Wednesday, March 15
PLAN A: Anna Meredith, Media Jeweler @ Soda Bar. Anna Meredith rightfully earned accolades for the innovative electronic sounds on her 2016 album Varmints. Something like modern classical composition with knocking beats, Meredith takes a very strange and unconventional route toward something amazing. PLAN B: The Oxen, Vakoum, Chill Pill @ The Casbah. One of our ExtraSpecialGood picks in this year’s Great Demo Review, The Oxen are a Carlsbad band with members that hail from Nebraska. They play a blend of eclectic indie-rock styles we can’t get enough of.
Thursday, March 16
PLAN A: Teenage Fanclub, Britta Phillips @ Belly Up Tavern. Glaswegian jangle-pop heroes Teenage Fanclub have been playing immaculate three-chord tunes longer than most of your favorite indie bands. Their catalog runs deep, and their 1991 album Bandwagonesque is a good place to start for those curious about The Fannies (as their fans call them). PLAN B: Mittens, Le Chateau, Ypsitucky, Grizzly Business @ The Casbah. Who wants to go to a free show? Better question: Who doesn’t want to go to a free show? This one is a showcase of San Diego Music Award-nominated bands, who you should definitely acquaint yourself with before Tuesday.
Friday, March 17
PLAN A: Xiu Xiu, kid606 @ A Ship in the Woods. Ready for a drive up to North County for some experimental pop music? I should hope so. The next Ship in the Woods show, which also features cutting-edge visual art and an environmental science aspect, brings to town art pop provocateurs Xiu Xiu and former local, beat-making anarchist kid606.
Saturday, March 18
PLAN A: James Chance and the Contortions, Naked Lights, Keepers @ The Hideout. One of the best things to come out of the no-wave movement is the combination of punk with saxophone, and one person to thank for that is James Chance. Since the late ‘70s, Chance and the Contortions have been mangling punk and free jazz into strange and amazing shapes. Contort yourself! PLAN B: Jungle Fire, Krass Bros., DJ SK @ The Casbah. If you dig saxophone but not so much the twisted melodies, check out Afro-Latin funk group Jungle Fire, who have grooves for days. BACKUP PLAN: Fartbarf, Buddy Banter, Stalins of Sound @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, March 19
PLAN A: Andy Shauf, Aldous Harding @ The Casbah. Andy Shauf’s 2016 album The Party is a lovely indie pop record, full of pianos, horns, strings and impeccably performed ballads. Most of his songs move at a pretty slow pace, but you’d hate to rush yourself when the melodies are this pretty. PLAN B: Boytoy, New Evil, Vakoum @ Blonde. This latest GRRRL Independent Ladies showcase is headlined by New York group Boytoy, whose music is taut and sinewy post-punk with a touch of mystery and darkness. Get there early for dreamy local outfit Vakoum (especially if you missed them on Wednesday).
Monday, March 20
PLAN A: Wu-Tang Clan @ Observatory North Park. Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuttin’ ta fuck wit. Now, that being said, because he’s touring separately, Ghostface probably won’t be on this tour. Still, should readers pass up the chance to hear “C.R.E.A.M.” or “Protect Ya Neck”? I don’t think so. PLAN B: Kate Tempest @ The Casbah. Kate Tempest is ostensibly a hip-hop artist, but the UK producer and vocalist has a delivery that’s almost more like spoken-word poetry over big electronic beats. It’s art that bumps.
Tuesday, March 21
PLAN A: Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz, Vagabon, Big Bloom @ Blonde. Before I get shit for putting the music awards as Plan B, I’d like to note that Allison Crutchfield is an awesome singer/songwriter who hails from Philadelphia, and thus doesn’t come here often. Her recently released debut album, Tourist in This Town is an early 2017 highlight. PLAN B: San Diego Music Awards @ House of Blues. If you’re in a local band or are invested in local music, you’ll probably already be planning on coming here, where San Diego talent is honored and The Schizophonics, The Creepy Creeps and The Verigolds will be performing. Come say hi. I’m very nice.