Wednesday, June 17
PLAN A: Castle, Desert Suns, Beira @ The Merrow. San Francisco doom metal trio are plenty heavy, but they're also excellent songwriters. Good melodies go a long way in heavy music. Bang your head and sing along! PLAN B: Amerikan Bear, AJ Froman, Future Age @ The Casbah. San Diego's quickly becoming a great place to find excellent psychedelic rock bands, and Amerikan Bear is one of them. They've got lots of reverb and effects to go around, plus some trippy visuals from their projectionist. If it's heady vibes you seek, here's where you'll find em. BACKUP PLAN: Holiday Mountain, Bakkuda, Natalie Emmons @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, June 18
PLAN A: The Life and Times, Arms Away, The Anomaly @ The Casbah. I saw The Life and Time on their first tour in 2003, when they played to a nearly empty room. It was loud as fuck, and they still rocked hard. The group's still making moody art-punk with great melodies. They'll probably still be plenty loud, just in a fuller room. PLAN B: Death Valley Girls, Rudy De Anda, Geyser House @ The Hideout. It's an unusual week in San Diego when you're not overwhelmed with garage bands, but if you see one, make it Death Valley Girls, who pack their fuzzy tunes with plenty of hooks.
Friday, June 19
PLAN A: Steve Earle and the Dukes, The Mastersons @ Belly Up Tavern. Steve Earle's been making outstanding roots rock for three decades, as well as having a key role in The Wire as Waylon. He's unlikely to reprise that role, but if he plays "I Feel Alright," it's all good. PLAN B: June Gloom Vol. 2' w/ Deep Sea Thunder Beast, Riververb, Barrows, Yours Truly Jane Palmer @ The Hideout. June Gloom returns to The Hideout, with a series of doom and noisebased bands bringing some thunder and darkness to our sunny town. BACKUP PLAN: Bangladesh, Marqay @ The Balboa.
Saturday, June 20
PLAN A: Rhett Miller, Annalisa Tornfelt @ The Casbah. Rhett Miller is best known as the frontman for alt-country band The Old 97's, but he's a fine performer in his own right. He tells a good story and strums a good tune, which isn't a bad way to spend your Saturday evening. PLAN B: Surfer Blood, Gothic Tropic, Alex Calder @ The Irenic. Surfer Blood's been having a rough year. Guitarist Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with cancer, and they were robbed of cash raised to help pay for his treatments (whoever did that is the worst human being, seriously). So it would probably make their day if you came out and rocked along to their power-pop tunes. BACKUP PLAN: Foreign Suns, Babe Parade @ The Balboa.
Sunday, June 21
PLAN A: Make Music San Diego @ Balboa Park. The inaugural Make Music San Diego happens this weekend in Balboa Park, and you can participate in group performances. But there will be some notable performances around the park, like Monochromacy in St. Francis Chapel, or Michael Zimmerman in the Japanese Friendship Garden. Seek out the musical Easter eggs! PLAN B: World Party, Gabriel Kelley @ Belly Up Tavern. World Party hasn't released a new album in 15 years, but their catalog is strong enough that it doesn't really matter. "Way Down Now," "Is It Like Today?", "Put the Message In the Box"—you can't beat songs like that. BACKUP PLAN: Astra, Sacri Monti, Monarch @ Brick by Brick.
Monday, June 22
PLAN A: Gang Green, Santa Claus, Christ Killer, Shark Blood @ Soda Bar. Another week, another group of old-school punks to see. Gang Green are probably the biggest name to come out of the 1980s Boston hardcore scene, and if you want to hear some super-fun hardcore and crossover thrash, check out their 1986 album, Another Wasted Night. Then see them live, naturally.
Tuesday, June 23
PLAN A: Slutvomit, Ascended Dead, Crurifragium, Abscission @ The Hideout. Yep, Slutvomit. I want to let that name speak for itself, but I'll be a little more generous than that and let you know that they're a black metal band from Seattle, with plenty of blast beats and corpse paint to go around. PLAN B: Juice Box, Grim Slippers, Noble War @ Soda Bar. But, you know, maybe that's too intense for a Tuesday, and you'd rather chill with some soulful instrumentals. In that case, local group Juice Box has you covered.