Wednesday, Sept. 3
PLAN A: Odd Nosdam, Trance Farmers, Jeans Wilder, Chill Pill, DJ Psychopop @ The Hideout. Oakland producer Odd Nosdam rose to prominence as part of the avant-garde Anticon collective, but he's an interesting artist in his own right. He does trippy beats and heady sound collages, and it's pretty much always weird and wonderful.
Thursday, Sept. 4
PLAN A: Strand of Oaks, Christopher Denny @ The Casbah. If you like beards, reverb, jangly guitars, piano or earnestness, then you're probably going to like Strand of Oaks. The Philly outfit covers the spectrum between My Morning Jacket and Iron & Wine, with catchy songs and just enough Springsteen influence to put these tunes on a higher pedestal. PLAN B: The Baseball Project, Dressy Bessy @ Soda Bar. The Baseball Project is kind of a super-group—and kind of a goofy one at that. The Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn, The Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey and R.E.M.'s Peter Buck formed the band roughly six years ago as a way to generate lighthearted, fuzzy pop songs about baseball. It's a little gimmicky, but it's fun. BACKUP PLAN: Bhorelorde, Heathen Washington, Lazy Cobra @ Tower Bar.
Friday, Sept. 5
PLAN A: The Donkeys, Tropical Popsicle, Ditches @ The Casbah. Friday looks like a great opportunity to catch up on some of San Diego's best bands. Here's one solid lineup that's stacked with three of the best lightly psychedelic, albeit melodic, indie-rock groups in town. PLAN B: Life, Manuok, The Darrows @ Tin Can Ale House. But if you prefer things a bit more on the atmospheric or technical side, then check out Life, which features members of Sleeping People and lots of cool instrumental techniques.
Saturday, Sept. 6
PLAN A: The Burning of Rome, Grammatical B, Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, Melt with Me @ The Casbah. Only in San Diego could a show like this happen—a drummer / rapper / published sci-fi author and a professor / robot duo opening for one of the best live alt-rock bands touring right now. Come for the hard-rocking anthems; stay for the kooky costumes. PLAN B: Thollem McDonas and Alex Cline @ Bread and Salt. The fall "Fresh Sound" series launches with this unique piano-and-drums duo, who bring together improvisational sounds that are sometimes euphonious, sometimes jarring, but always innovative and altogether fascinating. One way or another, you'll get an exciting performance. BACKUP PLAN: Matthewdavid, M. Geddes Gengras, Illuminauts, DJ Mateo Silva @ The Hideout.
Sunday, Sept. 7
PLAN A: She Keeps Bees, Shilpa Ray, Diatribes @ Soda Bar. She Keeps Bees are a band definitely worth keeping your eye on. They've got the intimate, bluesy sensibility of Cat Power, the haunting, atmospheric sound of Beach House and some truly gorgeous songs in their repertoire. I predict they'll be big, so see them in a small venue while you can. PLAN B: Merit, Days of Light Gravity, Sledding with Tigers, American Rifle @ Donut Panic (in Grantville). As far as I'm concerned, any live music that happens in the vicinity of donuts is worth recommending. So, put this on your calendar, and may the sprinkles be plentiful! BACKUP PLAN: Rough Francis, Spencer Moody, Grand Tarantula @ Bar Pink.
Monday, Sept. 8
PLAN A: The Last Internationale, Reason to Rebel @ The Casbah. The Last Internationale have earned an endorsement from Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, and given their left-wing politics, that's not too surprising. But the band certainly rocks, and their singer might even remind you of Grace Slick in her prime. There's nothing necessarily innovative about their sound, but they rock hard enough for that not to matter too much.
Tuesday, Sept. 9
PLAN A: Tele Novella, Heatwarmer, The Killer Hz @ Soda Bar. Austin's Tele Novella are twee enough to have contributed to a tribute album to Wes Anderson (no, really), but they're the good kind of twee, as in K Records twee, not ukuleles-in-appliance-commercials twee. In fact, their new single, "Trouble in Paradise," was recorded at Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic Studios and has a lo-fi, torch-song charm. Indie pop can be charming without being cloying. PLAN B: Idyll Wild, Tiger Milk Imports, Splavender @ The Merrow. But don't forget the talent in our own backyard, including catchy math rockers Idyll Wild and vibrant prog-rock outfit Tiger Milk Imports—the combination should guarantee an eclectic and fun Tuesday night.