Wednesday, Feb. 15
PLAN A: Gnawed, Filth, CBN, Monochromacy, Ramirez/Nielsen/Hubbard/Lopez @ Kava Lounge. Stay Strange is presenting a show of noise that should provide a cleansing kind of catharsis for anyone in need of a good explosion of sound. The headliner is Minneapolis power electronics act Gnawed, but make sure to check out Monochromacy as a newly expanded duo. PLAN B: Amigo the Devil, Two Men @ Soda Bar. Amigo the Devil is keeping the murder ballad alive. The singer/songwriter plays gothic folk that’s inspired by the likes of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, often with characters who meet grisly ends. It’s creepy stuff, but it’s damn good. BACKUP PLAN: Lucero, Esme Patterson @ Belly Up Tavern.
Thursday, Feb. 16
PLAN A: Weyes Blood, Fatal Jamz @ Soda Bar. Read my feature this week on Weyes Blood, whose new album Front Row Seat to Earth is as beautiful as it is an emotional roller coaster. Apparently she likes making people cry, so bring tissues. PLAN B: Wyatt Blair, Matt Lamkin and the Previous Crush, Spooky Cigarette @ The Hideout. A couple weeks ago I wrote a feature on Spooky Cigarette, who have been a local band to watch over the last year. They’re opening for Wyatt Blair, whose music is bathed in a similar kind of ‘80s-reminiscent synth neon.
Friday, Feb. 17
PLAN A: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, Heart Beat Trail @ Soda Bar. If Amigo the Devil wasn’t enough of a haunted Americana fix for you, then Slim Cessna’s Auto Club should do the trick. They’ve been conjuring ghosts with their gothic alt-country for more than 20 years. And if I’m gonna do Americana, it better be goth AF. PLAN B: Crocodiles, AJ Davila, Keepers @ The Hideout. Crocodiles are no longer a San Diego band, but credit where it’s due, they started their post-punk noise pop thing here, and it’s still a lot of fun.
Saturday, Feb. 18
PLAN A: Adam Ant @ Observatory North Park. He’s the dandy highwayman, the king of the wild frontier. Adam Ant was one of the most colorful figures of the New Romantic era (and that’s saying a lot) and he released an impressive number of eclectic and catchy-as-hell new wave hits. He might not be rocking the revolutionary garb anymore, but he’s still got the tunes. PLAN B: The Coathangers, Zig Zags, The Dabbers @ The Casbah. This show would be worth mentioning for the fact that it’s a Planned Parenthood benefit alone. It just happens to have some great bands playing, including one of my local favorites, The Dabbers, as well as scuzzy thrash punks Zig Zags, who you definitely shouldn’t miss. BACKUP PLAN: Surfer Blood, Summer Twins @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Feb. 19
PLAN A: Cheetah Chrome, Zeros, The Widows @ The Hideout. This year marks the 40th anniversary of a lot of important punk records, including The Dead Boys’ debut Young, Loud and Snotty. The band’s guitarist Cheetah Chrome is touring behind the album, and if there aren’t massive drunken sing-alongs to “Sonic Reducer” I’ll be very disappointed (R.I.P. Stiv Bators).
Monday, Feb. 20
PLAN A: Alejandro Escovedo, Jesse Malin @ Belly Up Tavern. Alejandro Escovedo has some pretty strong connections to San Diego; his brother Javier was in The Zeros, and his brother Mario was in The Dragons. However, he’s a staple of Austin’s music scene, having released a number of excellent roots rock albums since the early ‘90s, including 2001’s standout A Man Under the Influence. PLAN B: Body Void, Beira, Cryptic Languages @ Tower Bar. For something a bit heavier and more intense, the thick sludge of San Francisco’s Body Void should be sufficiently ass kicking.
Tuesday, Feb. 21
PLAN A: The Hand of Gavrilo, Sights and Sages, Someday Assassin, Of Ennui @ Soda Bar. Tuesday’s a good night to get caught up on some great local music. This is an EP release show for The Hand of Gavrilo, but make sure to get there nice and early for Of Ennui, a Chula Vista band that makes some stunning (and loud!) shoegaze.