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 8
PLAN A: Overlord @ The Casbah. Overlord is not some scary Norwegian metal band. In fact, they're playing Nerd Nite at The Casbah. Perfect, considering that their They Might Be Giants- and Decemberists-influenced sound seems well suited to follow-up lectures on bird mating and zombies. PLAN B: SecretFunClub, Geronimo, Human Quana Orchestra @ Radio Room. What happens when instrumental math rock meets death metal? Locals SecretFunClub are a bass-and-drums duo that will (finally) release an album this year. They may not be a secret for long.
Thursday, April 9
PLAN A: Vetiver, Richard Swift, The Donkeys @ The Casbah. Vetiver's indie-folk sure is purdy, but Richard Swift's Elton-Joel pop and The Donkeys '70s A.M.-radio rock are the main reasons to attend this one. PLAN B: Brown Shoe, Incomplete Neighbor, The Predicates @ Beauty Bar. Folsom's Brown Shoe make atmospheric pop for the Death Cab set that seems destined to be the background music for a Gossip Girl makeout session. Here's your chance to beat Blair to the punch.
Friday, April 10
PLAN A: Muscle, Blood and Something Else, Adam!, Madii and Alex, Machéte, Lelas and the Traveling Perole @ Che Café. Faux country and indiegrass bands are a dime a dozen in San Diego these days, but if you want to see the real local underground answer to freak-folk, then here's your chance to see it all in one spot. PLAN B: Blind Pilot @ The Casbah. I saw not one, not two, but three different women buying the new Blind Pilot record at M-Theory the other day. Indie-folk dudes just found their perfect date night. PLAN C: The Widows, The Old In Out, Killer Dreamer @ Soda Bar. Michael Mazochi was a huge up-and-coming talent on the San Diego scene (CityBeat even did a story about him way back in 2006). Now, his new band, The Widows, have some major buzz, opening for Mandy Moore at The Hotel Café and fans in Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Once again, we breed 'em, L.A. breaks 'em. BACKUP PLAN: Silent Comedy, Calico Horse, The Union Line @ Anthology.
Saturday, April 11
PLAN A: Monotonix, Kill Me Tomorrow, Hostile Comb-Over @ The Casbah. This is the sound of Jews attacking. PLAN B: No Age, Abe Vigoda, Christmas Island @ The Loft at UCSD. No Age's Nouns was good enough to land the No. 50 spot on Rolling Stone's list of the top 50 albums of 2008. It should have been higher. PLAN C: Says Rally, Lady Vain, New York Rifles @ Soda Bar. Like a more hardcore version of Art Brut, Says Rally's MySpace page says they sound like “something our friends do better.” Just who are these friends? 'Cause Rally's pretty damn good.
Sunday, April 12
PLAN A: Matt Sheehy and the Menders @ Soda Bar. Still waiting for the new Sufjan release? Andrew Bird's new album just too wordy? Drown your sorrows in the Menders' beautiful, elaborate folk. PLAN B: Gary Louris and Mark Olson, Teddy Thompson @ Belly Up. Louris and Olson practically invented alt-country with their band The Jayhawks. Teddy is the golden-voiced offspring of '60s folk duo Richard and Linda Thompson. Put 'em together and you have the makings of an unforgettable show. BACKUP PLAN: Jinx @ Air Conditioned Lounge.
Monday, April 13
PLAN A: Sholi, Odawas @ Bar Pink. Sure, you could compare San Francisco's Sholi to about a dozen other neo-psychedelic bands, but when The Irish Times says your album sounds like the “opportunities missed by Coldplay in their recent Brian Eno collaboration,” then you know you're doing something right. PLAN B: Hjertestop, OK, Cold Stare @ Che Café. Hjertestop are the shape of punk to come from Denmark: Loud. Fast. In your face. BACKUP PLAN: TheNewNo2 @ The Casbah.
Tuesday April 14
PLAN A: The Fascination, Northern Towns, Crescendo @ The Casbah. Judging from The Fascination's sound, you'd think that the Brits were taking over The Casbah for the night, but the local band just happens to have a singer from Kidderminster, England, while Northern Towns combine The Jam and Oi punk and get fist-pumping results. PLAN B: Jenny Lewis, Dawes @ Belly Up. Before her first solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat, I preferred my Jenny Lewis in small doses of Rilo Kiley and '80s movies about Nintendo starring Fred Savage. Now she can do whatever she wants and I'll pay attention.