Wednesday, Oct. 10
PLAN A: David Byrne & St. Vincent @ Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. David Byrne is the former frontman of Talking Heads. St. Vincent is the project of songwriter Annie Clark. Together, these two artists make a potent pair—they make beguiling, horn-heavy weirdo-pop on their new album, Love This Giant, and on tour they've infused new energy into each other's songs. PLAN B: Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock @ SOMA. Fast-rising Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar is about to release a new album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and I love the skittering beat and supple rhymes of the single "Westside, Right on Time." BACKUP PLAN: The Bad Plus @ Anthology.
Thursday, Oct. 11
PLAN A: The Raveonettes, Melody's Echo Chamber, The Howls @ Belly Up Tavern. Danish indie-rockers The Raveonettes are all well and good, but the band I really want to see is Melody's Echo Chamber, the project of French songwriter Melody Prochet. Her captivating new album of propulsive, retro-tinged pop recalls the best of electronic icons Broadcast. PLAN B: Grimes, Elite Gymnastics, Myths @ Porter's Pub. The last time pixie-voiced indie-electro maven Grimes played in San Diego, she could barely finish a song without encountering tech trouble. Everybody loved her anyway, but here's hoping she's got those kinks worked out. BACKUP PLAN: Bad Books, The Drowning Men, Harrison Hudson @ The Irenic.
Friday, Oct. 12
PLAN A: Ruines Ov Abaddon, Under the Stone, Ashen Earth, Imbalanced, Might and Magic @ Eleven. With their grimy corpse paint, neck-snapping riffs and phlegm-throated growls, local black-metalers Ruines ov Abaddon—who have a new CD out—have more evil-mongering bad vibes than a plague-infested charnel house. PLAN B: Old Tiger, The Heavy Guilt, Nena Anderson and the Mules, The Red Fox Tails @ The Casbah. Local pop band Old Tiger are celebrating the release of a new album, Love Have Mercy, and some solid local rootsrock outfits will be out to support them. Check out my review of the album, and make sure to show up early for The Heavy Guilt—they always tear it up onstage. BACKUP PLAN: Shiva Trash, Crazy Eyes, Bagdad @ Tin Can Ale House.
Saturday, Oct. 13
PLAN A: Patti Smith @ Spreckels Theatre. Punk icon Patti Smith has her hands in so many projects that, to cover it all, she's performing in San Diego not once, but twice. As you'll read in our feature, tonight she'll do a Q&A and some reading and perform some acoustic songs; tomorrow her band will play a rock show at House of Blues. PLAN B: Sun Airway, Pure Bathing Culture, Room E & The Hallucinators @ Soda Bar. Philadelphia's Sun Airway whips up the kind of romantic, big-tent pop that a cynical hipster would normally balk at. But since it's all caked in a thick layer of hazy, weed-friendly textures, it's actually pretty cool. PLAN C: Dr. John and The Blind Boys of Alabama @ Balboa Theatre. In what's likely to be the most soulful concert all week, New Orleans songwriting maverick Dr. John will team up with heavy-hitting gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama to traverse jazz, blues and gospel. BACKUP PLAN: Busdriver, Nocando, Open Mike Eagle, ZZYZZX @ The Griffin.
Sunday, Oct. 14
PLAN A: Starskate, Beside Myself, Sleep Walk, Haruka @ Ché Café. If The Shins' James Mercer started doing tons of meth, his music might end up sounding like Starskate's. This Oakland quartet has a real knack for writing infectious pop hooks, but it isn't afraid to kick your face in with a crushing burst of garage-punk chaos. The Armory Show, No Fancy @ The Kava Gallery (2804 Kettner Blvd.).
Monday, Oct. 15
PLAN A: The Natives, Slut Machine, Amigo @ The Casbah. One day I'd like to see The Natives team up with fellow local rockers Coda Reactor to form some kind of Voltron-like mega-band. Until that happens, I'll be content with The Natives' ass-kicking, low-rent-Misfits-style punk jams. BACKUP PLAN: Tim Easton, Grampadrew, Nena Anderson, Abe West @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
PLAN A: Gangstagrass, Hit Dog Hollar @ Winstons. There's rap-rock. There's coffeehouse hip-hop. There's even something called "chap-hop." But what about crossing gangster rap with bluegrass? Enter Brooklyn's Gangstagrass. Seriously, this is too weird and random to pass up. BACK- UP PLAN: Los Campesinos!, Rafter @ The Casbah.