Wednesday, Aug. 1
PLAN A: Big K.R.I.T., Casey Veggies, Black Resume @ Porter's Pub. Adhering to the traditions of Southern rap, Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T.'s sleek 808 beats, bluesy bass lines and swaggering rhymes would go perfectly with a shiny new Cadillac and a nice, tall glass of purple drank. PLAN B: The Burning of Rome, Kevin Martin, Inspired Flight, Italian Japanese @ Belly Up Tavern. Local gonzo-rock overlords The Burning of Rome will release their new album, With Us, via Surfdog Records on Sept. 18. On lead single "Ballad of an Onion Sprout," they sound a bit like Mr. Bungle with their ornate arrangements, whimsical organs and surreal lyrics. BACKUP PLAN: Luísa Maita, Nala Kete @ Anthology.
Thursday, Aug. 2
PLAN A: Real Estate, Sun Araw, Jeans Wilder @ Belly Up Tavern. Now that summer's creeping ever closer to fall, it's time to get a dose of Real Estate. Though they're from New Jersey, their marvelously breezy guitar licks could've come straight from a magical prairie land. PLAN B: Pal&Drome, DUDES, Church Hustlers, Mothlight @ The Griffin. Speaking of summer, check out DUDES' new EP, Summer Vacation (available at duudes.bandcamp.com). With its whirling synths, sunny guitars, hard-hittin' beats, feel-good vocals and the occasional weed-centric raps, it's as exciting and overwhelming as a pile of LSD-infused cotton candy. BACKUP PLAN: Murder by Death, Cory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, Ha Ha Tonka @ The Casbah.
Friday, Aug. 3
PLAN A: YG @ House of Blues. YG sure knows how to get a club bumping. In hits like "Toot It and Boot It" and "Do It With My Tongue," L.A.'s wildly popular 22-year-old rapper delivers sweet beats, infectious hooks and sly, sex-obsessed rhymes. PLAN B: Mrs. Magician, Spider Fever, Plateaus, Ditches @ The Casbah. Local surf-punks Mrs. Magician have been getting plenty of buzz (from us, in particular) for their catchy new album, Strange Heaven. And if you dig bands like Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing, don't miss Ditches, a new local band whose indie-pop tunes go down nice and easy.
Saturday, Aug. 4
PLAN A: Cuckoo Chaos, Maren Parusel, Hills Like Elephants @ Bar Pink. What do these bands have in common? They've all been nominated for San Diego Music Awards, and they've all got the pop thing down. I'm definitely not going to miss indie-rockers Cuckoo Chaos: They're crazy talented, they groove extra-hard and they get better with every show. PLAN B: The Hood Internet, Psalm One, Tanya Morgan @ The Casbah. Like a low-key Girl Talk, Chicago duo The Hood Internet mash indie-rock into hip-hop to make new creations. In one of their latest, "Grown Up Has No Trigger," they seamlessly cross Danny Brown with Dirty Projectors. BACKUP PLAN: Peter Case @ Java Joe's (4976 Newport Ave.).
Sunday, Aug. 5
PLAN A: The Nervous Wreckords, The Howls, Grand Tarantula, Parker & The Numberman @ The Casbah. Like Saturday's Plan A, this solid show is also a showcase for San Diego Music Award nominees. I'm definitely stoked to see The Nervous Wreckords: On their new album, Let Them All Talk, the pop-rock outfit celebrates being one's self with sassy lyrics and quirky, Devostyle hooks. PLAN B: David Ramirez, Great Power, Run Luca @ Soda Bar. You might need some Kleenex for this one. An Austin singer-songwriter with a powerful voice, David Ramirez fills his songs with heartbreak and personal struggle. Seriously, he's about to release a new album called Apologies. BACKUP PLAN: Brian McKnight @ Anthology.
Monday, Aug. 6
PLAN A: College, Anoraak, Electric Youth @ The Casbah. As I write in this feature, College and Electric Youth are the big highlight tonight: They wrote "A Real Hero," one of the infectious synth-pop numbers on the Drive soundtrack. French band Anoraak also throws down, delivering hard-rockin' synthpop with sweaty abandon. PLAN B: Autolatry, Ophiuchus @ The Shakedown Bar. Many black-metal bands take inspiration from the unforgiving forests of Scandinavia, but not Autolatry. Hailing from eastern Connecticut, they sing about New England history as they churn out white-hot riffs and neck-snapping blast-beats.
Tuesday, Aug. 7
PLAN A: Avi Buffalo, Jeans Wilder, Kera and the Lesbians @ Soda Bar. I've seen Avi Buffalo deliver face-melting guitar freak-outs, and I've seen them do more straightforward, youthful indie-pop. Either way, they sound good. They also play Tin Can Ale House on Tuesday, Aug. 14. BACKUP PLAN: The Black Lips, Allah-Las @ Hard Rock Hotel. (RSVP here)