Wednesday, April 21
Japandroids, Avi Buffalo, Meseta @ The Casbah. Vancouver's Japandroids had a great '09 on the strength of their first LP, Post-Nothing, which landed on a ton of year-end best-albums lists (including mine), but their new single, “Art Czars,” finds them heading in a more straight-ahead rock direction than the furious, shoegazey rock of their debut. But it's the youngsters in Avi Buffalo that have me even more excited. Their upcoming self-titled debut is life-changing, à la The Shins, and they were fantastic at last year's North Park Music Thing. BACKUP PLAN: Monterey Jazz Festival @ Balboa Theatre.
Thursday, April 22
PLAN A: Bostich kknd Fussible, Revulab, Mr. Mustard @ The Casbah. I don't think I've ever seen a band headline The Casbah twice in one month, but considering all the post-show hype that followed the performance earlier this month by Bostich kknd Fussible, the Nortec Collective side-project, consider this your second chance to see their highly danceable mix of electro, Norteño and pre-recorded TJ street sounds. And show up early for Mr. Mustard, which is a really cool Beatles-remix project from local Gabe Lehner (of Inspired Flight and Metrofique). PLAN B: River City, Evangenitals, Little Hurricane @ Winston's. An Ocean Beach hootenanny? Why the hell not? Local country outfit River City have developed quite a following for their raucous live shows, the more bluesy Little Hurricane live up to their name and I'm loving the rootsy sounds of the female-fronted Evangenitals. Now, about that name…. BACKUP PLAN: The Mashtis, Neon Cough, Pelican Sam, Samhears @ Radio Room.
Friday, April 23
PLAN A: Bloody Beetroots, All Leather, Shark Attack, Deth Hertz @ House of Blues. Last time the masked electro duo in Beetroots played in San Diego, at Voyeur, the show became the stuff of hipster legend. So you can't blame House of Blues for wanting a piece of that action. Plus, they've one-upped the competition by adding electro-rock freaks All Leather and Shark Attack. I'm gonna be hurting come Saturday. PLAN B: Tape Deck Mountain, Chelsea Wolfe, Incomplete Neighbor, Kenseth Thibideau @ Tin Can Ale House. Just about as opposite as you can get from the bacchanalia of Plan A, but there's not a bad band on this mostly local bill. However, I'm most excited about out-of-towner Chelsea Wolfe, who conjures the spirit of Rid of Me-era PJ Harvey and Zola Jesus. Sinister, moody and as dark as Ian Curtis with a fake tan. BACKUP PLAN: Sinden @ El Dorado.
Saturday, April 24
PLAN A: Daedelus, Free the Robots, Illuminauts @ The Loft at UCSD. Speaking of shows of legend, in 2003, electronic maestro Daedelus played a show here where he first tested out an early prototype of the Monome box, an illuminated sampler and sound machine that allows more improvising and liveliness for what is otherwise a guy behind some knobs. Now, he uses it all the time, and it's helped him become one of the most important figures in the genre. I'll be interested to see what special toys he'll bring with him this time. PLAN B: Crocodiles, Blank Dogs, Cosmetics @ The Casbah. Locals Crocodiles have been hard at work on their sophomore record, and with their new rhythm section (finally, a live drummer!), I expect they'll debut some of that new material tonight. And I'm excited to finally check out Brooklyn's Blank Dogs, the one-man lo-fi project that sounds like synthy dance-pop from a grown-up punk. BACKUP PLAN: Leon Redbone @ Poway Center for the Performing Arts.
Sunday, April 25
PLAN A: High on Fire, Black Cobra, Bison, Abrupt, Archons @ The Casbah. Even if you haven't read the feature story in this week's issue, with song titles like “Frost Hammer,” “Fire, Flood & Plague” and a new album called Snakes for the Divine, it's not that hard to guess what you're in store for at this show. Black shirts, air guitaring and some seriously sore necks on Monday morning. BACKUP PLAN: “Soul Clap Shakedown and Dance-Off”@ Bar Pink.
Monday, April 26
PLAN A: Pepi Ginsberg, Black Mamba, Cousins @ Tin Can Ale House. Ginsberg's music sounds like Patti Smith if all her songs were ghostwritten by Tina Fey and produced by Steve Albini. Playful and imperfect pop with a punk-rock heart. BACKUP PLAN: Myriad Trio @ CPMC Concert Hall, UCSD.
Tuesday, April 27
PLAN A: Rogue Wave, Man / Miracle, JBM @ Belly Up. I might have thrown up had I seen the romantic comedy Love Happens, where, apparently, there's a scene in which the two lovebirds (played by Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston) watch a Rogue Wave concert from a cherry-picker. Sentimental hokum aside, the Bay Area band has yet to put out a bad album and have a great live show to back it up even if young yuppies use the band's songs for their “falling in love” mix CDs. PLAN B: The Black Heart Procession, The Grids, Street of Little Girls @ The Casbah. To me, Black Heart's Six was the best thing Pall Jenkins and company released since Amore del Tropico and certainly one of the darkest indie-rock releases of last year. It was almost enough for me to have wished quaaludes still existed.