Wednesday, Oct. 29
PLAN A: Sonic Avenues, Young Wants, Scuffs @ Til-Two Club. Montreal's Sonic Avenues are a pretty nifty little band. They're heavily influenced by power pop and old-school punk sounds, which, on paper, may not necessarily seem like much to get excited about. But they write songs that are so much better than most other '70s fetishists that I can't help but be impressed. BACKUP PLAN: Gunner Gunner, Processor, Daddy Issues @ The Casbah.
Thursday, Oct. 30
PLAN A: The Rural Alberta Advantage, July Talk @ Soda Bar. The Rural Alberta Advantage have released a handful of albums on Saddle Creek Records, but they're not actually from Omaha. They're not from Alberta, either—they're from Toronto. Not that it matters. What does matter is that they play uncommonly good indie pop with a charming bit of folk influence. And their drummer, surprisingly, kicks ass. It's kind of refreshing. PLAN B: Hellion, Unicorn Death, Ultimate Sin, Chamber Sixx @ Brick by Brick. During Halloween week you're more or less obligated to see a band with "Hell" in its name, right? Well, here's a good one: Los Angeles' Hellion, a classic heavy-metal band that started in the '80s. They're a dramatic bunch, supposedly discovered by Ronnie James Dio. For metalheads, that should be evidence enough of their chops, I'd think.
Friday, Oct. 31
PLAN A: Roxy Jones, Wild Wild Wets, Ape Machine, Sleeping Ghost, Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra @ Soda Bar. I've compiled a more comprehensive Halloween live-music roundup in this week's "Notes from the Smoking Patio", but Soda Bar is where I'll most likely be. A whole bunch of great local bands are performing cover sets as a sort of audible costume. So, if you want to hear new takes on songs by The Zombies, Huey Lewis or Snoop Dogg, here's the place to be. PLAN B: The Creepy Creeps, The Burning of Rome, Cramped, Schitzophonics @ The Casbah. Here's another great option, with annual Halloween favorites The Creepy Creeps and Cramped, a Cramps covers band. We all need a good spooky surf-rock and rockabilly fix sometimes. BACKUP PLAN: Ojos (Shiva Trash), The Blood Hounds, Baja Bugs, Batwings, Electric Healing Sound, many others @ Til-Two Club.
Saturday, Nov. 1
PLAN A: Frankie Rose, Cold Beat, Devon Williams @ The Casbah. I'm a big fan of Frankie Rose, a New York singer / songwriter with an aesthetic that leans heavily on '80s goth and dream pop. Have a listen to her 2011 album Interstellar for a taste and then revel in her catchy post-punk melodies. BACKUP PLAN: The Darlings, Jason Cruz and the Howl, Brian Wahlstrom, Noel Jordan @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 2
PLAN A: O'Death, All Them Witches, Lonesome Leash @ Soda Bar. There are plenty of bands stomping their feet and strumming acoustic guitars and banjos these days, but none of them hold a candle to the gothic Americana of O'Death. Like Bonnie "Prince" Billy combined with the Louvin Brothers, they do old-timey folk that's beautifully dark. PLAN B: Chicano Batman, Viento Callejero, Buyepongo, La Diabla, DJ Bob Green, DJ V-Rock @ The Casbah. Just a couple days after its big Halloween show, The Casbah's throwing an awesome Dia de los Muertos show, headlined by trippy Los Angeles garage rockers Chicano Batman. So, who's bringing the pan dulce? BACKUP PLAN: Carla Morrison, Haunted Summer, Jandro@ North Park Theater.
Monday, Nov. 3
PLAN A: Iceage, Helm @ The Casbah. Iceage did a fair amount of damage (metaphorically speaking) the last time they visited San Diego. But in just one short year, the Copenhagen post-punk outfit has evolved into an even more compelling group. They've clearly spent a lot of time with the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds catalog, and that's a good thing—their new album, Plowing into the Field of Love , is eerie punk-blues done right. PLAN B: Alejandro Escovedo and Peter Buck @ Belly Up Tavern. Why commit to just one legend onstage when you can have two? Austin singer / songwriter Alejandro Escovedo and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck are combining forces for a special series of shows, and with a pretty stellar backup band at that.
Tuesday, Nov. 4
PLAN A: Charlie Megira, Kids in Heat @ Tower Bar. Charlie Megira is originally from Israel and currently resides in Berlin. But his music is vintage '50s and '60s American rockabilly, in the tradition of Link Wray or Santo and Johnny. It's great, often haunting stuff; they just don't make 'em like this anymore.