Wednesday, Sept. 2
PLAN A: Divers, Shallow Cuts, Santa Ana Knights, Hot Damn Sextet @ The Casbah. Portland's Divers play guitar rock. There's nothing too fancy about it, no twee flourishes, no orchestral swells, no synthesizers, no growling metal vocals. They rock hard and they do it better than most of the other bands that claim to do so. BACKUP PLAN: The Mynabirds, Decker, The Lovebirds @ Soda Bar
Thursday, Sept. 3
PLAN A: Shellshag, Rad Payoff, The Waste Aways, AIDS Cop, Black Dots, Behind the Wagon, Sass Dragons, The Grids, Burn Burn Burn, 48 Thrills @ Soda Bar. The annual punk rock weekend of mayhem, Awesome Fest, kicks off with this show, headlined by fuzzy Brooklyn duo Shellshag who combine noisy guitars and infectious hooks. BACKUP PLAN: The Donkeys, Big Search, Oh Spirit @ The Casbah
Friday, Sept. 4
PLAN A: Dam-Funk, Cookie Crew DJs, Brougham díElegance @ The Casbah. Read my feature from last week on Dam-Funk. The Los Angeles funk producer is a prolific creator of epic, synth-laden funk that nods to Prince and Parliament, with a whole lot of future-funk vision. Get your ass moving when he makes his moves on the keytar.
Saturday, Sept. 5
PLAN A: 'When You Sleep' w/ Monochromacy, Casey Chisholm, Scott Nielsen and Michael Zimmerman Duo, Cave Space @ Che Cafe. Iím always down to get weird on the weekend, and this Stay Strange event pretty much invites you to do so. This showcase of experimental artists is headlined by drone guitarist Monochromacy, who recently turned a chapel in Balboa Park into a place of dark worship. See it for yourself. PLAN B: Valdur, Voidceremony, Xantam, Mysticism @ Til-Two Club. Valdur plays black metal just like the original Norwegian heathens did—as raw and as evil as possible. The California group knows how to do gnarly right, and I horn-salute them. BACKUP PLAN: The Blasters, Fanny and the Attaboys, The Bedbreakers @ The Casbah
Sunday, Sept. 6
PLAN A: Ducktails, Regal Degal, Hills Like Elephants @ The Casbah. Matthew Mondanile is usually seen playing guitar with his other band, Real Estate. But his solo project, Ducktails, has a dreamy, jangly charm all its own, and new album St. Catherine is loaded with low-key indie gems. PLAN B: Weezer @ Del Mar Racetrack. It's free and it'll be a fun rock show. That's all it needs to be. BACKUP PLAN: Dead to Me, Western Settings, Civil War Rust, Dudes Night, Horror Squad, Hellgod, Londons Falling @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Sept. 7
PLAN A: Craft Spells, The Victoriana, Other Bodies @ The Hideout. Seattle's Craft Spells make better use of synthesizers than most bands, their hazy, new wavey dream-pop the kind of sound that hits the spot when it's oppressively hot outside. Close out your holiday weekend with some fine, fizzy tunes. PLAN B: Beer, BBQ, A Nap @ Your House. It's also Labor Day, though, so I'm giving you the option of taking a break from seeing live music. If the working world can take a holiday, then we night owls can give ourselves the night off, too.
Tuesday, Sept. 8
PLAN A: Diet Cig @ The Hideout. Read Ben Salmon's feature this week on New York duo Diet Cig, who have built up a lot of buzz with only one single and one EP released thus far. But Diet Cig's handful of commercially available songs are definitely tuneful, and most certainly fun.