The xx (photo by Owen Richards)
Wednesday, June 2
PLAN A: Neon Indian, Class Actress @ The Casbah. In case you missed our feature in last week's issue: Neon Indian turns the squeaky synths and silly chords of '80s elevator music into heartfelt, tripped-out pop. It's the perfect soundtrack for the summer—just don't succumb to the hype and call it “chillwave.” PLAN B: Lex Land @ Lestat's. With her rich voice, this Orange County punk rocker-turned-folk artist makes herself right at home over melancholy piano and big beats alike. You'd best see her now before she's filling bigger venues. BACKUP PLAN: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony @ House of Blues.
Thursday, June 3
PLAN A: Bushwalla, Pigeon John, Rafter @ Belly Up. There's no pigeonholing Bushwalla, the multifaceted project of Cleveland native / San Diego transplant Billy Galewood, who's just as comfortable rapping over acoustic guitar as he is crooning along with a string section. The openers for his CD-release show perfectly complement his qualities: L.A. rapper Pigeon John throws down inspired rhymes while local pop-rocker Rafter Roberts glows with star power. PLAN B: The Vision of a Dying World, Miss Erika Davies, Jehovas Fitness, Lonesome Sparrow @ Tin Can Ale House. Speaking of releases, make sure to arrive early to this 7-inch-release show for The Vision of a Dying World to see the fabulous vocalist Miss Erika Davies. BACKUP PLAN: Aeroplane, Kid Lightning @ Voyeur.
Friday, June 4
PLAN A: Mission:Valley, Riververb, Innerds @ a bus. Everything about this show looks amazing, starting with the fact that two of the city's most intriguing new bands—Mission:Valley includes members of Pinback and Three Mile Pilot while Innerds combines Sleeping People percussionist Brandon Relf with The Locust guitarist Bobby Bray—will perform on a moving bus. The bus boards (BYOB!) at 8 p.m. outside North Park's Agitprop gallery. PLAN B: Stage Kids, Nut / Crackers, Fever Sleeves, Many Arms, TONS, Omegum Flegum @ Epicentre. You know you're in for something special when the event's called “Attack of the Jam Rock Robots II.” There won't be any robots, sadly, but there will be plenty of gripping math-rock riffs. BACKUP PLAN: The English Beat (also playing Saturday, June 5), Hoi Polloi @ Belly Up.
Saturday, June 5
PLAN A: Inspired Flight, Jamuel Saxon @ The Casbah. Mixing hip-hop with indie-rock with dub with breakbeat science, locals Inspired Flight forge a meditative sound reminiscent of DJ Shadow and Gorillaz. As for Jamuel Saxon mastermind Keith Milgaten, he performs his indie electro a little differently each show, but it's always happily mystifying. PLAN B: Snuffaluffagus, Mothlight, Dusty Highway Band @ Tin Can Ale House. Mothlight offers up touching electro-pop while Danica Molenaar of Dusty Highway Band mesmerizes with her delicate, velvet voice, making a perfect cocktail to herald the new record by experimental group Snuffaluffagus. BACKUP PLAN: Charlie Chavez y su Afrotruko @ Dizzy's.
Sunday, June 6
PLAN A: Paul Baribeau, The Preteens, Sani, Mandarin Dynasty @ Che Café. Michigan's Paul Baribeau has made a name for himself with little more than an acoustic guitar and an incredible amount of energy. With boldly sincere songs like “Ten Things,” he might be the most positive influence on alienated teens since posi-punks Fifteen. PLAN B: Dick Dale @ Fletcher Cove Park. If you see anybody perform at this year's Fiesta del Sol, the annual Solana Beach festival, it should be surf-guitar legend Dick Dale. Period. BACKUP PLAN: The Adolescents @ Hensley's Flying Elephant Pub.
Monday, June 7
PLAN A: Sage Francis, Free Moral Agents @ Belly Up. On his latest record, Li(f)e, indie rapper Sage Francis sees beyond his usual punching bags (corruption, religion, mainstream rap) and attacks life's greater contradictions. On stage, a live band will augment his freewheeling wordplay. PLAN B: Buzzcocks @ House of Blues. I'm sure these U.K. punks are much grayer and fatter compared with the days of “Orgasm Addict,” but they're still crass blokes at heart. BACKUP PLAN: The Good Life, The Parson Red Heads, Team Abraham @ The Casbah.
Tuesday, June 8
PLAN A: Delta Spirit, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, The Romany Rye @ Belly Up. Delta Spirit, whose album History from Below comes out today, seem to have the pared-down pop sensibility of The Strokes, but they bring a country twang and such random percussive objects as trashcan lids. PLAN B: The xx @ House of Blues. These young Brits have wooed American indie kids with their mellow grooves, but if you already saw them at The Casbah last November, check out… PLAN C: Themselves, Talkdemonic, Baths @ The Casbah. Because you wouldn't want to miss experimental hip-hop duo Themselves, with their maniacal rhymes. BACKUP PLAN: Aaron Swanton, Inkblot Propaganda, Joe Piotrowski, DJs Meth Combz, Tropical Popsicle @ Tin Can Ale House.