Wednesday, March 20
PLAN A: Merchandise, Wet Hair, Ditches, DJ Art Vandelay @ Soda Bar. Channeling the jangle and fuzz of My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tampa indie-rockers Merchandise create a sweltering, romantic sound that's rich with melody. And as Jeff Terich wrote in a feature, their forthcoming new album, Total Nite, is their gloomiest, most dissonant yet. PLAN B: Ducktails, Mark McGuire, Lost Ships @ The Void. Some may dig the soothing, rather snoozy soft-rock of Ducktails' new album, The Flower Lane. But I prefer the hypnotic, Krautrock-tinged guitar quests of Emeralds member Mark McGuire, which unspool in intricate, multilayered loops.
Thursday, March 21
PLAN A: Doldrums, Blue Hawaii, Sean Nicholas Savage, DJ Bruin @ Soda Bar. If you like the elfin electro-pop of Grimes, you'll probably dig fellow Montreal acts Doldrums and Blue Hawaii. Specializing in skewed club music, Doldrums serve up schizo electronics and pulsing beats while Blue Hawaii conjure winsome, head-nodding vibes. PLAN B: Wavves, FIDLAR, Cheatahs @ The Casbah. Wavves and FIDLAR both throw down pretty hard. When they're on the same bill, though, they're probably like a beer-chugging, weed-smoking Voltron. (Check out my review of Wavvesí new album, Afraid of Heights) BACKUP PLAN: Christopher Owens @ The Irenic.
Friday, March 22
PLAN A1: Parker & The Numberman, Sighphur One & Ethix, Edgar IsReal, Awkward Congregation, Aki Kharmicel & Beatsmith Resist, DJ Oplif @ Headquarters Café (5841 El Cajon Blvd.). Hip-hop heads won't want to miss this latest installment of "The Beat Bombardment," an ongoing showcase for MCs and beatsmiths. Don't miss organizers Aki Kharmicel and Beatsmith Resist, who make potent, sample-heavy beats. PLAN A2: Masta Killa, Solicit, Aims & Banish, 33rd Infantry, Vers 2:51, Pedalay the Boss, A-Lowe, DJs Tone Spliff, Tony Sleez @ Kava Lounge. Masta Killa may be one of the least-known members of the Wu-Tang Clan, but his three solo albums are full of solid rhymes and tough, soulful beats. BACKUP PLAN: The Donkeys, Low Volts, John Meeks Band @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, March 23
PLAN A: The San Diego Experimental Guitar Show w/ Scott Nielsen, Bart Stull, Clint Davis, Demetrius Antuna, Rafter, Wages @ Soda Bar. Things can get pretty wild at this annual celebration of the six-string. I'm not quite sure what to expect at this year's installment, but whatever strange, atmospheric or dissonant creations these guys come up with should be a real treat. See more here. PLAN B: Toothless George & His Ten-Man Band, The Screamin Yeehaws @ The Ruby Room. Toothless George's rollicking country-punk tunes will get a lot beefier tonight. To celebrate 10 years as a one-man band, he's putting together a 10-piece outfit featuring members of some local bands.
Sunday, March 24
PLAN A: Black Lips, Night Beats, Wild Wild Wets, DJ Myke Hunt @ The Casbah. When garage-rock hellions Black Lips played at Hard Rock Hotel last year, things got so crazy that the show was shut down after three songs. Now's your chance to see a full set, or even two: They'll also play at The Casbah on Saturday, March 23. (I recommend going tonight, so you can catch local psych-rock bruisers Wild Wild Wets.) PLAN B: Tittyfucker, The Albert Square, Haruka, Burnt @ The Ché Café. What better way to commemorate Womenís History Month than with a grindcore band called Tittyfucker? Fronted by two badass ladies, the trio takes cues from The Locust, with throat-shredding shrieks and crude, provocative lyrics. BACKUP PLAN: Bruin, Gap Dream, The New Rivers, Pool Honeys, Little Girl Blue, Cosmonauts, Traumahelikopter, DJ Lee Noise @ The Tower Bar (noon).
Monday, March 25
PLAN A: Anthrax, Exodus, High on Fire, Municipal Waste, Holy Grail @ House of Blues (5 p.m.). Thrash-metalers Anthrax broke through in 1987 with Among the Living, an album full of gnarly riffs and Stephen King references. Tonight, they'll perform the album in its entirety. BACKUP PLAN: Heartless Bastards, Jonny Fritz @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, March 26
PLAN A: Jeff Mangum, Tall Firs @ Spreckels Theatre. For many indie-rock fans, Jeff Mangum needs no introduction: With his odd voice and surreal lyrics, the former Neutral Milk Hotel frontman has penned a number of timeless, bewitching tunes. There's no saying when (or if) he'll ever come back to San Diego, so you'd better grab those tickets while you still can.