Wednesday, August 3
PLAN A: Cerulean Veins, Sundrop Electric, The Bum Deals @ The Casbah. San Diego is becoming an unusually strong locale for post-punk and darkwave bands, and Cerulean Veins is one of them. They have some excellent, dark vibes reminiscent of The Chameleons, and I recommend you spend some time on their Bandcamp page.
Thursday, August 4
PLAN A: People Under the Stairs, Blame One, Ric Scales, DJ Artistic @ Belly Up Tavern. People Under the Stairs have a long history of conscious, feel-good hip-hop under their belts. Revered more in the underground than the mainstream, they've put out a number of underrated albums with solid jams. PLAN B: The Bassics, The Gargoyles, Los Sweepers @ The Casbah. Thursday's as good a night as any for some mod-garage tunes. San Diego Music Award winners The Bassics put on a great live show, so let them prove it to you. (Mod apparel encouraged.) BACKUP PLAN: Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Some Kind of Lizard, Bit Maps, DJ Ryan Hand @ Soda Bar.
Friday, August 5
PLAN A: Metalachi, Electric Warrior @ Music Box. Metalachi make regular stops in San Diego, and it's hard to imagine any of their shows being less than raging parties. They play heavy metal covers mariachi style, which is a novel enough concept to continue producing fun material. PLAN B: Girl Talk @ Del Mar Racetrack. Girl Talk shows also, incidentally, have a tendency to become drunken dance parties. Since this is a free show at the racetrack, all you have to worry about is the gas money. And (most likely) the beer money. BACKUP PLAN: Emily Wolfe, Spero, Jimmy Ruelas @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, August 6
PLAN A: Earthless, Lexicon Devil, Sacri Monti @ Belly Up Tavern. Local heavy psychedelic rock heroes Earthless are a trip to see live. That's sort of the point of psych-rock, after all. Once their riffs start to kick up, their soaring freakouts can last up to 20 minutes. Rock out or just find a good stool to zone out on, either way you'll see a great show. PLAN B: Jungle Fire, Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, DJs Bob Green, Marsellus Wallace, Inform @ Soda Bar. Who's ready to get funky? Afro/Latin funk outfit Jungle Fire certainly is, as are local favorites Sure Fire Soul Ensemble. There'll be grooves for days (not literally). BACKUP PLAN: Stage Kids, Weatherbox, Nicely, JR Jarris @ The Casbah.
Sunday, August 7
PLAN A: Shabazz Palaces (DJ set), DJ Artistic @ The Casbah. It's not that common I put a DJ set as a Plan A, but when it's Shabazz Palaces spinning records, I'll make an exception. The Seattle hip-hop duo not only has an innovative sound, but impeccable taste, so you'll definitely hear some good jams. PLAN B: Luigipalooza w/ Take Offense, Tiltwheel, Drug Wars, The Gloomies, more @ Luigi's Pizza (Golden Hill). You know what makes a show instantly better? Pizza! Luigipalooza returns this year with a lineup full of great bands and, of course, pizza. So come hungry for punk rock and a slice of Spicy Kevo. BACKUP PLAN: The Nightowls, The Schizophonics, DJ Claire @ Soda Bar.
Monday, August 8
PLAN A: Jason Hanna and the Bullfighters, The Rosalyns, Hiroshima Mockingbirds @ The Casbah. All three bands on this bill sound different—Jason Hanna and the Bullfighters play jazzy exotica, Rosalyns do retro garage and Hiroshima Mockingbirds are rock 'n' roll—but the diversity should make it pretty fun all around.
Tuesday, August 9
PLAN A: Kurt Vile and the Violators, Pall Jenkins @ House of Blues. Philadelphia singer/songwriter Kurt Vile has released three of my favorite records of the decade so far, the most recent being last year's b'lieve i'm goin down . He mixes rootsy folk rock with a dreamy surrealism that's as easy to enjoy as it is weirdly profound. BACKUP PLAN: Ben Sollee, Citrus & Katie @ Soda Bar.