These are bands we especially dig, not full listings. For those, please see “Concerts and Clubs”. For more top shows featuring local acts, please see “Nightgeist”.
Wednesday, April 22
PLAN A: Golden Animals @ Bar Pink. If this male-female L.A. two-piece took up online dating, their profile might look something like this: Likes: drugs, blues, paisley. Dislikes: “squares,” day jobs, bass guitars. PLAN B: Immortal Technique, Red Cloud, Chino XL @ 'Canes. New York MC Immortal Technique is best known for his controversial lyrics, in which he imagines ejaculating across Laura Bush's face and gutting Condoleeza Rice with a knife, among other things. And that's just one song. BACKUP PLAN: The Widows, Nightmares, Pant Hoots @ Radio Room.
Thursday, April 23
PLAN A: Calder Quartet @ The Loft at UCSD. Rarely does a string quartet make it onto this list, but if you replaced “Calder” with “Kronos,” even classical snobs couldn't tell the difference. That's how good this young ensemble sounds. PLAN B: Hostile Comb-Over, Prize Country, Kingdom of Magic, Modern Rifles @ The Casbah. San Diego's Hostile Comb-Over and Portland's Prize Country duke it out to see who emerges victorious in this clash of hybridized hardcore / metal beasts. A tip: Wild animals will attack if you show fear. BACKUP PLAN: Eagle & Talon, The Dabbers @ Bar Pink.
Friday, April 24
PLAN A: Beaters, Heavy Hawaii @ Whistle Stop Bar. Featuring former members of local favorites The Sess (Beaters) and Fantastic Magic (Heavy Hawaii), this free show gives a glimpse of what the future holds for local underground music in 2009. PLAN B: Diplo @ 'Canes. So, his proper album was kinda boring, and he hops trends more often than any DJ in the world, but one thing's for damn sure: Diplo knows how to rock a party. PLAN C: Nobunny, Rock & Roll Adventure Kids @ Ken Club. There's nothing like getting bombed and doing really dumb shit on a Friday night to make you feel like you're 17 again. These two bands provide the garage-rock soundtrack; you provide the shenanigans. BACKUP PLAN: Mark Farina @ Spin.
Saturday, April 25
PLAN A: Kid Koala @ Brick by Brick. Probably one of the top five most creative turntablists in the world, Kid Koala has been featured on several albums produced by Dan the Automator and Prince Paul, ensuring that his spot in the “left-field hip-hop” canon is secure for life. PLAN B: Willard Grant Conspiracy, Winfred E. Eye, Barn Burning @ Bar Pink. Somehow overlooked for years, Winfred E. Eye's mournful, empty-cabin folk may be depressing, but that doesn't make it any less beautiful. As Kurt Cobain so accurately noted, there is indeed “comfort in being sad.” PLAN C: Fitz of Depression, OAKS, Sea Pansy @ Ruby Room. Fitz of Depression's sludgy, no-nonsense punk rock is practically a Pacific Northwest institution. The guys have been around long enough to open for Nirvana and Bikini Kill and have had the resiliency to outlast their more famous contemporaries. BACKUP PLAN: The Howls, The Moviegoers @ Ken Club.
Sunday, April 26
PLAN A: The Thing @ The Loft at UCSD. The Thing is a progressive free-jazz band from Norway that puts out records on its country's most eclectic and intriguing independent label (Smalltown Supersound). Count me in. PLAN B: Greg Ginn @ Hensley's Flying Elephant. Yes, the legendary Black Flag guitarist plays in jam bands now. So what? Without Ginn, there would be no SST Records, and that would be a crying shame. He's allowed to play whatever he damn well pleases. BACKUP PLAN: Irradio, Students, Demasiado, Hialeah @ The Casbah.
Monday, April 27
PLAN A: Mr. Lif, DJ Statik, Willie Evans, Jr., Grieves @ The Casbah. Along with Dalek, The Coup and Immortal Technique, Lif is among the few current hip-hop artists who have the firepower to back up their politically oriented tirades. The fact that he sounds like Rakim with a head cold doesn't hurt much, either. PLAN B: Trio Gadjo (6 p.m.) @ Whistle Stop Bar. Sip away the Monday dregs to the sounds of this Django Reinhardt-inspired combo, whose music could've easily popped out of a scene from a 1940s musical.
Tuesday, April 28
PLAN A: Acid Mothers Temple, Sonic Suicide Squad @ The Casbah. The embodiment of prolificacy, Acid Mothers Temple have freaked out with psychedelic legends from Guru Guru to Gong and released more albums on cool labels than even their most fervent devotees can track. PLAN B: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down @ The Loft at UCSD. There isn't anything wrong with indie-pop if it's done in all earnestness. Thao Nguyen and her twee band of buds don't care if it's been done before; they just want to make you smile.