PLAN A: Supersuckers, The Blasters, Shake Before Us, Low Volts @ The Casbah. Arizona's Supersuckers call themselves the “Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band in the World.” They've been superseded by plenty of great rock bands over their two-decade-plus run, of course, but they still kick plenty of ass. And, hey, they're better than... PLAN Z: Borgore, Headshake, Osal8, Mr. Nice Guy, Tryxx, Gum-B @ House of Blues. Sounding like Skrillex's redneck cousin, Israeli dubstep artist Borgore pummels his audience with a blend of syncopated drums, misogynist lyrics and hideous bass lines that could easily be mistaken for a monster gargling Listerine. Abandon all hope, ye non-d-bags who enter here.
Thursday, Dec. 1
PLAN A: Cass McCombs Band, The Donkeys, White Magic @ The Casbah. Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs made critics swoon earlier this year with Wit's End, a heart-breakingly beautiful album of morose, deliberately paced songcraft. But then, as if to prove he wasn't totally down in the dumps, McCombs came out with the significantly more upbeat Humor Risk last month. The latter isn't half as breathtaking as the former, but it still sounds great. PLAN B: Dmn Slyr, Admnt, eLan, Mike Gao, Cleancut, DJ Pound @ Kava Lounge. I don't know why so many electronic-music artists seem so vowel-averse lately, but I do know that Dmn Slyr's surrealist beats can get pretty funky. Don't miss eLan—he played in Europe recently, and he's been getting buzz for his off-kilter, head-nodding tunes. BACKUP PLAN: Cave, Sister Mary Challenger, Paul & Tyler @ Tin Can Ale House.
Friday, Dec. 2
PLAN A: The Black Heart Procession, Chelsea Wolfe, Ana @ The Casbah. You can always count on the irresistibly gloomy Black Heart Procession to darken your chipper mood, but L.A. singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe might just have them beat. Her smoldering “doom folk” fits well alongside the likes of Portishead and Zola Jesus, what with her resonant vocals, ghostly guitars and bleak tastes (she's covered Nick Cave and Norwegian black-metaler Burzum). BACKUP PLAN: The Deep Dark Woods, The Howls, Jesse LaMonaca and The Dime Novels, Abe West @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, Dec. 3
PLAN A: Holiday Hootenanny w/ My morning Jacket, Two Door Cinema Club, Matt and Kim, Delta Spirit @ Jenny Craig Pavilion (USD). My morning Jacket sound pretty awesome on their latest album, Circuital, which features arena-ready riffs, tongue-in-cheek twists and even some Thai-pop-inspired psych-funk (see “Holdin On to Black Metal”). Still, their recorded material is nothing compared with their epic live show. PLAN B: Little Hurricane, The Heavy Guilt, El Monte Slim, Hills Like Elephants @ The Casbah. You might want to catch Little Hurricane now. Considering that the blues-rock duo played Lollapalooza this year and recently had songs on Gossip Girl and ABC's Revenge, they could be playing bigger venues soon enough. BACKUP PLAN: Boys Noize, Harvard Bass, Two Door Cinema Club (DJ set) @ 4th & B.
Sunday, Dec. 4
PLAN A: Los Lobos, Mariachi Garibaldi @ Belly Up. Los Lobos songwriters Louie Perez and David Hidalgo recently commemorated their 40-year collaboration with a series of intimate shows featuring just the two of them. But at this show, they'll be back with the full band in all its East L.A.-bred, Tex-Mex-loving rock 'n' roll glory. PLAN B: King Dude, Jacob turnbloom, Dark Thirty @ Soda Bar. Don't come to this show expecting a surfboard-toting brosef adorned with a golden crown. No, King Dude is an acoustic-guitar- strumming folkie from Seattle who generates spooky, lo-fi tunes about love, death and the occult. BACKUP PLAN: Nipsey Hussle @ Porter's Pub (UCSD).
Monday, Dec. 5
PLAN A: Scout Niblett, Picastro, The Nothingful Band @ Soda Bar. Known for her spare arrangements and intimate live performances, singer-songwriter Scout Niblett doesn't have any use for conventional song structures or pop hooks. But her rough-hewn voice, intensely personal lyrics and languid, contemplative guitar style is all the more beautiful that way.
Tuesday, Dec. 6
PLAN A: Kid Sister, Penguin Prison, DJ Adam Salter, DJ Gabe Vega @ Hard Rock Hotel. There are plenty of rappers who are more stylish and charismatic than Chicago's Kid Sister, but she's got plenty of sass and, even better, the synth-heavy electro beats of her music should make for a carefree dance party. BACKUP PLAN: Peter Murphy, She Wants Revenge, The Hussle Club @ Belly Up.