Wednesday, Nov. 23
PLAN A: Chairs Missing, Lunar Maps, Scruffles @ Soda Bar. Chairs Missing is a great band, but show up early for Lunar Maps. They released a self-titled debut album via Bandcamp earlier this year (lunar maps.bandcamp.com), and I can't get enough of their silvery guitars, swooning vocals and dark, sleazy grooves. PLAN B: 12th Planet, Flinch @ Voyeur. Dubstep has blown up big-time during the past year, and L.A. producer 12th Planet helped pave the way with his massive sub bass and cosmic synths. Today, he's going strong with original tunes and remixes of catchy tracks like Rusko's “Hold On.” BACKUP PLAN: Obligerant @ The Tower Bar.
Thursday, Nov. 24
PLAN A: King Britt, Mk Ultra, Nic Aragon, Ghost M.D., Arkon, N-Key @ Kava Lounge. I was all set to give up and tell you to stay at home with your family tonight, but it turns out that at least one club is open and hosting a show on Turkey day. With his submerged, minimalist techno grooves, Philadelphia's King Britt offers the perfect accompaniment to a tryptophan high.
Friday, Nov. 25
PLAN A: Murs, Tabi Bonney, Ski Beatz & The Senseis, McKenzie Eddy, Sean O'Connell, Da$h @ House of Blues. Murs doesn't have his huge-ass hairdo anymore, but the celebrated underground L.A.rapper shows he's still got tons of personality on his new album, Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation. Over an eclectic array of beats, he dishes out rhymes about relationships, West Coast hip-hop and 'shroom-addled high-speed chases. PLAN B: NoFacE, DJ Bito, DJ Angel Roots @ The Griffin. When he performs, NoFacE masks his identity with an enormous afro wig, gloves and sunglasses. But this mysterious keyboardist isn't shy about his baser instincts—his sultry electro-funk jams have titles like “Chocolate Pussy” and “Fucking.” BACKUP PLAN: Govinda, Osal8, Mike Mannino, Kaminanda, Bassmechanic, Headshake, Holden, Cool Breeze @ Spin.
Saturday, Nov. 26
PLAN A: Melt-Banana, Retox, XBXRX @ Soda Bar. Since the early '90s, Japan's Melt-Banana have been making some of the zaniest music ever put to record: an exhilarating burst of noisy guitars, intricate beats and yelping, surrealist vocals. But Retox is just as potent, serving up brutal hardcore punk with the help of The Locust's Justin Pearson. (See our feature on them on Page 26.) PLAN B: Mark Sultan, The KABBs, DJ Bad Andy @ Bar Pink. Canadian garage-rocker Mark Sultan recently put out a wildly eclectic new CD, Whatever/Whenever, which finds him exploring everything from avant-garde free jazz to Lawrence Welk-style balladry. But he's at his best doing noisy, fuzzed-out rock 'n' roll, and here's hoping that's what we're in for tonight. BACKUP PLAN: Crooked Fingers, Strand of Oaks, Little White Teeth @ The Casbah.
Sunday, Nov. 27
PLAN A: Justin Vellucci @ Soda Bar (6 p.m.). A freelance writer and web developer by day, local singer-songwriter Justin Vellucci has been quietly putting out incredibly weird, often engrossing indie-pop for years. He just released his 10th album, Life Span of the Moth, a review of which you can read on Page 28. PLAN B: Rachael Yamagata, Mike Viola @ The Casbah. Rachael Yamagata is a brooding, velvet-voiced singer-songwriter whose polished, heartfelt tunes would befit the more reflective moments of an MTV reality series— which, trust me, is not as bad as it sounds. BACKUP PLAN: Bob Log III, Los Headaches @ Bar Pink.
Monday, Nov. 28
PLAN A: TrashAxis, Mala Salud, Back Alley Hooligans, DJ Thanksphiling @ The Tower Bar. Mala Salud is a proper hardcore punk band with chaotic riffs, breakneck beats and indigenous Mexican pride—on Facebook, they list their hometown as Aztlán, the mythical homeland of the Nahua peoples. Meanwhile, TrashAxis's awesomely heavy sound has more of a circus-y feel. BACKUP PLAN: The Fire Eaters @ Bar Pink.
Tuesday, Nov. 29
PLAN A: A Fiddler's Tale @ San Diego Museum of Art. The second concert in Art of Élan's 2011 season looks like a keeper. With A Fiddler's Tale, master jazz composer Wynton Marsalis updates Igor Stravinsky's Faust-themed 1918 work The Soldier's Tale with jazzy vibes and a plot about a violinist who sells out to a Devillike record-company executive. PLAN B: Russian Circles, Deafhaven, Marriages @ The Casbah. Russian Circles have always been an epic, ass-kicking band. But the Chicago trio outdid themselves with their new effort, Empros, a volcanic album that erupts with heavy-metal guitars and smashing drums.