(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com)
PLAN A: Mr. Tube, The Sultans, Beehive & the Barracudas, The Heartaches, The Widows @ The Casbah. The bands alone make this benefit show a grease-stain extravaganza: Mr. Tube is the billion-piece lowrider-orchestra fronted by Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins; The Sultans-a garage trio fronted by former Rocket from the Crypt frontman John Reis-are playing their final show; Beehive & The Barracudas is the garage-soul project of former members of Rocket from the Crypt and the Red Aunts; The Heartaches are like a live-action museum piece dedicated to '60s garage rock; and The Widows are among San Diego's better upstarts. The cause seals the deal-all proceeds go to Marc Gariss, an S.D. music icon and owner of Fourth Project Entertainment who lost nearly everything on Dec. 17 when a fire burned down his Fourth Project office. He had no insurance, so plop down $10 (or more) and help a dude who's been making the city a cooler place for a few decades. www.mrtube.com, MS/theheartaches, MS/beehiveandthebarracudas, MS/thewidowssandiego.
PLAN A: Mickey Avalon and the Dyslexic Speedreaders @ The Casbah. Mickey Avalon is what might happen if a single human could have Pete Doherty's drug experience, Iggy Pop's caged-animal persona, Blowfly's foul mouth and MC Paul Barman's hip-hop skills and somehow not spontaneously combust into a pile of urine-soaked powder. www.mickeyavalon.com. PLAN B: Greg Laswell w/ Anya Marina @ The Belly Up. Laswell has really good, sensitive songs about having your soul sucked out by a dirty pirate hooker, but really it's that voice of his-the thing could make humans born without tear glands weep buckets. Anya Marina started a few years back as an enchanting between-song storyteller with a guitar as a prop; now she's a real musician. www.greglaswell.com, www.anyamarina.com.
PLAN A: Al Kooper @ Acoustic Music San Diego. To be frank, Kooper recorded almost all of his must-hear solo material between 1968 and 1975. But those old songs from his debut, I Stand Alone, or 1971's New York City (You're A Woman) stand up today as phenomenal folk music. Then there's the résumé: He fronted Blood, Sweat and Tears, co-wrote the hit "The Diamond Ring," played on records by Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Dylan (he was on stage when Dylan "ruined" the Newport Folk Festival by using an electric guitar) and discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd. A true rock legend, playing at a frickin' church in Normal Heights. www.alkooper.com. PLAN B: The Fucking Champs, Earthless, Citay @ The Casbah. Screw Eddie Van Halen. This show is a wet dream for guitar nerds who tried to be J Mascis while secretly worshiping Iron Maiden's K.K. Downing. It's a heavy-metal jam-off between San Francisco's instrumental heroes, The Fucking Champs, and San Diego's never-pausing pummel-rock experience, Earthless. Citay is the acoustic side project between the Champs' Tim Green and Piano Magic's Ezra Feinberg, who sings a bit like Black Heart Procession's Pall Jenkins. www.thefuckingchamps.com, MS/earthless, www.citay.net. PLAN C: TeamAWESOME, Roybot @ Che Café. If you're into the peppy "gleeboard" movement (Matt & Kim, Mark Mallman, kind of Mates of State), you'll dig Boulder, Colo.'s TeamAWESOME, who sing about "fort-building skills." Roybot is a lo-fi indie-pop project by one San Diego man who's always charmingly off-key like Gary Wilson. www.teamawesomemusic.com, www.roybot.net. BACKUP PLANS: Nate Donnis Trio @ E Street Café (MS/natedonnismusic), Victor Dinaire @ On Broadway (www.victordinaire.com), Albert Hammond Jr. @ Soma (MS/alberthammondjr).
PLAN A: Dr. Israel @ Kava Lounge. To celebrate the eighth anniversary of the club night "Dragon Lounge," organizers have brought in Brooklyn-based dub and jungle innovator Dr. Israel. The dude's taking reggae into dark, heavy areas, and with relatively new vocalists Chemda and Lady K, he's got some soul pipes to make "stop the violence" pleas sound like a soulful, sexy endeavor. MS/dreadtoneinternational. PLAN B: Total Chaos, Tijuana No, Bumbklaatt, 14 other bands @ Multikulti in Tijuana. If you haven't crossed the border in a while, this is a great reason to do so. The benefit show at the old, burned-out theater just west of Avenida Revolución should be the perfect combination of proactive audio violence and destruction, with former Epitaph punks Total Chaos, the return of Tijuana No (minus the late, great vocalist Luis Güereña), hardcore San Diego/Tijuana punks Bumbklaatt and 14 other bands. www.totalchaospunx.com, MS/tijuanano, www.bumbklaatt.com. PLAN C: The North Atlantic, Secret Fun Club, Aspects of Physics, Japanese Sunday @ The Casbah. Good all-local bill. The North Atlantic is one of the city's best punk bands, their guitar violence pepped-up with handclaps and singalongs. Secret Fun Club is a promising instrumental rock band, one jagged riff after another. Aspects of Physics is like a glitchy cousin of The Album Leaf. And Japanese Sunday gazes at their shoes as well as anyone in town. www.thenorthatlantic.com, MS/secretfunclub, www.aspectsofphysics.com, MS/japanesesunday. BACKUP PLANS: OAKS, The Front, Hostile Comb-over @ Scolari's Office (MS/thefrontiscoming, MS/hostilecombover). Get Your Death On, Batwings, It's Casual @ The Alibi (MS/getyourdeathon, MS/batwingskillyou, MS/itscasual). The Prayers @ The Ken Club (MS/thefuckingprayers). Agua Dulce @ 710 Beach Club (www.aguadulcemusic.com). Jason Lee, Bamboula, The Strikers, Zombie Surf Camp, The Professors @ Dream Street (MS/bloodonthebeach, MS/thestrikers, MS/zombiesurfcamp, MS/theprofessorslounge).
PLAN A: Rhett Miller, Matt Curreri @ The Belly Up. Although Rhett solo isn't as good as when he's fronting The Old 97's, he's released a couple of folk-pop records that are better than Ryan Adams' disappointing middle-years. Matt Curreri is the kitchen-sink folk artist behind good San Diego band, The Exfriends. www.rhettmiller.com, www.mattcurreri.com. PLAN B: Fairchild, Whitton @ Lestat's. Fairchild is the solid, sensitive folk project by Oceanside musician Sean Cimino-piano, acoustic guitars and a nice whimper of a voice. Whitton is a female singer-songwriter from L.A. who's dark-edged, girlish voice makes her more than a "gal singing into a mic." MS/fairchild music, MS/whittonacoustic. PLAN C: Rezurex, Blitzkid @ Brick by Brick. Rezurex is the psychobilly project featuring Nekromantix drummer James Meza and Tiger Army bassist Jeff Roffredo, who takes on vocal duties. Blitzkid is a band perfect for people who love the sound of Bad Religion and the bloody spectacle of GWAR. MS/rezurex, MS/blitzkid. BACKUP PLANS: Dun Bin Had, Run Barbara Run @ Zombie Lounge (MS/dunbinhad, MS/runbarbararun). Austin James Band @ Jumping Turtle (MS/austinjamesband).
PLAN A: Dreamtiger, Talkdemonic, Evervess @ The Casbah. Dreamtiger is a good San Diego shoegaze band with vocalists who can sound like a subdued Interpol or an angsty Morrissey. Talkdemonic is one of Portland's better instrumental post-rock bands that adds subtle hip-hop beats. Evervess is a promising shoegaze/ drone-rock band from Oceanside, all reverb and harmonies. MS/dreamtigermusic, www.talkdemonic.com, MS/evervess. PLAN B: Blacklisted, Sinking Ships @ Che Café. Best hardcore show in town this week. Blacklisted is old-school brutality along the lines of American Nightmare. Sinking Ships is a more epic, speak-scream thing like Bane. MS/blacklisted, MS/sinkingships. "TAKE MOM OUT" PLAN: George Winston @ La Paloma Theatre. Because she deserves it, and he plays the piano in his socks. www.georgewinston.com.
PLAN A: MC Flow, Addiquit, Miki Vale, Plain Jane @ Hot Monkey Love Cafe. If you want to see the future of female hip-hop in San Diego, this is the show. MC Flow is the Brooklyn-sounding white girl with on-stage jazzercise accompaniment. Addiquit-whose first recordings are some fantastic, street-urchin shit-has something to prove live. Miki Vale is the soulful addition to the night, and Plain Jane has one four-on-the-floor track ("JANE") that shows significant skills. MS/mcflow, MS/addiquitmusic, MS/mikivale, MS/emceeplainjane. PLAN B: Ash Reiter, Hardy Harr!, The Paddle Boat @ Scolari's Office. Ash Reiter is a folk-jazz musician who's like a less-antiquated version of Jolie Holland. Hardy Harr! is as jokey as the name suggests-a male-female cabaret folk duo with a song called "Food and Pussy." The Paddle Boat is a really promising one-man, downtempo folk project from San Diego. MS/drunkenboat, MS/hardyharr, MS/thepaddleboats.