Wednesday, Dec. 28
PLAN A: OFF!, Foreign Bodies @ The Casbah. Punk supergroup OFF! puts on a super fun show, which should come as no surprise from a team of hardcore old-schoolers. Their songs are loud, short, snotty, but not necessarily young. That's just fine; you're never too old to be punk. PLAN B: Warsaw, Soft Lions @ Seven Grand. Warsaw, comprising members of KATA and Ilya, play catchy and edgy goth-rock that'll put some darkness back into your holiday season. It's danceable, yet moody stuff, so start practicing your goth moves. BACKUP PLAN: Dreams Made Flesh, L1ght Ra1l, The Elegant Lust, Crooked Rulers @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, Dec. 29
PLAN A: Kaytranada @ Observatory North Park. Kaytranada won this year's Polaris Prize, which honors the best album by a Canadian artist. And he definitely earned it with his eclectic, psychedelic array of beats and soundscapes. Be ready for a huge, trippy dance party. PLAN B: Melvins, Redd Kross @ The Casbah. The Melvins have been turning out sludgy, grungy rock and metal for more than 30 years, and haven't lost any of their power or sense of fun. If you're looking to close out your year with some huge guitar riffs, here's the show for you. BACKUP PLAN: The Downs Family, Santa Ana Knights, Johnny Deadly Trio, Super Buffet @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Dec. 30
PLAN A: Cherry Glazerr, Slow Hollows @ The Irenic. Cherry Glazerr definitely has a great name, which is taken from a KCRW on-air personality, but their music has well surpassed the novelty of their moniker. The band mixes dreamy pop with '90s-era alt-rock guitar riffs, and their upcoming album Apocalipstick is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated of 2017. PLAN B: Mrs. Magician, The Creepy Creeps @ Soda Bar. Mrs. Magician have had a pretty big year, what with the release of their new album Bermuda, and a handful of tours in the U.S. They're always a good time and well worth making your last solid rock show before the year's over.
Saturday, Dec. 31
PLAN A: "Psychedelic Masquerade" w/ The Midnight Pine, Birdy Bardot, Wild Wild Wets @ Lafayette Hotel. This was one of our top picks in our New Year's Eve guide last week, but it's worth repeating. A long list of some of San Diego's best bands, under a '60s psychedelic banner, carrying us into 2017 with some trippy, rockin' live sets. PLAN B: The Donkeys, Extra Classic, DJ Sandy Trash @ Soda Bar. The Donkeys are one of this city's favorite bands for a reason: They write tuneful, easy-to-love alt-country tunes with plenty of earth and twang. This may not necessarily be the rowdiest New Year's Eve party, but it'll be a darn good time. BACKUP PLAN: Cashíd Out, Sleepwalkers @ The Casbah.
Sunday, Jan. 1
PLAN A: Advil, Water, Couch Cushions @ Your House. New Year's Day isn't for going out. I'm sure you can find a bar that's open, with a band playing, but do you really want to make the throbbing continue after a night of epic debauchery? Didn't think so. Take it easy. Watch a parade. PLAN B: The White Buffalo, The Dales @ Belly Up Tavern. Alternately, you could chill on New Year's Eve and hold out for some earnest outlaw country from The White Buffalo. It's actually a solid plan if the year-end blowouts aren't your scene.
Monday, Jan. 2
PLAN A: Heebie Jeebies @ Tower Bar. Arizona's Heebie Jeebies have a beefy, sleazy rock 'n' roll sound that evokes the sludginess of Pissed Jeans as much as it does the proto-punk of The Stooges. It'll get your year started with a proper dose of volume and misanthropy.
Tuesday, Jan. 3
PLAN A: SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Promontory, Nuance @ Che Cafe. SeeYouSpaceCowboy are a so-called "sassgrind" band, which essentially means they sound like late '90s-era screamo, but faster and more menacing. Count me in.