Wednesday, July 15
PLAN A: Inspired and the Sleep, The Routine, Luneaux @ Belly Up Tavern. Inspired and the Sleep have been getting national attention for some of their recent singles, so there's a good chance this band is gonna blow up. Say you saw 'em first, and support your local musicians. PLAN B: Abigail Williams, Empyrean Throne, Xantam, Mythraen @ Brick by Brick. Abigail Williams play a symphonic style of black metal that's as abrasive and anguished as it is epic and grandiose. It's a bit fancy by metal standards, but that doesn't mean they don't shred. BACKUP PLAN: Lincoln Durham, G Burns Jug Band, Gary Hankins and the Summer Knowledge @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, July 16
PLAN A: Soft Lions, Summer Twins, Other Bodies, Some Kind of Lizard @ The Casbah. Read Seth Combs' recent story on Soft Lions. The local trio is releasing their new EP Spellbreaker , and their post-riot-grrrl pop gets better with each release. PLAN B: Dick Diver, The Gloomies, The Verigolds @ Soda Bar. Dick Diver's name only sounds dirty—it actually comes from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. And the Australian band doesn't specialize in raunch, but rather jangly, upbeat indie pop that'll remind you of your favorite mid-'80s college radio show.
Friday, July 17
PLAN A: Built to Spill, Slam Dunk, Genders @ Belly Up Tavern. Read my feature on Built to Spill, who have been making fantastic, guitar-heavy indie rock for more than 20 years. Their latest, Untethered Moon , took two tries to finish, but the end result is Built to Spill at their best. PLAN B: The Helio Sequence, Quarto Negro @ The Casbah. Another great Pacific Northwest band, The Helio Sequence blends a dreamy indie-rock sound with some electronic elements that combine to yield vibrant, frequently catchy results. They've been at it for a while, but they've still got it. BACKUP PLAN: Chappo, Yukon Blonde, Fort Lean @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, July 18
PLAN A: Bomb Squad @ Seven Grand. Surprisingly, this Saturday night is a little bit thin in San Diego. There are other shows happening, but I'm just not feeling 'em. But I'm not going to steer you wrong: Go see funk outfit Bomb Squad (not the Public Enemy production team, just to be clear), who provide grooves both upbeat and laid back. You won't regret it.
Sunday, July 19
PLAN A: Basecamp, Angels Dust, Longclaws @ Soda Bar. Basecamp play a style of ambient R&B that's been pretty trendy of late, but they do it well. So end your week (or start it?) with some ethereal soul, done right.
Monday, July 20
PLAN A: Wildhoney, Rum for Your Life, Quali, Kiss and Make Up DJs @ Soda Bar. Wildhoney are a Baltimore-based shoegaze band that has all the distortion and dreamy vocals you crave. I'm sold.
Tuesday, July 21
PLAN A: Mavis Staples and Patty Griffin, Amy Helm @ Humphreys by the Bay. Mavis Staples is a treasure. Whether it's her history of singing with The Staples Singers, or the recent work she's recorded with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, her catalog is rich in soulful, powerful melodies. PLAN B: Charli XCX, Bleachers, B¯rns @ The Observatory North Park. So, I'm not a Bleachers fan, or of Jack Antonoff's other band Fun., but Charli XCX is one of the best things to happen to pop in recent years. Though only in her early twenties, she's already got a lot of hits, most of them pretty damn good. BACKUP PLAN: Cubanismo, Combo Libertad @ Belly Up Tavern.