PLAN A: DJ Nu-Mark, Old English, Profile, Grandmasta Rats @ El Dorado. You might recognize DJ Nu-Mark as the gifted beatsmith for underground hip-hop stars Jurassic 5. But if you've never heard of Old English, here's your chance to check out one of the best hip-hop groups from National City. PLAN B: Nude Boy, Tan Dollar, Dreamboat @ Tin Can Ale House. Google “Nude Boy” and you'll find some seriously disturbing websites. Google “Nude Boy MySpace” and you'll find a local band that throws down heavy post-punk la Wire and The Fall. BACKUP PLAN: Pomegranates, Oh No Oh My, Queens Guard @ The Casbah.
Thursday, Nov. 18
PLAN A: Ahmad, Blame One, TheBREAX, Kahlee, DJ Charlie Rock, The Blindsiders, Dannu @ Boar Cross'n. Blame One, whom we profile on this page, isn't the only rapper who makes this bill worth the drive to Carlsbad. Ahmad, raised in South Central L.A. and educated at Stanford, has been putting out artful material ever since he got famous for the nostalgic 1994 single “Back in the Day.” PLAN A (alternate): Calder Quartet @ The Loft at UCSD. Purists might balk at the fact that the Calder Quartet dare to play with the likes of Andrew W.K., but even the staunchest adherent of the classical form is bound to be moved by the path-charting piece they'll play tonight. Read all about it right here. PLAN B: lorn, Argyle, Osal8, Mateo Bambaataa @ Kava Lounge. The newest recruit to Flying Lotus' highly regarded Brainfeeder label, lorn makes dark, bass-heavy electro that's as mellow as it is spine-chilling. BACKUP PLAN: Sister Crayon, Truckasauras, Neat Beats @ Soda Bar.
Friday, Nov. 19
PLAN A: Guy Klucevsek @ Sushi Performance & Visual Art. A world-class accordion virtuoso and composer, Guy Klucevsek pushes the limits of an instrument commonly associated with shifty street performers. He's performed works by 20th-century composers like Béla Bartók and played with cutting-edge artists like Laurie Anderson. PLAN B: Primitive Noyes, Neat Beats @ The Fir Coat (590 Fir St., Bankers Hill). With their transcendent sound and cosmic ideas, post-rockers Primitive Noyes should be way more popular than they are. But that's not the only reason to check out this relatively new venue—the organizers promise art by David McHank and a full dinner including, um, Starbucks pastries. PLAN C: Di Nigunim, Holy! Holy! Holy!, Jehovas Fitness, Mala Salud, Satan Dance Party @ Che Café. Di Nigunim plays klezmer-style political punk with accordion, strings, horns and more. Show up at 7 p.m. for a workshop on radical politics. BACKUP PLAN: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Lonely Forest @ The Loft at UCSD.
Saturday, Nov. 20
PLAN A: Wild Flag, Grass Widow, Eux Autres @ The Casbah. Wild Flag are a new indie-rock super-group—they played their first live show last week—that includes members of Sleater-Kinney and the inimitable Mary Timony from Helium. They might not actually sound like an “avalanche taking out a dolphin,” as their press materials claim, but live footage suggests that the new outfit has memorable hooks and positive energy. PLAN B: New Mexico, Grand Tarantula, Mrs. Magician, Scruffles @ Tin Can Ale House. With their pared-down rock riffs, high-energy live shows and solid new EP, which they're celebrating the release of tonight, it's only a matter of time before New Mexico start getting positive attention outside San Diego. Even with that impossible-to-find-through-Google name. BACK- UP PLAN: Arrington de Dionyso, Moe! Staiano, Secret Fun Club @ Soda Bar.
Sunday, Nov. 21
PLAN A: Clinic, The Fresh & Onlys, Lights On, The Loons @ The Casbah. Clinic haven't strayed far from the psychedelic-rock mold in the 14 years the Liverpool band's been together. But with their warm organ washes and distinctly off-kilter vocals, they still sound like nobody else. Don't miss The Fresh & Onlys, who've been getting tons of buzz for their roughly hewn, paisley-tinted indie-pop. Actually, you'd best get to this show extra early because Lights On, an excellent local band that recently stripped down to a four-piece, plan to debut a set of new songs. BACKUP PLAN: James Zabiela, Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set), Audrey Napoleon @ Voyeur.
Monday, Nov. 22
PLAN A: The Sadies, The Loons @ The Casbah. They're Neko Case's go-to backing band, and their latest album, Darker Circles, was shortlisted for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. But The Sadies' biggest claim to fame remains their jaw-dropping live show, which exhibits their rapid-fire country-rock licks. BACKUP PLAN: Miss Erika Davies @ Riviera Supper Club.
Tuesday, Nov. 23
PLAN A: Satanic Puppeteer Orchestra, David Liebe Hart, Romulus, Island Boy, DJ Thomas K Bohan @ Tin Can Ale House. A devout Christian Scientist nicknamed the “puppet man,” David Liebe Hart gives puppet shows on The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Program, an L.A. public-access show; regularly appears on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!; and has writ- David Liebe Hart ten a number of weirdly captivating songs about topics such as Satan and aliens. Indeed, he's a true character. BACKUP PLAN: Black Mountain, The Black Angels @ Belly Up.