Wednesday, Oct. 9
PLAN A: Steve Earle and the Dukes, The Mastersons @ Belly Up Tavern. During his long career, singer / songwriter Steve Earle has released an impressive array of albums, which span from acoustic bluegrass to Springsteen-esque roots rock. New album The Low Highway offers a little bit of both, backed by his excellent touring band The Dukes (and Duchesses), which means these anthems are meant to be played live and loud. PLAN B: No Joy, Heavy Hawaii, Vum @ The Void. Sometimes it seems as if there are almost as many shoegaze bands as garage-rockers, but when they sound like Canada's No Joy, they're worth checking out. Loud, dreamy and just slightly disorienting, they hit all the right, hazy notes. BACKUP PLAN: Batwings, Prayers, Monogamy Party, Skrapez, DJ Mikey Ratt @ Tower Bar.
Thursday, Oct. 10
PLAN A: Legendary Pink Dots @ The Casbah. Legendary London underground goth-psych act Legendary Pink Dots have a massive back catalogue and just as many stylistic diversions as they have albums. On this 33rd-anniversary tour, expect to hear a wide selection of their dark, obscure treats. BACKUP PLAN: Transient, California Bleeding, Trashkannon @ The Void.
Friday, Oct. 11
PLAN A: King Khan and the Shrines, Hell Shovel, Teenage Burritos, Shake Before Us @ The Casbah. Look here for Scott McDonald's feature on King Khan, whose new album Idle No More finds the Canadian showman back in fine form. Expect catchy choruses, lots of horns and one of the best parties you've ever been to. PLAN B: Red Fang, Helms Alee, Wild Throne @ Brick by Brick. Portland's Red Fang know how to give their audience a good time. Fueled by beer, classic-rock riffs and a righteous heaviness, Red Fang might be the catchiest group ever to leave your poor bones bruised and sore. BACKUP PLAN: New Rome Quartet, Supermodel Razorblades, Ultra Violet Rays @ Tower Bar.
Saturday, Oct. 12
PLAN A: The Loons, The Rosalyns, Schitzophonics, Chinese Rocks @ The Casbah. There are plenty of bands in town with a psychedelic or garage style, but few of them can touch The Loons, who've been making San Diego weird since 1995 and can get down with the best of 'em. PLAN B: Adult., Flaamingos, Some Ember @ The Void. For a different kind of weird, soak in the dark, danceable anxiety of Detroit's Adult., who'll get bodies moving one way or another.
Sunday, Oct. 13
PLAN A: Kylesa, Pinkish Black, Sierra @ Brick by Brick. Two drummers, two guitarists and 100-percent kick-ass, Savannah psychedelic metal group Kylesa play with a dark intensity yet still leave plenty of room for great melodies and dynamite riffs. Get to the show a little early for Pinkish Black, a Texas duo with a supremely loud goth-rock sound built entirely from synth and drums. PLAN B: Rafter, Incan Abraham, Tropical Popsicle, others @ Golden Hill Street Fair. Even if you don't make it out on Sunday night, there's absolutely no reason to miss the Golden Hill Street Fair, which is both free and stacked with great bands, including Rafter and Tropical Popsicle, in addition to local beer and food vendors. BACKUP PLAN: Drag the River, Mike Donovan @ Bar Pink.
Monday, Oct. 14
PLAN A: Guitar Wolf, The Coathangers, Coward @ Soda Bar. If you don't know Guitar Wolf—well, you really should know Guitar Wolf, Japan's most rock 'n' roll power trio. In fact, they might just be the most rock 'n' roll band in the world, decked out in leather jackets and dark glasses and tearing through loud, chaotic garage anthems like "Fujiyama Attack" and "Wild Zero," the latter of which is also the title of a must-watch zombie flick starring the band. BACKUP PLAN: The Dodos, Dustin Wong @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, Oct. 15
PLAN A: Primal Scream, Wild Wild Wets @ Belly Up Tavern. It's been a good year for Glasgow legends Primal Scream, first with the release of their excellent dance-rock album More Light in May and then the prominent use of their 1991 classic single "Loaded" in Edgar Wright's The World's End . Be prepared to sing along to their trippy, baggy jams that run from the gospel inflected "Come Together" to the funky, nihilistic "Kill All Hippies." PLAN B: Widowspeak, Pure Bathing Culture @ The Void. Widowspeak split the difference between Fleetwood Mac and Mazzy Star, specializing in dreamy indie-pop tunes with a sepia-toned, organic, Laurel Canyon vibe. Hard to go wrong with a combination like that. BACKUP PLAN: Tjutjuna, Otis, Lunarray @ Soda Bar.