Wednesday, Nov. 14
PLAN A: Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Lola Monroe, Berner, Tuki Carter @ RIMAC Arena. Even if you've never heard Wiz Khalifa's infectious 2010 hit "Black and Yellow," chances are you've caught wind of its many spinoffs—run a search on YouTube and you'll even find a Chargers-championing one called "Blue and Yellow." Still, nothing tops the original. PLAN B: King Dude, Vampire, ?AIMON @ Soda Bar. If Leonard Cohen took a trip across the River Styx, he'd probably come back sounding like Seattle folksmith King Dude. In his captivatingly creepy song "Holy Land," he intones lyrics in a deep, fearsome voice. BACKUP PLAN: Copywrite, Conspiracy Theorists, Aims & Banish, Anti Citizens, Sojourn, Sighphur One, Vers2:51, Beatsmith Resist, A-Lowe @ Kava Lounge.
Thursday, Nov. 15
PLAN A: Laura Gibson, Lost Lander, Run Luca @ Soda Bar. Portland folkie Laura Gibson stretches out stylistically on her 2012 album, La Grande, infusing her understated folk with hints of waltz and Latin-tinged guitar. But with her fragile voice, her songs retain their distinct, ghostly vibe. PLAN B: The Howls, Trouble in the Wind, Michael McGraw & The Butchers, Burning Jet Black @ The Casbah. Whether you're sitting on the front porch or lounging on the beach, Carlsbad folkies Trouble in the Wind are bound to charm with their light, breezy tunes. Singer-songwriter Michael McGraw has a way with catchy hooks: I can't get "Poorboy" out of my head. BACKUP PLAN: DWNTWN, Inspired and The Sleep, Colourvision @ The Griffin.
Friday, Nov. 16
PLAN A: DJ /rupture, Cardopusher, Poirier, Psilosamples, Sun Araw, Venus X @ Leyva's Paradise (Tijuana). As a globetrotting DJ and writer, Jace Clayton, aka DJ /rupture, has spent the past decade mixing, spinning and writing about lots of incredible sounds. He's kind of like Diplo in that way, only Clayton is more sophisticated and not as famous. (Go here for more) PLAN B: Andrew Jackson Jihad, Future of the Left, Jeff Rosenstock, GRRRLFRRRND @ Ché Café. Every time Phoenix folk-punks Andrew Jackson Jihad play here, their rabid fans end up sweaty, hoarse and incredibly happy. As for Wales-based rockers Future of the Left, not only do they kick ass, but they're also wickedly clever. (The two bands also play at the Ché on Saturday, Nov. 17.) BACKUP PLAN: The Watson Twins, John Meeks & Joanie Mendenhall, Shane Alexander @ The Griffin.
Saturday, Nov. 17
PLAN A1: All My Friends Music Festival @ Casa de la Cultura (Tijuana). As I make clear in my guide, it's well worth heading across the border for this epic, daylong fest. It's got an impressive lineup and is set to go late into the night. PLAN A2: Plateaus, Joy, DJ Mario Orduno @ Soda Bar. Read my feature on Plateaus, a local band that bangs out delightfully loud, totally chill garage-rock tunes. PLAN B: Transfer, Mister Loveless, Family Wagon, The New Kinetics @ The Casbah. Transfer fans better not miss this one, as it's their last hometown show for 2012. Also, methinks they'll test out some new songs they've been recording. BACKUP PLAN: El Ten Eleven, Michna, Yourself and The Air @ The Irenic.
Sunday, Nov. 18
PLAN A: Blowfly, Homeless Sexuals, Roxy Jones, Grammatical B @ Soda Bar. Ever wonder what it's like to see a 73-year-old man in a superhero outfit let loose with dirty, sexual rhymes that'd make a 15-year-old blush? Well, now's your chance to experience Blowfly, the weirdest, nastiest old-man rapper youíll ever meet. BACKUP PLAN: D.R.I., Witchaven, Take Offense, Blood Stained Reality @ The Ruby Room.
Monday, Nov. 19
PLAN A: Deftones @ House of Blues. These alt-rock overlords recently dropped a new album, Koi No Yokan, and it's every bit as big, melodic and crushing as you might expect. PLAN B: Barbarian, The Pharmacy, Dream Buddies @ Soda Bar. Honestly, there's nothing barbaric about local dudes Barbarian: Their surf-y licks and grainy, post-punk textures feel pretty laid-back.
Tuesday, Nov. 20
PLAN A: The Faint, Trust, Casket Girls @ House of Blues. The Faint dropped their goth-tastic album Danse Macabre in 2001, right in time for the dance-punk revolution. Now, to commemorate the album's recent deluxe reissue via Saddle Creek, the Omaha synth-rockers will play the album in its entirety. BACKUP PLAN: Matt Curreri, Von Hack, Woody Nightshade @ Tin Can Ale House.