(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com)
PLAN A: The Blackout Party @ O'Connells. Frontman Brian Holwerda must've started this band to justify his large collection of flannel outerwear. The slow, bent blues-rock is reminiscent of Alice in Chains' great acoustic EP, Sap , and who couldn't love a song that starts: "I'm gonna eat a celebrity baby/ 'Cause I ain't got the money for food" ? Check him at this show or every Thursday night in January at House of Blues (6 to 10 p.m. in "Salvation Alley," free). MS/theblackoutparty.
PLAN A: Barrington Levy @ The Belly Up. Levy was one of the first stars of dancehall reggae, a pious dude with a sweet voice and a signature way of turning two-syllable words into 20-syllable choruses. Whether it's "Shine Eye Gal," "Here I Come" or even his part in Shine's hit "Bad Boyz," he'll play it all at his two-night stint at the Belly Up. www.barringtonlevy.com. PLAN B: Indian Jewelry @ Scolari's Office. A trio from Houston whose open relationship often swells the band to dozens of members, Indian Jewelry's experimental detritus sounds a lot like the Butthole Surfers on downers, in a desert, that's been paved over, using robot freeway workers. MS/indianjewelry. PLAN C: Vena Cava, Tulsa, Behind the Wagon @ The Zombie Lounge. Vena Cava is a jagged, punchy San Diego punk band with male-female vocalists who sound a touch like Kim Deal teaming up with J. Robbins. Tulsa is a sloppy pop band from San Francisco that bridges the gap between Apples in Stereo and Daniel Johnston. Behind the Wagon is a solid local roots-rock band whose vocalist has Paul Westerberg's wail and Patterson Hood's raspy drawl. MS/venacava3, MS/Tulsa, MS/behindthewagon. BACKUP PLAN: Truckee Brothers, Loam, Dead Rock West @ The Casbah (www.truckeebrothers.com, MS/loam94, www.deadrockwest.com).
PLAN A: KRS-One, Grand Wizard Theodore, Deep Rooted, Steven Flex @ 4th & B. "The Teacher" has released some pretty lame records since his mid-'90s heyday on Jive Records. But KRS-One's coffers are full of classics and his hip-hop sermon is gospel to many. Grand Wizard Theodore, well, the dude invented the "scratch" and the "needle drop"--he's a DJ legend. Deep Rooted is arguably San Diego's best smooth flow-ers, and Steven Flex is a local DJ on the rise. www.krs-one.com, www.deeprootedent.com, MS/ stevenflex. PLAN B: Grand Ole Party, UV Tigers, The Prayers @ The Casbah. Three of San Diego's best indie bands that we've written about so much that it's just time to listen. MS/grandoleparty, MS/ultraviolet tigers, MS/thefuckingprayers. PLAN C: Homeless Sexuals, Flexx Bronco @ The Zombie Lounge. Homeless Sexuals is a San Diego punk band that performs like a human demolition team and has elements of both the Dead Kennedys and S.D. old-school punks Fishwife. Flexx Bronco is a San Francisco band that marries stoopid cock-rock hooks with punk's crazy-eyed zeal. MS/homelesssexuals, MS/flexxbronco. BACKUP PLANS: NOFX @ Soma (www.nofxofficialwebsite.com). Airplane to Garcea @ Smog Shop, 1509 National City Blvd. (MS/airplanetogarcea).
PLAN A: Transfer, Swim Party, Modern Rifles @ The Casbah. Best all-local bill this week. If you've got post-Morning Jacket Depression Syndrome, check San Diego's Transfer--more soaring, epic rock fronted by a man whose voice could fill an airplane hangar. Swim Party is also one of the city's finest, an indie rock band that combines the warm guitar tones of Pinback with strings and ensemble singing a la Modest Mouse. Modern Rifles is post-punk band whose new recordings should help them ascend the ranks. www.transferband.com, MS/swim party, www.modernrifles.net. PLAN B: Charles Rowland & The Vultures, The Muslims @ Beauty Bar. Charles Rowland is the former guitarist for The Plot to Blow Up the Eifffel Tower, and his new band is pretty, pretty distortion rock. The Muslims is a decent Velvet Underground-ish band from San Diego. MS/charlesrowland, MS/themuslims. PLAN C: Monsters from Mars @ The Ken Club. Monsters is probably the best surf-rock band in San Diego, with a little creepy ambiance that would make Deadbolt proud. MS/monstersfrommars. BACKUP PLANS: Brian Levy w/ Gilbert Castellanos @ Dizzy's (www.gilbertcastellanos.com). Elijah Emmanuel & the Revelations @ 710 Beach Club (MS/elijahemmanuel).
PLAN A: Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths, Leon and the Peoples @ 4th & B. Beres Hammond is the king of Jamaican lovers-rock, a man steeped in Marvin Gaye-style soul and positive dancehall. In 30 or so years, he's yet to release a flop of an album. Marcia Griffiths is one of Jamaica's biggest female stars and--love her or hate her for it--the woman behind "Electric Boogie," the song that had every place with a stereo doing the "electric slide" in the '80s. Leon and the Peoples is mediocre "reggae-soul," but its got pop-culture clout because Leon was one of the star actors in Cool Runnings . www.harmonyhousemusic.net, www.marciagriffiths.net, www.thepeoples.biz. PLAN B: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Entrance @ The Casbah. Malkmus, the former frontman for slop-rock gods Pavement, is still one of the most wry, gifted musicians in America. Entrance is the very good psych-folk project of Guy Blakeslee from Convocation Of. www.stephenmalkmus.com, www.entranceband.com. PLAN C: The Hope Conspiracy, Ceremony, Final Fight @ Che Cafe. Best hardcore show in town this week. Bostonï¿½s Hope Conspiracy is old-school hardcore (pummeling riffs and un-manipulated screams) in the vein of Bane. Ceremony and Final Fight are two brutal Bay Area bands--the former a lightning-fast assault, the latter with a bit of traditional rock to 'em. MS/hopecon, MS/ceremony, MS/finalfight. BACKUP PLAN: Hot Like (A) Robot, The Secret Stolen @ The Zombie Lounge (www.hotlikearobot.net, MS/thesecretstolen).
PLAN A: Fifty on Their Heels, The Strikers, Vinyl Radio, Peter and the Wolf @ The Casbah. As noted numerous times before, Fifty on Their Heels equals good San Diego punk. The Strikers are a good combo of psychobilly and heavy metal. Vinyl Radio is a garage-rock project that just added Brian Jonestown Massacre's former drummer. Peter and the Wolf is a promising indie-folk trio from Austin whose eponymous debut has some gorgeous tunes ("The Owl") amid mediocre ones. MS/fiftyontheirheels, MS/thestrikers, MS/vinylradio, MS/whiskeyandapples. PLAN B: Justin Timberlake, Pink @ ipayOne Center. Justin's dick has stolen the spotlight for now, but even the most cynical of indie fags wants to see this show. Peaches turned down Britney Spears but agreed to co-write with Pink, if that says anything. www.justintimberlake.com, www.pinkspage.com.
PLAN A: Helmet, Totimoshi @ The Casbah. Paige Hamilton of Helmet used his jazz training to turn post-hardcore into a guitar-nerd's dream--he being one of the first to popularize the "dropped-D" tuning. He recently replaced his entire band, but the guitar assault is still impressive. Hamilton produced the new album by the openers, Totimoshi, a good sludge-metal band from Oakland. www.helmetmusic.com, www.totimoshi.com. PLAN B: Lady Sovereign w/ Young Love, Honeycut @ House of Blues. The pint-size U.K. grime-rapper Lady Sov isn't phenomenal live, but her debut album, Public Warning , is pretty infectious. Young Love is essentially a one-man New York boy-band for hipsters, and Honeycut is a sturdy blue-eyed-soul trio from San Francisco. www.ladysovereign.com, MS/younglove, www.honeycutmusic.com. PLAN C: "Gram Parsons Tribute" w/ Tim Flannery, Eve Selis, Berkley Hart. This one's for the adult-contemporary crowd. Berkley Hart is one of the best folk duos in San Diego, Selis has a rough-ridden, fantastic voice, and Tim Flannery--yes, the baseball dude--is an Okie who's turned into a pretty decent high-lonesome bluegrass musician. www.berkleyhart.com, www.eveselis.com, www.timflannery.com.