Wednesday, Jan. 1
PLAN A: Aspirin, Fluids, Regrets @ Your House. New Year's Eve is perhaps the most debauched night of the year, so if you did go out last night, there's a good chance you'd prefer to spend the day sleeping it off, or at least just playing it low-key. Nothing wrong with that—if you're lucky, there's a Law and Order marathon on USA. PLAN B: Butler, Nothingful, 100 Onces, Junior Bob @ Soda Bar. If you sober up in time, check out Butler, whose mathematical prog-rock is best experienced after the hangover subsides.
Thursday, Jan. 2
PLAN A: Matthew Sweet, Cardielles @ Belly Up Tavern. While it's been heavily overshadowed by grunge, the '90s was a great time for power-pop, and one of the musicians responsible for that is Matthew Sweet, who continues to pen upbeat, melodic pop treats. PLAN B: Neil Hamburger, DJ Douggpound, Grammatical B, Pony Death Ride @ The Casbah. The Casbah celebrates its 25th anniversary this month, and it's lined up some incredible bands to celebrate. The first big show is comedian Neil Hamburger, whose so-not-funny-it's-high-art schtick is legendary. Laugh at the absurdity and join the party. BACKUP PLAN: Mafard, Taken by Canadians @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Jan. 3
PLAN A: Chain and the Gang, Tropical Popsicle, The Shivas, DJs Michael Zimmerman, Josh Quon @ Til-Two Club. Helmed by Ian Svenonious, legendary frontman of bands like Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up, Chain and the Gang is a stripped-down, danceable and beyond-cool garage-rock outfit. The man knows how to put on a show, so don't miss this one. PLAN B: Poison Idea, Attitude Adjustment, Dissension, Out of Tune, D.E.A. @ Brick by Brick. Portland hardcore heroes Poison Idea have influenced countless metal and punk bands, and with good reason: With all their power, volume and ferocity, few hardcore bands in the '80s wrote songs as good as theirs. BACKUP PLAN: Nostalgic People, Proud Moon, Inspired and The Sleep, Meraki @ The Che Café.
Saturday, Jan. 4
PLAN A: The Dragons, The Creepy Creeps, Phantoms, Black Hondo @ The Casbah. Sure to be one of the highlights of The Casbah's month-long party is the return of The Dragons, one of this town's greatest no-nonsense rock 'n' roll bands. Don't miss this rowdy show—not if you know what's good for you. PLAN B: Zongo Junction, In Motion Collective @ Soda Bar. Brooklyn Afrobeat troupe Zongo Junction feature five horns and a six-piece rhythm section, and, to be honest, I'm not sure how they're all going to fit on the Soda Bar stage. But it's worth coming to the show to see how they work it out (and to revel in their furious grooves). BACKUP PLAN: Terry Malts, Tiltwheel, Boats!, Roxy Jones, New Rome Quartet @ Til-Two Club.
Sunday, Jan. 5
PLAN A: Califone, Little White Teeth @ Soda Bar. Check out last week's feature on Chicago experimental folk group Califone, who've undergone lineup changes and relocations but still create mesmerizing, space-age alt-country. PLAN B: Bells Atlas, Idyll Wild, Colocelot @ The Griffin. Familiarize yourself with Bells Atlas, a Bay Area band that blends indie rock, soul and Afrobeat in a way that recalls the likes of The Dirty Projectors. Local math-rock outfit Idyll Wild is opening, so get there good and early.
Monday, Jan. 6
PLAN A: Corrections House, Author & Punisher, Wrekmeister Harmonies @ Soda Bar. A super-group of sorts that features members of Neurosis, Eyehategod and Yakuza, Corrections House have metal in their background but specialize in more experimental, industrial sounds. It's only fitting, then, that San Diego's own industrial architect, Author & Punisher, is opening. BACKUP PLAN: Ed Ghost Tucker, Neighbors to the North, Pleasure Fix @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Jan. 7
PLAN A: Three Mile Pilot, Tit Wrench, ANA @ The Casbah. Of the many notable, must-see reunions happening at The Casbah this month, one particularly fun show will be the return of Three Mile Pilot, who re-emerged in 2009 when the club turned 20 and then sorta went quiet again. But they're back, so don't miss their moody indie-rock tunes this time. PLAN B: The Lonely Wild, The Heavy Guilt @ Soda Bar. Twangy Los Angeles indie rockers The Lonely Wild are taking up residence at Soda Bar on Tuesday nights throughout January, so this won't be your last chance to see them. But on this night in particular, they're joined by The Heavy Guilt, giving you all the more reason to see them early.