Wednesday, Aug. 12
PLAN A: Hot Chip, YACHT @ Observatory North Park. Hot Chip's shows of late (at least in New York) have produced some pretty amazing spectacles, whether it involves an LCD Soundsystem cover, or an appearance by former Talking Heads leader David Byrne. Those things might not happen here, but you'll still see an excellent, beat-laden dance party. PLAN B: Marriages, Creepoid, Witness 9, Hexa @ The Casbah. Marriages' music is dark, heavy and atmospheric—three qualities that go over well in my book. They're a bit like a female-fronted Cure influenced by metal, which means they're amazing. BACKUP PLAN: La Luz, Cool Ghouls, Teenage Burritos @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Aug. 13
PLAN A: Happyness, Buddy Banter, Kooties @ Soda Bar. London's Happyness play indie rock with great melodies, gorgeous production and minimal noise gets in the way of it all. Pretty, dreamy stuff that sounds great. BACKUP PLAN: Mursic, Ruines ov Abaddon, Xantam, Procyon @ The Merrow.
Friday, Aug. 14
PLAN A: Cold Cave, The Victoriana, DJ Jon Blaj @ The Hideout. FYF Fest is taking place later this month in L.A., and a lot of its bands will be hitting San Diego. Cold Cave is the first, and their dark synth-pop sound is best heard in a more intimate, dark space. Don your leather and go goth spelunking. PLAN B: Kim and the Created, Le Ra, Mint Field, Some Kind of Lizard @ Soda Bar. Los Angeles' Kim and the Created are all about the live experience. The band plays psychedelic rock that's easy to like, but Kim, herself, wears outlandish outfits and has a dynamic presence that'll keep you entertained, for sure. BACKUP PLAN: Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Tony Martinez @ Belly Up Tavern.
Saturday, Aug. 15
PLAN A: Circuit des Yeux, Marisa Anderson @ Seven Grand. Read my feature on Circuit des Yeux from last week. The singer/songwriter makes dark, ornate music that's both beautiful and strange, and endlessly fascinating. PLAN B: Fu Manchu @ The Casbah. Fu Manchu have been playing big, meaty, fuzzy stoner rock for more than two decades, and in this special "an-evening-with" show, they're treating you to several hours of righteous riffs. BACKUP PLAN: Jeff Rosenstock, Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room, Pet Symmetry, Spraynard @ House of Blues.
Sunday, Aug. 16
PLAN A: Raekwon and Ghostface Killah @ House of Blues. Read Scott McDonald's feature on Raekwon, whose debut album turns 20. He'll be performing many of those classic hardcore hip-hop jams from 1995, and fellow Wu-Tang alum Ghostface Killah will be there to provide the exclamation points for Rae's outstanding lyricism. PLAN B: Fucked Up, Doomsquad @ The Casbah. Fucked Up can be both one of the tightest live bands or one of the most chaotic, since singer Damian Abraham often lets other people shout the choruses to their songs. But messy or not, their hardcore anthems are amazing, and always a lot of fun.
Monday, Aug. 17
PLAN A: Screaming Females, Vacation, Upset @ Soda Bar. Anyone who ever said shredding doesn't belong in indie rock has clearly never heard Screaming Females. Guitarist Marisa Paternoster has superhuman abilities on the fretboard, plus the band's songs are damn catchy to boot.
Tuesday, Aug. 18
PLAN A: The Velvet Teen, Botanica Chango @ Seven Grand. Northern California outfit The Velvet Teen have had a long career of making super-catchy, often danceable, guitar-based indie rock. They've changed up their style a bit from album to album, but the songwriting is always excellent.