Wednesday, Sept. 21
PLAN A: “Bajaton” w/ Jwls, Etc!Etc!, Colour Vision, Groundfloor, Roane @ U-31. Tropical booty-bass has been getting pretty big in San Diego, and now U-31 has decided to devote a monthly night to it. Headlining tonight's official launch party will be Etc!Etc!, an L.A. DJ who's gotten props from Diplo's Mad Decent label for his muy sexy “moombahton” (reggaeton meets Dutch house) remixes of hits like Timbaland's “Indian Flute.” PLAN B: Systems Officer, Phantom Works, The Color of Glass @ The Casbah. Performing under the name Systems Officer, Pinback co-founder Zach Smith recently released a new solo album, Underslept, that pretty much just sounds like another Pinback album—think lithe guitars, florid keys and crisp vocal melodies. BACKUP PLAN: Bright Eyes, Kurt Vile & The Violators @ SOMA.
Thursday, Sept. 22
PLAN A: Weekend, Talk Normal, Dark Thirty @ The Casbah. Weekend might sound like the name of a summer-tastic indie-pop band, but don't be fooled—this San Francisco trio makes fierce, smoldering indie-rock that's better suited for a hellish PCP trip than a Saturday at the beach. PLAN B: Sean Hayes, Michael Musika @ Soda Bar. Not to be mistaken with the former star of Will & Grace, Sean Hayes is a San Francisco-based singer-songwriter with a milky voice, a bunch of infectious folk songs and a style that's best described as hobo-chic. BACKUP PLAN: Coda Reactor, Smooth Sailing, Razorhoof, Moosejaw @ Eleven.
Friday, Sept. 23
PLAN A: Herbie Hancock @ Balboa Theatre. He helped define jazz fusion. He co-wrote “Rockit.” He's rocked the keytar with more style than anyone else. Indeed, Herbie Hancock is one of the cheesiest jazz keyboardists alive today, but he's also one of the greatest. PLAN B: Kendrick Lamar @ Porter's Pub. A young protégé of Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar is a quirky rapper from Compton with a fluid flow. He's been getting lots of online buzz lately for Section.80, a solid album full of sick beats and pointed commentary on the struggles of kids born in the Reagan era. BACKUP PLAN: Lenguas Largas, Stalins of Sound, Amoebas @ The Tower Bar.
Saturday, Sept. 24
PLAN A: SoCal Hellbilly Fest Car & Bike Show II @ Del Mar Fairgrounds. Head over to Page 15 to read more about this fest, which features heavyweights like rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. PLAN B: Sheila E. @ Anthology. A badass drummer and singer from a family of Latin-music greats, Sheila E. has had an illustrious career in pop music. Back in the mid-'80s, she recorded with Prince and scored several solo hits. Recently, she performed alongside Marc Anthony on American Idol and busted out a gnarly drum solo on Late Show with David Letterman. PLAN C: Arctic Monkeys, TV on the Radio @ SDSU Open Air Theatre. With their latest album, Suck It and See, Arctic Monkeys deliver one of their strongest efforts yet—they're as hard-rocking and clever as ever, but they've polished up their stoner-rock tendencies to craft memorable hooks. BACKUP PLAN: Foreign Film, Red Pony Clock, Doves and Desperados, D/Wolves @ Tin Can Ale House.
Sunday, Sept. 25
PLAN A: Balkan Beat Box, Orchestra Mustachio, Wolfgang Von Cope @ Belly Up. Even the dourest NPR listener could get down to Balkan Beat Box. Like Manu Chao, the Brooklyn band mixes elements of different genres—Balkan folk, Jamaican dancehall, North African gnawa, New York hip-hop—into a stew of politically aware trans-border funk. BACKUP PLAN: Colour Revolt, Colourmusic, Phasers on Stun @ Soda Bar.
Monday, Sept. 26
PLAN A: Mountains, White Shrine, Smiles Davis @ Tin Can Ale House. With an emphasis on texture and pacing, Brooklyn duo Mountains use an array of instruments and effects processors to craft gorgeous electro-acoustic soundscapes that will make you feel like you're riding atop a cloud or swimming deep in the ocean. BACKUP PLAN: The Goddamn Gallows, Jayke Orvis, The Strikers, James Hunnicutt, Big Buck Hunter and The Pros @ Shakedown Bar.
Tuesday, Sept. 27
PLAN A: Neon Indian, Com Truise @ Belly Up. Back in 2009, Neon Indian mastermind Alan Palomo inadvertently helped spawn a trendy music subgenre called chillwave when he dropped a series of quirky, '80s-obsessed lo-fi synth-pop tracks that quickly went viral. Palomo probably won't shake the label any time soon, but Neon Indian's new album, Era Extraña, shows him expanding greatly on his sound. BACKUP PLAN: Zechs Marquise, Me&LP, Children of Nova @ The Casbah.