Of It, Red Fang @ The Casbah. Best show this week for fans of hardcore's "post-" offshoot. The North Atlantic are a lot like Cursive-they can both scream and actually sing with aplomb. The Long And Short Of It is sheer brutality-nothing "post-" about their hardcore. Red Fang features two former San Diegans-Bryan Giles (ex-Last of the Juanitas) and John Sherman (ex-Trumans Water)-doing some Sabbath-esque punk. MS/thenorthatlantic, MS/thelongandshortofit, MS/redfangpdx.
PLAN A: Modest Mouse, Love As Laughter, Man Man @ Cox Arena. Modest Mouse is rad (see our feature on Page 31). Brooklyn's Love As Laughter is a wobbly, ramshackle rock band à la Pavement, and Man Man is a longtime CityBeat crush-skinny dudes in beards who jump around, play the kazoo, act stupid and play drunken singalongs with a pep that disguises the dark subject matter. MS/modestmouse, MS/loveas laughter, MS/wearemanman. PLAN B: Meat Puppets @ The Casbah. Meat Puppets Curt and Cris Kirkwood were beloved by all your favorite artists (Nirvana, especially) before Cris ran into drug and jail problems. Now they're back with their first album featuring both brothers in 12 years. Be there. MS/themeat puppets. PLAN B: The Heartaches, Rich White Males, The Modlins @ Scolari's Office. Old-school garage rockers The Heartaches join with relatively new, kick-ass punk band Rich White Males and a total throwback to the '60s, The Modlins. MS/the heartaches, MS/therichwhitemales, MS/themodlins.
PLAN A: Local Band Listening @ Your Apartment. Stay home, cue up MySpace's "band search" and enter in these names of San Diego songmakers: Kingfisher and the Halcyonaires, Kelly Alvarez, Echo Revolution, Vitro, Mono Mono, Mean Streaks USA, The Silent Comedy, Andrew Heine, True Crime Authors, Writer.