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, May 6
PLAN A: William Basinski @ The Loft at UCSD. Somewhere along the line, Basinski became America's foremost ambient musician. If you think this music “doesn't go anywhere,” it's time to reconsider. One word: sublime. PLAN B: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Stolen Babies, The Fuxedos @ The Casbah. It's surprising that Sleepytime Gorilla Museum have much of a following, especially if you consider how many people you know that enjoy John Zorn, Bertolt Brecht and Frank Zappa in equal measure.
Thursday, May 7
PLAN A: Alela Diane @ The Loft at UCSD. She looks and sounds like a classic California hippie, and with good reason—Diane hails from the same Nevada City, Calif., zip code as fellow folkie Joanna Newsom. Coincidentally, weird-beard genius composer Terry Riley lives there, too. It's like, totally cosmic, or something. PLAN B: Steel Pulse @ House of Blues. When I played baseball in the ninth grade, this guy Jordan would make us to listen to Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy and Eek-A-Mouse on the way to games. I didn't have a choice; too young to drive, I was forced into a mellow, pseudo-Rastafarian hell. Only later did I discover that Steel Pulse's Earth Crisis is a stone-cold classic reggae album. BACKUP PLAN: The Devil Makes Three, Old Man Markley, more @ The Casbah.
Friday, May 8
PLAN A: Sleeping People @ Soda Bar. Pointing back to complex guitar groups from King Crimson to Don Caballero, Sleeping People are San Diego's finest progressive rockers, and they're here to play their first local show in more than a year. PLAN B: Marianne Dissard, Andrew Collberg @ Bar Pink. What happens when you relocate a French chanteuse to the American Southwest? Marianne Dissard's L'entredeux is what happens, and it's one of the prettier pop albums released in 2009. BACKUP PLAN: Leon Russell @ Anthology.
Saturday, May 9
PLAN A: Grand Duchy @ The Casbah. Frank Black wants to be called Black Francis again, which is a good idea, for the most part. He may be doing something softer this time out—hell, Grand Duchy is a project with his wife—but you can expect more of the skewed melodies and eccentric humor for which he's known. PLAN B: Her Space Holiday, City Light @ The Loft at UCSD. Marc Bianchi is the eclectic one-man project known as Her Space Holiday who suddenly dropped his signature electronic musings and decided to pick up a guitar. Hope he plays some of the old stuff. PLAN C: OK Go, Jaguar Love @ House of Blues. Proof that viral videos can be the deciding factor when it comes to a band's popularity, OK Go are most famous for their “Here it Goes Again” clip, in which the band performs a synchronized dance routine on treadmills. I dare you to name another one of their songs. BACKUP PLAN: Bob Schneider @ Belly Up Tavern.
Sunday, May 10
PLAN A: The Avett Brothers, Magnolia Electric Co. @ Belly Up Tavern. Among the most consistently underrated songwriters in rock is Magnolia Electric Co.'s Jason Molina, who does a better version of '70s Neil Young than Neil himself could probably do these days. PLAN B: Dredg, Torche @ House of Blues. They released the best metal album of 2008, parted ways with their lead guitarist and received accolades from virtually every rock magazine in existence. So what does Torche do now? They keep rupturing heads and laying waste to sound systems—that's what. PLAN C: The Long and Short of It, Same Sex Dictator, Secret Fun Club @ The Casbah. Does AmRep still release new music? If so, can we get them hooked up with The Long and Short of It, so they can set up distribution for CAW: An Unkindness of Ravens? Thanks. BACKUP PLAN: Arizona @ Bar Pink.
Monday, May 11
PLAN A: Spectrum, Crocodiles, Spirit Photography @ The Casbah. Spectrum frontman Pete Kember (aka Sonic Boom) was a founding member of legendary drone specialists Spacemen 3. If this show's anything like the band's performance last fall opening for My Bloody Valentine, expect a good number of old favorites (S3 tunes included). For more about Spectrum, see our interview with Kember at www.sdcitybeat.com. PLAN B: The Shins @ SOMA. The most popular “indie” band on the planet hits town to remind you how good Oh, Inverted World was when you first heard it. Unfortunately, they might also serve as a reminder of how much you want to punch Zach Braff in the face.
Tuesday, May 12
PLAN A: Benefit for Diane Moser w/ Charles McPherson, Daniel Dresser, ESP Quintet, Rob Thorsen, more @ Dizzy's. New Jersey-based jazz composer / pianist Moser recently underwent surgery for a rare form of cancer, and a horde of local talent comes out to get in her corner. BACKUP PLAN: Jimmy Dean & Friends @ O'Connells.