Wednesday, July 13
PLAN A: The Gorgeous Boyscouts, Giant Surprise, The Hand of Gavrilo @ Soda Bar. Support your local scene! Here are three San Diego bands worth checking out, including Giant Surprise, whose dense, spacey, shoegazing sound rocks hard while exploring lots of interesting layers and textures.
Thursday, July 14
PLAN A: Deerhoof, Skating Polly, Weird Night @ The Casbah. Deerhoof have been making weird, noisy, psychedelic and super fun indie rock since the late '90s, and they show no signs of slowing. They're still putting out excellent records, so get weird with 'em as they keep up the streak. PLAN B: Pinegrove, Sports, Big Bad Buffalo @ House of Blues. Earlier this year, I wrote a feature about Pinegrove, whose new album Cardinal is one of the year's best. They've got a warm and organic sound that'll make your Thursday feel even better, guaranteed. BACKUP PLAN: Colombian Necktie, Trapped Within Burning Machinery, Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Garth Algar @ The Merrow.
Friday, July 15
PLAN A: Phoebe Ryan, Cardiknox, Secret Weapons @ The Casbah. New Jersey-born Los Angeles-based Phoebe Ryan is a pop star on the rise. She's all about big hooks and big synth-laden production, and you better be prepared to dance to her super catchy jams.
Saturday, July 16
PLAN A: Geezer, Smells Like Nirvana, Hey! Ho! Let's Go! @ Music Box. Everyone's favorite geriatric Weezer cover band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pinkerton by mashing it up with all manner of other pink things. If you've ever seen these grandpas live, you'll know to expect the unexpected, and most likely some Beastie Boys breaks. PLAN B: La Luz @ Harrah's Resort. I don't know about you, but the idea of seeing great band while floating in the lazy river at Harrah's Resort doesn't sound like a bad proposition during a hot, sticky summer evening. Seattle's La Luz have a fun, beachy sound to pair with water and cocktails at this SoundDiego-sponsored show. BACKUP PLAN: Ducktails, Nic Hessler, Heavy Hawaii @ The Hideout.
Sunday, July 17
PLAN A: Wye Oak, Tushka @ The Irenic. Baltimore's Wye Oak started off as a ragged yet catchy rock band, and gradually transitioned toward a dreamier synth-pop sound. Their new album Tween splits the difference, and when you catch them live, the duo will show just how much stage they can fill without more musicians up there with them. BACKUP PLAN: Bryan John Appleby @ Sycamore Den.
Monday, July 18
PLAN A: Robert Ellis, Grampadrew and the Gutstrings @ The Casbah. Houston singer/songwriter Robert Ellis plays country with a bit of a sepia tint. There's less hat and cattle in his twangy tones than genuine emotion and catchy plucks of acoustic guitar and pedal steel. You just might shed a tear in your beer.
Tuesday, July 19
PLAN A: Fear of Men, Puro Instinct @ The Hideout. Read my feature this week on UK outfit Fear of Men, who have transitioned into a darker synth-laden sound. Their new album Fall Forever is a stunner, so make sure to head down and revel in the shadows. PLAN B: The Psychedelic Furs, The Church @ Humphreys by the Bay. The Psychedelic Furs and The Church made their way to San Diego not that long ago, and they're taking another lap. And that's a good thing, because when two veteran greats from the post-punk era make their way to your town, you don't want to miss out. BACKUP PLAN: The Yardbirds @ Belly Up Tavern.