Wednesday, November 11
PLAN A: The Underachievers, Pouya and the Buffet Boys, Kirk Knight, Bodega Boyz, G.R.A.M.Z. @ Observatory North Park. The Underachievers' brand of hip-hop is more psychedelic than most. Their 2014 album Cellar Door was assisted by various chemicals, but there are no side effects to consuming their trippy beats and rhymes. PLAN B: Tops, Banta, The Gloomies @ The Hideout. Tops are all about ethereal mystery, with a synth-driven sound reminiscent of recent Chromatics. If accessible gloom is your thing, Tops might be your new favorite band.
Thursday, November 12
PLAN A: Yo La Tengo, Blitzen Trapper @ Observatory North Park. Read my cover story this week on indie rock icons Yo La Tengo, who are headlining San Diego Music Thing. Their new album mixes covers of classic songs with a handful of original tracks, and it's gorgeous and fun as always. PLAN B: Soulside, Creative Adult, KATA, Keepers, Wildhoney, Records with Roger @ The Casbah. Washington, D.C., band Soulside was a pioneering post-hardcore outfit in the late í80s, and they're playing a can't-miss reunion show for San Diego Music Thing. For other SDMT recommendations, check out my roundup in this week's Notes from the Smoking Patio. BACKUP PLAN: Viet Cong, Mrs. Magician, Gateway Drugs @ The Irenic.
Friday, November 13
PLAN A: Mayhem, Watain, Rotting Christ @ Observatory North Park. Chances are if you listen to black metal of any kind, it was influenced by Mayhem. They're one of the Norwegian second wave's biggest names. Their lineup changes all the time but the darkness and intensity remains. PLAN B: The Album Leaf, Ilya, Eagle Rock Gospel Singers, Bakkuda @ The Casbah. It's the end of an era. Ilya plays their final show, which you should make sure to hit up if you want to hear them in person one last time before they ride off into the sunset. BACKUP PLAN: Swingin' Utters, The Bombpops, Beach Slang, Success @ The Hideout.
Saturday, November 14
PLAN A: The Midnight Pine, Birdy Bardot, Erik Canzona and the Narrows, Creature and the Woods, Dani Bell and the Tarantist @ Soda Bar. Bringing SDMT even closer to SXSW is this label showcase from the recently launched Redwoods Music. Its lineup is full of excellent bands, such as The Midnight Pine and Birdy Bardot, so grab a barstool and get comfy. PLAN B: Modern Baseball, Pup, Jeff Rosenstock, Tiny Moving Parts @ Lamppost Warehouse. Now that Soda Bar is booking shows at Lamppost Warehouse, San Diego's all-ages game is about to get better. The inaugural show features emo revivalists Modern Baseball and Canadian punks Pup, and itís gonna rip.
Sunday, November 15
PLAN A: Squeeze @ House of Blues. The UK's Squeeze have been playing perfect new wave pop since the late '70s, and they're still going with their first new set of songs since the '90s, and a back catalog worthy of celebration.
Monday, November 16
PLAN A: Flandrew Fleisenberg & Loren Groenendaal, Nathan Hubbard, Michiko Ogawa, Nick Lesley & Nicolee Kuester @ Space 4 Art. Steve Flato of the Abrash label has curated a showcase of experimental music that'll add more depth to your Monday. Settle in for some avant garde and minimalist audio visual treats.
Tuesday, November 17
PLAN A: The Psychedelic Furs, Max & The Moon @ Belly Up Tavern. The Psychedelic Furs played here not that long ago, but with albums such as Talk Talk Talk and Forever Now in their catalog, there's no shortage of great tracks to hear. PLAN B: Keep Shelly in Athens, Different Sleep @ The Casbah. Keep Shelly in Athens combines a lot of things that I like: dream-pop guitars, '80s new wave synthesizers and big, sing-along hooks. And wouldn't you know it? I love it all.