Wednesday, December 9
PLAN A: Nick Lowe's Quality Holiday Revue with Los Straitjackets @ Belly Up Tavern. Nick Lowe is a songwriting legend. He's had his share of new wave hits (and one song made famous by Elvis Costello), and he's bringing a special holiday-themed show complete with backing from surf-rock favorites Los Straitjackets. Sounds like a winner. PLAN B: Nik Turner's Hawkwind, Hedersleben, Tar Halos, Die Miï¬‚bildungen Die Menschen @ Til-Two Club. Hawkwind is one of the most important space rock/heavy psych bands of all time, having helped pioneer a trippy and massive sound. Original member Nik Turner is still touring with an updated version of Hawkwind, which will be pretty intense in such a small space. BACKUP PLAN: Taurus Authority @ Bar Pink.
Thursday, December 10
PLAN A: Three Mile Pilot, Systems Officer, Pall Jenkins @ The Casbah. Longtime local favorites Three Mile Pilot are back after a period of quiet, and members Pall Jenkins and Zach Smith are each performing in a different capacity—Jenkins as a solo artist and Smith with Systems Officer. Think of it as a Night With Pall and Zach. PLAN B: Kim and the Created, Kera and the Lesbians, Shady Francos @ Soda Bar. Kim and the Created is a good psychedelic rock band, but the biggest reason to watch is Kim, herself. She's a dynamic, charismatic and kooky frontwoman known for colorful outfits and zany antics. You will absolutely be entertained. BACKUP PLAN: Dani Bell and the Tarantist, Dillon Casey @ Sycamore Den.
Friday, December 11
PLAN A: Mike Krol, Rupert Angeleyes, Schitzophonics, Low Points @ Soda Bar. Mike Krol's Turkey is a great, if slept-on album from earlier this year. Lo-fi fuzz rock with elements of power pop and punk. No-frills, catchy songs with energy to spare. BACKUP PLAN: The Widows, Barreracudas, Personal and the Pizzas @ Whistle Stop.
Saturday, December 12
PLAN A: The Dears, Dear Boy @ The Casbah. Canada's The Dears have been around a pretty long time, but their intricate indie rock is fairly underrated, if you ask me. Their 2004 album No Cities Left was one of my favorite albums of that year, and still holds up. PLAN B: Montalban Quintet @ Panama 66. Montalban Quintet is an instrumental outfit featuring various members of other noteworthy San Diego bands, such as No Knife and Sleeping People. They're a little bit jazz, a little bit like a noir film score, and very cool all around. BACKUP PLAN: Ditches, Color, Kids in Heat @ The Hideout.
Sunday, December 13
PLAN A: Lump of Coal w/ Foals, Run the Jewels, Pvris, Will and the People, Wombats @ Valley View Casino Center. Big radio-station holiday shows often try to be all things to all people, but if nothing else, this should be at the top of your list for hip-hop duo Run the Jewels. They absolutely wrecked the stage at FYF Fest this year, and if you have the opportunity to go see them, definitely go see them. PLAN B: Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, The Bellrays, Lords of Altamont @ Observatory North Park. It's fairly common for the good Reverend to swing by our city around this time of year, and there are worse ways to spend the holiday than with a psychobilly freakout. BACKUP PLAN: Lord Howler, Cochinas Locas @ Whistle Stop.
Monday, December 14
PLAN A: Headphone, Los Angelics, Mayfield @ The Casbah. Need to catch up on some local music this holiday season? Go see Headphone, who blend electronics with an art-rock sensibility to create something not too far off from Radiohead, or prog-rock without the bloat.
Tuesday, December 15
PLAN A: Tesla Boy, Rose Quartz, Dr. Seahorse @ Soda Bar. Tesla Boy is a contemporary Russian synth-pop band, but if you close your eyes (and don't see their hipster haircuts) you'd swear this was a British group from the early '80s. Fun new wave sounds with catchy melodies.