Wednesday, Aug. 28
PLAN A: Majical Cloudz, Moon King, Nicky Venus @ The Casbah. Kooky spelling of the name aside, Canada's Majical Cloudz makes some incredibly emotional, powerful electronic pop music. Devon Welsh, the singer and producer behind Majical Cloudz, doesn't need much more than a microphone and a laptop to captivate an audience. See it firsthand and be won over. PLAN B: The Paragraphs, North Beach, Loose Snakes @ Belly Up Tavern. Local alt-country rockers The Paragraphs play fun, organic tunes, and the Belly Up should be an excellent venue for their dulcet tones.
Thursday, Aug. 29
PLAN A: Carrie Nations, Needles/Pins, Homeless Sexuals, Behind the Wagon, Visitors, Grammatical B, Tight Bros, A-Borts, Johnny Mox @ Soda Bar. Three days of the seventh annual Awesome Fest go down at Soda Bar over Labor Day weekend, and all three of them are sold out. But the opportunity is still open to check out the pre-party, which is headlined by Athens, Ga., DIY punks Carrie Nations. PLAN B: Coda Reactor, Truckfighters, Chiefs, Revenge Death Ball @ The Griffin. Local punks Coda Reactor are bruisers. And their brand of bruising comes in several varieties—hardcore punk, space rock and Motörhead-style metal, to name a few of their badass musical flavors. Expect to see The Griffin get rowdier than usual. BACKUP PLAN: Dead Rabbits, Milestone, Anchors, Last Call Home @ House of Blues.
Friday, Aug. 30
PLAN A: Rocket from the Crypt @ Del Mar Racetrack. Technically, Rocket from the Crypt's first reunion show was in San Diego, unannounced, at Bar Pink in March. But after touring and playing the festival circuit, Rocket's doing San Diego right by treating us to a big-ass show at the Del Mar Racetrack. I'll be the one singing along to "Ditch Digger" at the top of my lungs—and probably the whole set list for that matter. PLAN B: Beehive and the Barracudas @ Whistle Stop Bar. Still need some raucous, rowdy rock 'n' roll once the Rocket show is done? Head on over to the Whistle Stop to see Beehive and the Barracudas, who've been providing San Diego with badass, soulful rock music for more than a decade. BACKUP PLAN: Agent Orange, Rat City Riot, Secret Samurai, Parade of Horribles @ The Casbah.
Saturday, Aug. 31
PLAN A: Scout Niblett, P.G. Six, Tori Rogg @ Tin Can Ale House. For a primer on U.K.-born singer-songwriter Scout Niblett, read this week's feature. Her raw performing and recording style carries some heavy emotional intensity, plus she does a mean TLC cover. PLAN B: Everest, The Heavy Guilt, Flaggs, Aaron Lee Tasjan @ The Casbah. Everest may be headlining this show, but their lush alt-country sound is just one of many reasons to go. The soulful rock grooves of The Heavy Guilt and the catchy, jangly garage pop of Flaggs happen to be two other perfectly good reasons. BACKUP PLAN: Cholos on Acid, Nuclear Tomorrow, Ramplocals @ Shakedown Bar.
Sunday, Sept. 1
PLAN A: SMD, Idols Plague, D.E.A., Nerve Control @ Tower Bar. The cover of SMD's album Hatefed Motherfucker 666 depicts an illustration of five swords making a pentagram, impaling a beer can in the center, against a circle backdrop that kind of resembles a pizza. That's a pretty accurate representation of the Los Angeles thrash-punks' sloppily obnoxious assault.
Monday, Sept. 2
PLAN A: Burgers, Beer, A Nap @ Your House. On Labor Day weekend, Monday in particular, it's unlikely that you'll be heading to clubs to hear live music—you'll most likely be nursing a hangover from the past two nights of partying. Grill some burgers, down a few cold ones, relax a little and sleep off the booze. You've earned it. PLAN B: Psychic Mirrors, Miami Players Club DJs @ Soda Bar. You do have the option of going out, however, and the best option is Psychic Mirrors, a space-age g-funk ensemble that combines ganja-laced grooves with heavy synth treatments.
Tuesday, Sept. 3
PLAN A: John Hiatt @ Belly Up Tavern. Indianapolis singer-songwriter John Hiatt has been performing for more than 40 years and has worked with Nick Lowe and Ry Cooder, and his songs have been covered by the likes of Iggy Pop and Bonnie Raitt. He's done country, folk, blues, rock—a little bit of everything—and is definitely worth clearing out your evening to see on Tuesday. BACKUP PLAN: Grand Tarantula, Chess Wars @ The Griffin.