These are bands we especially dig, not full listings. For those, please see Concerts and Clubs. For more top shows featuring local acts, please see Nightgeist.
Wednesday, Nov. 26
PLAN A: Melvins, Big Business @ 'Canes. Rescheduled from The Melvins' cancelled show in August, this interlocking, two-bodied, four-headed sludge-metal behemoth has grown another mutant appendage in new Big Business guitarist Toshi Kasai, who should provide extra bludgeoning where needed. PLAN B: Desert Diamonds, DJ Trevor Young @ Soda Bar. Sometimes a bar band is just a bar band, and Desert Diamonds perfectly exemplify this basic rule from Rockology 101 as they boogie and swagger like ZZ Top gone glam (minus the beards). BACKUP PLAN: McCoy Tyner, Christian Scott @ Anthology.
Thursday, Nov. 27
PLAN A: Give thanks to Mitch Mitchell, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes, Jimmy Carl Black, Levi Stubbs, Mike Smith, Buddy Miles, Richard Wright, Klaus Dinger and all the other musicians who died this year after devoting their lives to making joyful noise. Then watch a boring football game, eat some turkey, drink too much, argue with your family and pass out on the couch.
Friday, Nov. 28
PLAN A: Deerhunter, Times New Viking, Nite Jewel @ The Casbah. If you can't make up your mind about Deerhunter, it'll only take one live performance to turn you into a hater or a believer, especially if Bradford Cox breaks out the summer dress and the lipstick. PLAN B: Luckyiam, Aceyalone, Orko Eloheim, Nature of the Beast @ Jumping Turtle. Former San Diegan Orko Eloheim never got the love he deserved for his drum-and-bass / hip-hop hybrid. Just ask the dudes at Access Hip Hop; they'll tell you how dope he is. Now that's he's relocated to L.A., he's aligned with that city's wildly diverse hip-hop underground and is back to show us what we missed. PLAN C: Tom Russell @ Acoustic Music San Diego. The 58-year-old songwriter / painter / novelist might be the least-known musician to have ever appeared four times on Late Night with David Letterman. The El Paso resident is guaranteed to have more than a few interesting border-town stories to tell. BACKUP PLAN: Fever Sleeves, OAKS, Raise the Guns @ Ruby Room.
Saturday, Nov. 29
PLAN A: Blitzen Trapper, The Parson Redheads, Team Abraham @ The Casbah. Blitzen Trapper: excellent folk-rock band or the latest in a series of over-hyped acts signed to Sub Pop? Discuss amongst yourselves. PLAN B: The Sisters of Mercy, Hypernova @ House of Blues. The Sisters actually kicked ass before they got lumped together with every other group of pale whiners wearing dark sunglasses. If they stick to the early material, you're golden. If not, expect to see a lot of running eyeliner. BACKUP PLAN: Ziggy Shuffledust and the Spiders from Mars, Rafter, DJ Saul Q @ Ruby Room.
Sunday, Nov. 30
PLAN A: Bell Biv Devoe @ House of Blues. Dig your Starter jacket and baggy overalls out of the attic because BBD is back with the New Jack Swing for dat ass. If Ricky Bell doesn't sport a high-top fade, I'll be pissed. PLAN B: Subtle, Zach Hill and Illuminauts, Bill Wesley @ The Casbah. Jordan from Subtle is an Oakland resident with San Diego ties, so make it out to see how the local boy has parlayed his talents to one of the most progressive hip-hop / rock groups around. PLAN C: Smashing Pumpkins @ RIMAC Arena. I'm not really recommending this show. I'm just letting you know that it's happening, in case you have a boner for Billy Corgan and his egomaniacal nonsense. BACKUP PLAN: Blitzen Trapper in-store @ M-Theory Music.
Monday, Dec. 1
PLAN A: Holly Golightly, Bartenders Bible, Delaney Davidson, Pant Hoots, DJ Claire @ The Casbah. It's hard to imagine anything sexier than a pale, dark haired, chain-smoking, bourbon-drinking, broke-down British country singer. I don't care if she has death breath; Holly Golightly can sing to me anytime. PLAN B: Aunt Dracula, The Old In Outs @ Soda Bar. Philly freaks Aunt Dracula specialize in chaotic psychedelic mantras weird enough to repel but catchy enough to reel you back in. It sounds like they found a new drug, and they're not telling anyone else where to get it.
Tuesday, Dec. 2
PLAN A: Jonathan Richman, guests @ The Casbah. “Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.” Richman probably hasn't been called one, either, but I'm sure he's been called “awkward” once or twice. And he's definitely been called a genius by a few people, too. PLAN B: Rise of the Speedmen, KRY-LON @ Beauty Bar. Rise of the Speedmen play serene electronic music that sounds like Hood and DJ Shadow drinking wine, popping a few Xanaxes and collaborating in a dark room. In other words, it's pretty damn good.