Wednesday, Nov. 18
Veering dangerously close to genre parody, the thrash-metal of Municipal Waste is an '80s metal fan's wet dream. From album covers that easily could have been swiped from Napalm Death to the band's obsession with cheap beer and purposely dumb song titles like “Terror Shark” and “The Thrashin of Christ,” they're the modern, sillier response to crossover icons like Corrosion of Conformity and D.R.I. But it'd be a lie to claim it's not insanely fun—shows have been known to include rapping by wizards, crowd boogie-boarding and other forms of sweaty nonsense. O.C. grindcore band Phobia and Bay Area bastards The Accused open at The Casbah ($15).
Thursday, Nov. 19
Any Wu-Tang-affiliated concert is a risky proposition. Members are liable to be too drunk and / or high to perform, and that's not considering how difficult it is to make out who's actually rapping among the sea of hype-men. These shouldn't be issues for Raekwon's show at Brick by Brick—without the ability to fall back on the talent of his fellow Clansmen, the New York legend will have to be on top of his game to carry this show all by his lonesome. Judging by the skillful display he turned out on this year's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. II, that shouldn't be a problem. A barrage of MCs including Skyzoo, Queen Yonasda, Daygo Boyz, Out of Control, The Even Keel and others set the stage ($20).
Never much of a music appreciator beyond his infatuation with Steppenwolf and Hendrix's “Star Spangled Banner,” my dad once told me he hated jazz because of its lack of structure. Which means he'd really hate free jazz, so anything Philadelphia-based avant-garde musician Elliott Levin has recorded would be a definite no-no. The respected tenor saxophonist and poet's latest project in a wildly diverse career sees him collaborating with local jazz group Seesaw Ensemble, and the two have recorded an album together, Elliott Levin Meets the Seesaw Ensemble. Reminiscent of Ornette Coleman and Sun Ra's late-'60s explorations toward the outer realms of what actually qualifies as music, it's not necessarily charting new paths, just tracing over ones that have been traveled by only a select few. This rare non-rock show at Soda Bar starts at 7 p.m. and also features a set by wild prog combo Mutantspaceboy ($5).
Friday, Nov. 20
When was the last time you heard Snoop Dogg rap like he had something to lose? Between coaching his kids' Pop Warner teams and cross-marketing virtually every product on the face of the planet, it's possible Snoop only raps these days due to contractual obligations. The ridiculous title of his forthcoming album, Malice 'N' Wonderland, should give an idea of what to expect, and if you can name one memorable song he's had since “Drop it Like it's Hot,” I'll personally come to your house to give you a high-five and a back rub. But for all the phoned-in performances, keep in mind that he's still Snoop Dogg, which means he'll always be 20 times cooler than you, even if he's starting to resemble that skeezy uncle that gets too wasted at family reunions. Compton legend DJ Quik opens, as do Nipsey Hussle, Dago Braves and The Hustle Boys at House of Blues ($62.50).
Sunday, Nov. 22
Arguably, 1994 was the year hip-hop reached its apex. But while debut albums from Snoop, Outkast, Nas and Biggie received most of the love (and deservedly so), there were a few discs that deserved more recognition outside their underground status. One of those was The Beatnuts' Street Level, a platter of funky, minimal beats and crass flows about sex, weed, drinking and calling out fake MCs. Sounds pretty routine, right? Yeah, but the productions were head and shoulders above the pack, indirectly influencing many of the stark soundscapes that underground hip-hop acts on both coasts would employ in the next decade. Much like L.A.'s Tha Alkaholiks, they're known for heavy partying, so this concert at Brick by Brick with Zoolay, Miki Vale & Kandy Cole and Brendan B should emit the strong smell of sticky green stuff ($15).
Tuesday, Nov. 24
The relatively new Gaslamp hotspot Voyeur seems to have become the go-to spot for San Diego's club kids—a venue that has the weight to pull globally recognized electro acts that would otherwise bypass our relatively small dance scene for L.A. and San Francisco, where they're guaranteed to fill larger venues. Apparently, London's Simian Mobile Disco get positive receptions around these parts, as the duo are back in San Diego for the second time this year. Taking great pride in their analog approach to a genre that's been overloaded with computer programming gimmicks, SMD have established themselves among dance music's most reliable remixers, having interpreted songs by Muse, The Kills, Deerhunter, Ladytron and Klaxons. New York's JDH and Dave P. and local DJs Deth Hertz fill out the bill.