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, Feb. 25
PLAN A: A.C. Newman, Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele @ The Casbah. With an optimized combination of Edwyn Collins' erudite charm and Jonathan Richman's awkwardness, Dent May's catchy twee-pop should make him a minor phenomenon. In any case, opening for New Pornographers lynchpin Newman is a pretty good start. PLAN B: Pop Levi @ The Loft at UCSD. If Beck and Cornelius had a love child who played only supercharged guitar-pop, it would sound like Pop Levi. Surprisingly, it doesn't take an appreciation of postmodern nonsense to enjoy.
Thursday, Feb. 26
PLAN A: Bobby Hutcherson @ Anthology. Raise your hand if you know what a vibraphone is. Nobody? Well, it's like a xylophone crossed with a piano. And Hutcherson is among the most renowned vibraphone players in jazz. You learn something new every day. PLAN B: Pigeon John, Luckyiam.PSC @ The Loft at UCSD. Whereas many rappers just think they can sing (Ja Rule, Kanye, Weezy, etc.), Pigeon John's melodic flow puts all the others to shame. It almost makes you forget that every one of his songs is an embarrassing narrative about how he can't score girls. BACKUP PLAN: Kinky @ House of Blues.
Friday, Feb. 27
PLAN A: Shat, Homeless Sexuals, Jesus Christ vs. The World, Heavy Cessna @ Radio Room. How big an asshole do you have to be to write songs like “Vagetarian,” “Crabs” and “Cunt Flavored Lollipops”? Ask Shat's Jeff Wood, whose sole purpose is to offend every single person in the room. PLAN B: Underground Railroad to Candyland, Shang-A-Lang @ Bar Pink. I'd imagine an underground railroad to Candyland has tracks made of toffee, cars made of milk chocolate and train conductors dressed like Willy Wonka, but Underground Railroad to Candyland look like they just stepped off a photo from Green Day's liner notes circa 1992. BACKUP PLAN: Swim Party @ Whistle Stop.
Saturday, Feb. 28
PLAN A: Transfer, Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, MC Flow, Crocodiles, DJ Jimmy LaValle @ Ruby Room. CityBeat's Seth Combs has rounded up this local-music showcase to celebrate his 30th birthday. If you see a guy with a fuzzy beard and glasses wearing a blazer and sipping on a glass of whiskey, pick up his next round, would ya? PLAN B: Tyvek @ Bar Pink. Part of an ill-defined and ultra-negative rock underground, Tyvek supposedly got a cease-and-desist order from their namesake's manufacturers at Dupont. If that's true, that legal team has way too much time on its hands. PLAN C: Kool Keith @ The Casbah. Keith brings back his Dr. Dooom alias for this night of alienating raps about eating alligator meat, being the “Black Elvis,” smoking crack with dead soul singers and how every other MC in the world bit his style. Genius or madness? You decide. BACKUP PLAN: The Duhks @ Acoustic Music San Diego.
Sunday, March 1
PLAN A: Extra Life, Fever Sleeves, Vaginals, The Dabbers @ Radio Room. It's extremely difficult to make progressive music that's consistently engaging. So, the highest praise I can give New York's Extra Life is to say their precise, jarring suites are not only listenable, but also melodic enough to stick in your head for days. PLAN B: Ra Ra Riot, Cut Off Your Hands, Telekinesis! @ The Loft at UCSD. If Cut Off Your Hands actually cut off their hands without any help from one another, they wouldn't really be able to play instruments. Way to go, posers! BACKUP PLAN: The Grass Heat, Irradio @ The Office.
Monday, March 2
PLAN A: Busta Rhymes @ House of Blues. Does anybody remember Busta's performance of “Scenario” with A Tribe Called Quest on Yo! MTV Raps in the early '90s? He tore the stage apart. If he manages to keep the energy level high, few hip-hop performers can touch him. PLAN B: …students, Monarch, Queens Club, Picture Atlantic @ Radio Room. Note to …students: Can it with the clever punctuation. Your anthemic rock should be enough to draw attention. Unless you really want people to pause slightly before they say your name. BACKUP PLAN: A Scribe Amidst the Lions, A Beautiful Noise, Syndicate @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, March 3
PLAN A: The Moviegoers, Matt Curreri @ The Casbah. With their recent EP on small, San Diego-based Mangoose Records, The Moviegoers have presented themselves as a top-class local indie act with a collection of enjoyable mid-tempo tunes that bear the exquisite marks of their influences without sounding like any of them in particular. BACKUP PLAN: “Tiki Tuesday” w/ Tim Hines @ Bar Pink.