Wednesday, September 16
PLAN A: Hum, Mineral @ Belly Up Tavern. If you grew up in the '90s, and had an affinity for big-guitar indie rock that rode the line between the underground and the mainstream, you probably loved Hum. You should have anyway, since their punchy anthems are amazing. What's more, they're joined by emo legends Mineral. One more check mark on the bucket list. PLAN B: Mobb Deep @ Observatory North Park. This is Mobb Deep's second show in San Diego this year, and that's fine by me. Their landmark album The Infamous is still chilling and hard-hitting. Backup Plan: Hand of Gavrilo, Future Age, Boychick @ The Casbah.
Thursday, September 17
PLAN A: Local Natives, Cramer @ Belly Up Tavern. This one's a little weird. This show is free, with tickets being given out as a lottery, rather than being sold at the box office. If you like atmospheric indie rock with great melodies, enter to get some free passes at bellyup.com (for what it's worth, Local Natives' atmospheric indie is better than most). PLAN B: Jennifer Castle, Northern American @ Seven Grand. Singer/songwriter Jennifer Castle has a fascinating aesthetic. In some respects, she's a rustic and old-school folk singer/songwriter. Yet in others, she's a modern performer who uses atmosphere and effects to her advantage to create a surreal vibe. It's pretty, just a little weird, and highly recommended.
Friday, September 18
PLAN A: Negura Bunget, Grimegod, Dynfari, Ruines Ov Abbadon, Lurid Memory @ The Merrow. It's not often you get the chance to see a Transylvanian black metal band(!), but Negura Bunget have made the trip all the way from Eastern Europe, with a catalog of spooky, mystical metal epics. That sounds like my kind of show. BACKUP PLAN: Turquoise Jeep, Noface Shadowmen, DJ Artistic, Rosa Veleno @ The Casbah.
Saturday, September 19
PLAN A: Mike Krol, Shady Francos @ Seven Grand. Mike Krol's specialty is super-short (two minutes or less) power-pop songs with a garagey, punk-inspired sneer. It's catchy stuff, but smothered in fuzz and attitude. How could you go wrong? PLAN B: Goatsnake, Black Breath, Battalion of Saints, Obliterations @ Brick by Brick. Doom metal rippers Goatsnake, featuring SunnO)))'s Greg Anderson, reunited recently and just released their first album in 15 years. They're as heavy and roaring as ever. BACKUP PLAN: Radkey, Griever, Graf Orlock, Haruka @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, September 20
PLAN A: KEN Mode, Child Bite, Garrett Jamieson @ Soda Bar. Winnipeg metal/noise rock trio KEN Mode are a band I've seen several times, and I'll happily see several more times. They make a lot of spectacular noise, but underneath the din their songs are pretty damn catchy. They're the best of several worlds.
Monday, September 21
PLAN A: Systems Officer, Birdy Bardot, The Lulls @ The Casbah. Systems Officer has been getting more active after a few years of relative quiet, and now they've stylized themselves as S.O. Whatever the name, they're a great local band, and you should plan to be there early for Birdy Bardot.
Tuesday, September 22
PLAN A: Shamir @ The Irenic. Read my feature this week on Shamir, a 20-year-old singer from Las Vegas who has crafted an infectious and unforgettable debut album, Ratchet . This show is sure to turn into a dance party, so don't miss it. PLAN B: Future Islands, Dan Deacon @ Observatory North Park. Speaking of dance parties, the first of two Future Islands shows at the Observatory happens tonight, and nobody's leaving without getting those limbs moving. Don't worry: Sam Herring, the band's frontman, will be doing most of the heavy lifting. The man has moves. BACKUP PLAN: A Place to Bury Strangers, Grooms, Keepers @ Soda Bar.