Gene Loves Jezebel
Wednesday, Jan. 4
PLAN A: Caught a Ghost, Modern Me, Imagery Machine @ Soda Bar. Caught A Ghost is one dude, Jesse Nolan, who combines sample-heavy lo-fi pop and R&B, a little bit like a cross between Beck and How to Dress Well. Beforehand, watch his video for "Time Go," in which old-timey cartoons frolic in a graveyard and in Hell. BACKUP PLAN: The Devil Makes Three, The Lost Dog Street Band @ Observatory North Park.
Thursday, Jan. 5
PLAN A: Gene Loves Jezebel, Hexa @ Belly Up Tavern. Readers likely know Gene Loves Jezebel based on the strength of their '80s new wave hits like "Desire," though the band's been active for decades. Make sure to get there early for Hexa, who released one of my favorite local recordings of 2016. PLAN B: The Number 12 Looks Like You, Stolas, Fero Lux @ Soda Bar. If it's your mission to make your first show of the year something loud and crazy, this is a good choice. The Number 12 Looks Like You play intense, intricate and mathematically complex hardcore that'll confuse your nervous system. BACKUP PLAN: Resurrection Kings, Symbolic @ Brick by Brick.
Friday, Jan. 6
PLAN A: Warren G @ Music Box. As we move into 2017, why not take the opportunity to step back into the g-funk era of the '90s. Warren G had a huge hit with 1994's "Regulate," which remains a hip-hop party jam to this day. Regulators, mount up. PLAN B: TV Girl, Lanterns, Poppet @ Soda Bar. Former San Diegans and current Angelenos TV Girl create psychedelic indie pop that features layers of eclectic samples over upbeat hip-hop breaks. And though that's something musicians have been doing since the '90s, TV Girl manages to make it sound fun and fresh. BACKUP PLAN: Revolt-Chix, Zombie Surf Camp, The Pictographs @ The Merrow.
Saturday, Jan. 7
PLAN A: Fu Manchu, 16 @ The Casbah. I'm impressed at how long Fu Manchu have been turning out fuzzy stoner rock anthems after all this time, rocking hard for more than two decades. California sludge misanthropes 16 are opening, and though they're not quite as fun in an obvious sense, they definitely bring the thunder. PLAN B: Grizzly Business, Inspired and the Sleep, Spero @ Soda Bar. Grizzly Business have been putting in work for a couple years, and now they're finally releasing their debut album, Spanish Old Fashioned. Their record-release show also includes Inspired and the Sleep, who have been making their own pleasing indie pop sounds for a while now.
Sunday, Jan. 8
PLAN A: "David Bowie Birthday Celebration" w/ Bowiephonics, Ariel Levine, DJs Claire, Mr. Mazee, Mr. Robert @ The Casbah. I reserve my cover-show recommendations for special occasions, and this seems like one worth observing. It'll be a year since Bowie's passing, which was just a day after his birthday, and Bowiephonics will do the man justice with a set of Thin White Duke classics. PLAN B: Hannah Yeun, Nylon Apartments, TV Icon @ Soda Bar. Hannah Yeun's Bandcamp page describes her music as "witchy," which is enough for me to say "Sign me up!" It's eerie, yet catchy pop music that's a bit like Chelsea Wolfe backed by the Ventures. That is, it's pretty damn fun.
Monday, Jan. 9
PLAN A: Author & Punisher, Skrapez, Fivepaw @ Blonde. This show is part of Three One G Records' Planet B series at Blonde (more on Three One G and The Locust in this month's Golden Hill special section). The headliner is one of my favorite San Diego artists right now, one-man industrial metal outfit Author & Punisher, whose intricate musical machines are as impressive as his pummeling music.
Tuesday, Jan. 10
PLAN A: Brownout presents Brown Sabbath @ The Casbah. Austin's Brownout are a great Latin funk band, but as Brown Sabbath they put their unique stylistic spin on the catalog of heavy metal godfathers Black Sabbath. It'll be metal, and funky, as fuck.