For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com. These are bands we especially dig, not full listings. For those, please see 'Concerts and Clubs' on the homepage.
PLAN A: The Bronx @ Beauty Bar. Possibly the hardest, loudest show in the City Heights venue's young history. There's a reason why Island Def Jam signed the L.A. band after it had played only 12 live shows-seeing just one can redeem your faith that punk hasn't truly been malled to death. MS/the bronx. PLAN B: KD3 @ Winston's. One of San Diego's jazz icons, saxman Karl Denson exhibits the funk with keyboardist Anthony Smith (Giant People) and drummer Brett Sanders. www.karldenson.com. PLAN C: The Muslims, The Vultures, Roman Spring @ The Casbah. Just one of the many good all-local bills in town this week. Roman Spring is pretty great on record but hasn't nailed it live yet-maybe this time. MS/themuslims, MS/officialvul tures, MS/theromanspring. BACKUP PLAN: Lloyd & Michael, Guy Blackman & Sly Hats, Roybot @ Che Café (MS/lloydandmichaelrock, MS/slyhats music, MS/r0yb0t).
PLAN A: Willie Nelson @ Open Air Theatre. One of the best outdoor venues in town with a country legend. Willie rolls his biodiesel bus (the Honeysuckle Rose IV) onto SDSU's campus for a full house where old urban cowpokes share funny smokes with young people who have good taste in music. MS/willienelson. PLAN B: The Scientist, Ranking Joe @ the Belly Up. On a short list of people to thank for 'dub music,' The Scientist is near the top-and here he's joined by lightning-tongued toaster Ranking Joe. MS/scien tist, MS/rankingjoemusic. PLAN C: The New Mastersounds @ Winston's. Sweaty, James Brown-era funk by some pasty white dudes from Leeds? Yep, and the Hammond organ-heavy licks are tasty. MS/new mastersounds. BACKUP PLAN: Reeve Oliver, Bloody Hollies @ The Casbah (MS/reeveoliver, MS/thebloodyhollies).
PLAN A: Blu & Exile @ Kava Lounge. It's the CD-release of Below the Heavens, the debut from one of L.A.'s best underground hip-hop/soul/downbeat duos. Blu's old-school, rough soul flow is fantastic, especially over Exile's scratches and strings and 1970s funk. MS/blurock, MS/alexile. PLAN B: Scarlet Symphony, Roses on Her Grave @ The Tower Bar. Scarlet is back full-time, with frontman Gary Hankins getting weirder and more spastic with every show. Roses on Her Grave is solid, dirty, distorted blues rock with male-female vocalists (Lindsay Matheson sounds especially good). MS/scarletsymphony, MS/rosesonhergrave. PLAN C: Sleeping People, The Jade Shader, Upsilon Acrux @ The Kensington Club. If an instrumental heavy-rock band from San Diego were to do the nearly impossible and make it to national acclaim, Sleeping People would be that band. MS/sleepingpeople, MS/thejadeshader, MS/upsilonacrux. BACKUP PLAN: Big Sandy, Golden Hill Ramblers, Bartender's Bible @ The Casbah (MS/bigsandyandhisflyriteboys, MS/golden hillramblers, MS/bartendersbible).
PLAN A: Transfer, Vib Gyor, Poor Bailey, Get Back Loretta @ The Casbah. Four possible headliners here. Transfer and Get Back Loretta are among San Diego's best. Just a couple years ago, Vib Gyor was one of the next-big-things out of the U.K.-hasn't happened, but the Radiohead-ish band is still around and still talented (if a bit wimpy). San Francisco's Poor Bailey might be night's sleeper pick-an unpredictable indie-thing that goes from Bright Eyes to Spacehog in a single song. MS/transferband, MS/getbackloretta, MS/vibgyor, MS/poorbailey. PLAN B: P-Trix @ Ben's Asian Fusion Restaurant. A former third-place finisher in the DMC Championship, DJ P-Trix uses and abuses vinyl records the way the Invisibl Skratch Piklz once did. Plus, he's spinning at Ben's Asian Fusion-odd venues are always a gas. MS/djptrix. PLAN C1: The Widows, The Dissimilars, Slab City, The Postals @ The Kensington Club. Best punk show in town this week, with three San Diego bands (The Widows kill it) and Imperial Valley's Slab City. MS/thewidowssandiego, MS/thedissimilars, MS/slabcity, MS/postals. PLAN C2: Jackpot, Two Sheds @ Scolari's Office. Two of Sacramento's finest. Jackpot is slack-jawed country rock, and Two Sheds is a bit like Mazzy Star gone folk. MS/jackpot, MS/twosheds. BACKUP PLAN: Roxy Jones, Apes of Wrath, Thee L.A. Gentlemen Callers, The Peelers @ The Tower Bar (MS/roxy jonesband, MS/apesofwrathmusic, MS/gentlemen callers, MS/thepeelersrock).
PLAN A: The Beautiful View, A Weeks Worth, Inigo, True Crime Authors @ The Zombie Lounge. Unless you've got a hankering for some third-wave punk-revival nostalgia (see below for the meta I speak of), this option gives you a glimpse of four promising newbies on the San Diego scene. Screw laundry-spend time dirtying garments with locals. MS/the beautifulview, MS/aweeksworth, MS/inigo, MS/true crimeauthors. PLAN B: No Use for a Name, Whole Wheat Bread, Flatliners @ The Casbah. Fat Wreck Chords titans No Use for a Name venture out of the all-ages crowd now that their fan base has reproduced and bought minivans. Should be a 'pro' show with multiple pop hooks. MS/nouseforaname, MS/wholewheat bread, MS/theflatlinerstoronto.
PLAN A: Get Him Eat Him @ Beauty Bar. The singer-songwriter behind this enjoyable (if not terribly exciting) keyboard-pop band is Pitchfork writer Matt LeMay. Local bands! Bring down your CDs! Mozy up to him at the bar and stuff his pockets with your next-big-thingness! Either that, or go simply with the intention of posting a MySpace blog that rips his band a new asshole! A new asshole splotched with herpetic sores of irony! MS/gethimeathim.
PLAN A: The Modlins, The Drowning Men, sayvinyl @ The Casbah. Headliner World Wide Spies could be really, uh, well, not great. But the local openers are worth the price alone. The Modlins are pure 1960s harmony folk. The Drowning Men mix some sea chantey, Irish pirate songs with capable indie-rock. Sayvinyl is the new tender-pop project by former Operatic frontman, Jesse Fritsch. MS/themodlins, MS/drowningmen, MS/sayvinyl. PLAN B: Cowboy Junkies @ Humphrey's. Margo Timmons and crew, while a bit of a snooze live, have really made better songs than their current fade-to-obscurity suggests. www.cowboyjunkies.com. PLAN C: Silverbird, Bartender's Bible, Deere Johns @ the Belly Up. Three sturdy urban-hick bands from San Diego. Bartender's Bible, especially, is some inspiring 'underside of the spittoon, which has been sitting in a pool of urine' sort of country. MS/silverbirdmusic, MS/bartenders bible, MS/presentingthedeerejohns.