Wednesday, Sept. 7
PLAN A: Thievery Corporation, AM & Shawn Lee @ House of Blues. Thievery Corporation's latest album, Culture of Fear, might just be the most laid-back album ever to be themed around post-9/11 paranoia. A streamlined slice of space-rock with elements of funk, soul and dub, it's as soothing as a pleasant dream. (They're also playing on Thursday, Sept. 8.) PLAN B: Matt Curreri, Yovee, Rhythm and Bluebirds @ Belly Up. I remember watching Matt Curreri perform at Lestat's back in 2002 and 2003, long before the coffeehouse's Monday open mic was the coolest thing since Jason Mraz's fedora. All these years later, Curreri's quirky songs are as catchy and adorable as ever. BACKUP PLAN: Eligh of Living Legends @ U-31.
Thursday, Sept. 8
PLAN A1: Telekinesis, Dirty Gold @ The Casbah. San Diego Music Thing, a two-day music festival and conference, kicks off tonight with a party featuring Telekinesis' infectious indie-rock. See our festival guide for more top picks. PLAN A2: Atari Teenage Riot, Retox, Otto Von Schirach @ Porter's Pub (UCSD). Atari Teenage Riot recently reunited after more than 10 years' absence, and as Seth Combs wrote in last week's issue, the German digital hardcore band is just as politically sharp, sonically fucked-up and totally awesome as it was in the mid- '90s. PLAN B: Tori, Carla Bozulich, Lunar Maps, Nothingful @ Tin Can Ale House. A wildly eclectic songwriter, Carla Bozulich has collaborated with Willie Nelson, sung the works of Bertolt Brecht and dabbled in both industrial and alt-country. In her latest band, Evangelista, she mines the depths of doom and despair with slow-moving noisedirges. BACKUP PLAN: Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Archons, Otro @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Sept. 9
PLAN A: The Vibrators, Midnight Eagle, The Last Years, The Paper Hearts, Dead on the Wire @ Til-Two Club. If you're not down with any of the San Diego Music Thing showcases going on tonight, then this is the next best thing. The Vibrators have undergone a million lineup changes during their 35-year run, but the British punks are still going strong. BACKUP PLAN: The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet @ Dizzy's.
Saturday, Sept. 10
PLAN A: 24-hour DJ set by Craig Biggio @ Che Café. To help raise money for the cash-strapped Che, a dude nicknamed Craig Biggio (not the former Major League Baseball player, alas) will spin tunes for 24 hours straight, starting at 7 p.m. No hot meals (only snacks), no fancy DJ tricks and no whining allowed. PLAN B: Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Amp Live @ RIMAC Arena. If you like bass, you'll love Bassnectar. The electronic-music producer offers up heaping helpings of the stuff, mixing dramatic pitch-bends, subtle subsonic pulses and massive liquid-y blasts into epic tracks and zany remixes. PLAN C: Abstract Festival @ Broadway Pier. See Page 14 for the skinny on this electronic-music fest, which features L.A. beat wizard Flying Lotus. BACKUP PLAN: Cyclops!, Death Hymn Number 9, Cat Party, DJs Mikey Ratt, Stack-Aly @ Tower Bar.
Sunday, Sept. 11
PLAN A: The Kills, Eleanor Friedberger, Mini Mansions @ House of Blues.
A writer for NME once likened The Kills' live show to a fugitive couple ravishing each other in an angry bout of makeup sex—and who'd want to pass that up? But I'm just as excited to see Eleanor Friedberger, a member of The Fiery Furnaces whose weird-yet-gorgeous new solo album, Last Summer, harks back to '70s pop songwriters Harry Nilsson and Todd Rundgren. PLAN B: Luísa Maita @ Anthology. Already a staple in Brazil, her home country, Luísa Maita has been getting lots of buzz for her rich, sweet voice and the mellow mix of samba, jazz and pop of her latest album, 2010's Lero-Lero. BACKUP PLAN: Givers, Kopecky Family Band @ The Casbah.
Monday, Sept. 12
PLAN A: Tears for Fears, Wainwright @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. You can't go wrong with Tears for Fears hits like “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” what with their romantic melodies, sweeping synth-pop hooks and big '80s drums. BACKUP PLAN: Danko Jones, The Makeup Sex, Coda Reactor @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
PLAN A: Crookers, Deth Hertz @ Voyeur. If you're in the mood for a big, sweaty dance party, Crookers have you covered— since 2007, the Italian DJ duo has been serving up wild sets full of wacky synth lines, hard techno beats and rave-tastic remixes. BACKUP PLAN: PS I Love You, Balkans, Shiva Trash @ The Casbah.