Wednesday, Dec. 24
PLAN A: Exile on Kettner Blvd. @ The Casbah. Shelter is just a shot (of booze) away for yet another Christmas Eve party at The Casbah, which brings together a rotating cast of local musicians (including Mario Escovedo, Joe Camacho, Joey Guevara and Brian “Nucci” Cantrell this year) for an all-Stones cover set. PLAN B: Clean Cuts DJs @ Bluefoot Bar. T-Murder and Angry Adrian have nothing better to do the night before Christmas than rock your jingle balls off with a selection of dirty garage tunes. Sounds better than going to church, doesn't it?
Thursday, Dec. 25
It's Christmas. Stay home and clean the coal out of your stocking.
Friday, Dec. 26
PLAN A: Gaslamp Killer @ Onyx. Have you ever smoked a bowl only to become convinced half an hour later that somebody laced it? By the sound of the Gaslamp Killer's blunted recordings, dusting other people's music with a thick layer of paranoia is one of this DJ / producer's favorite things to do. PLAN B: Drew Andrews @ Whistle Stop. Why hasn't Drew Andrews' gorgeous, gentle folk reached a larger audience yet? The stuff is so universally likeable that even the most grizzled of cynics couldn't deny its appeal. PLAN C: Secret Fun Club, Corridor, DJ Rob Moran @ Radio Room. Irony alert: Secret Fun Club isn't necessarily all that secret, and with only two members, it doesn't really qualify as a club. So, is it fun? Not unless your idea of fun is listening to a better recorded version of godHeadsilo. Which can be kinda fun, I guess. BACKUP PLAN: John Meeks, Vast Atlantic, Bill Cardinal @ Ruby Room.
Saturday, Dec. 27
PLAN A: Nite Jewel, Spirit Photography @ Soda Bar. Back in town for the second time in a month, Nite Jewel's syrupy bedroom-disco goes well with cocktails and codeine, while openers Spirit Photography have the potential to grow into one of San Diego's most intriguing young bands. PLAN B: Sweet and Tender Hooligans, Devoid @ The Casbah. Smiths fans are notoriously devoted, and Sweet and Tender Hooligans offer stone-cold proof. As one of the country's most accurate cover groups, they've sold out clubs all over the states and the U.K., with singer José Maldonado even being unofficially anointed as “the Mexican Morrissey.” PLAN C: Embalmers, The Postals, @ Ken Club. The latest local example of campy surf-punk comes courtesy of Embalmers, who may have recruited Count von Count from Sesame Street to sing vocals over their reverb-drenched guitars. “How many band members do we have? One, two, three, four! Four members! Ah, ah, ah!” BACKUP PLAN: The High Rolling Loners, River City @ O'Connells.
Sunday, Dec. 28
PLAN A: “Too Many Creeps” w/ Mario Orduno @ Whistle Stop Bar. This club night carries on Live Wire's recently deceased “Skull Kontrol” tradition with a mix of rap, post-punk, punk and other cuts to appease your inner reject. PLAN B: Ratt, Eric Johnson, Styx, The Guitar Generation @ House of Blues. I'm not going to lie, folks—I could never recommend this show in all sincerity. But this is what it comes down to on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year's. It's “Round and Round” and “Come Sail Away” or no live bands at all.
Monday, Dec. 29
PLAN A: Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven @ Belly Up Tavern. David Lowery took part in writing Cracker's “Low,” which, in hindsight, is one of the better modern-rock tracks of the '90s, and Camper Van Beethoven's “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” which is among the defining indie-rock tunes. Based on these songs alone, both his bands get the thumbs-up. PLAN B: Finally Punk, Crocodiles, Doctor Bird, Blessure Grave @ The Casbah. The Slits set a precedent for female punk that continues to inspire bands to this day. Case in point is Finally Punk, an Austin foursome who are just as interested in the idea of amateur music as they are in actually playing it.
Tuesday, Dec. 30
PLAN A: Illuminauts, Microphone Mike, Burns 1 @ Beauty Bar. San Diego County has some fresh new hip-hop blood in Illuminauts, a trio from Chula Vista whose robotic instrumentals recall the austere productions of Dabrye and Eliot Lipp. PLAN B: The Wailers @ House of Blues. If I had to guess, I'd say the average number of times each college frat dude and/or stoner has blasted Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus out of their front window is somewhere around 9.7. Otherwise, I might be interested in this show—which sees some of the original Wailers playing the album in its entirety—but, honestly, it just reminds me of how much I disliked some of the people with whom I went to school.