(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com)
PLAN A: The Heartless Bastards @ The Casbah. Aside from scanning the police blotter for the names of professional football players, seeing The Heartless Bastards perform is one of Cincinnati's greatest thrills. It's a garage-soul project built around the smoky, incredibly powerful pipes of Erika Wennerstrom. www.theheartlessbastards.com. PLAN B: Hirax, Municipal Waste, Damcyan, Nihilist @ Jumping Turtle. Best thrash/metal show in town this week. Hirax is a pretty awesome thrash/punk band from the '80s that'll remind you why you loved early Metallica (Note: the band's site says they're playing, but the venue's does not--no confirmation at press time). Richmond, Va.'s Municipal Waste is a total throwback to the scene Hirax came from--all brash yelps, metal riffage and 400-random-thwacks-per-minute drumming. Two of San Diego's better metal bands support: the theatrical, growling Damcyan (Santee) and banshee howling, fretboard-scaling medieval brutes of Nihilist (Carlsbad). www.facethewaste.com, MS/damcyanband, www.nihilistmetal.com.
PLAN A: Black Lips @ The Casbah. If they didn't have such infectious, dirty, drug-addled blues rock, you'd think Georgia's Black Lips are only loved because they get naked, break bottles to use as guitar slides, make out with each other and generally make security personnel shit themselves at their live shows. For a taste, go to www.vicerecords.com and download the video trailer for their upcoming album, Los Valentes Del Mundo , which they recorded live in Tijuana. MS/theblacklips. PLAN B: Moving Units @ The Epicentre. L.A.'s Moving Units prove that just because you look like a photo shoot for Interview magazine and play dance-punk doesn't mean you're yesterday's news. www.movingunits.net. PLAN C: Lily White @ Scolari's Office. This is the send-off show for a local female-led indie-rock band prior to a mini West Coast tour. They kinda rock. MS/lilywhiteband. BACKUP PLANS: Transfer @ The Whistle Stop (www.transferband.com).
PLAN A: Slayer @ Soma. Does the fact that Slayer was nominated for a Grammy and just performed on Jimmy Kimmel mean they've lost the edge that once scared the bejesus out of the mainstream? Nope-- Christ Illusion is arguably their best album since 1990's Seasons in the Abyss. www.slayer.net. PLAN B: Diablo Dimes @ The Whistle Stop. It's a CD-release party for kick-ass San Diego newcomer Diablo Dimes, a raspy country-blues musician a la Tom Waits (albeit on guitar). In fact, Waits' longtime friend and collaborator, Chuck E. Weiss, produced Dimes' new EP, Son de Cruel , and will sit in with him at this show. MS/diablodimes. PLAN C: Joe Louis Walker @ Humphrey's Backstage Lounge. Walker was one of San Francisco's premiere blues musicians in the early '70s, then left to find God, and has been back for 15 years drawing a blurry, riveting line between blues and soul. Dude's won three W.C. Handy Awards. MS/joelouiswalker. BACKUP PLANS: The Vision of a Dying World, Old Man Hands, Kite Flying Society @ Che Cafe (MS/thevisionofadyingworld, MS/oldmanhands, MS/kfsmusic). Brian Wilson @ 4th & B (www.brianwilson.com). B-Side Players @ Canes (www.bsideplayers.com). Goodbye Blue Monday, Misc. Ailments Foundation, lowcloudcover, Daysleeper @ San Diego Sports Club (www.goodbye-bluemonday.com, MS/miscailmentsfoundation, www.lowcloudcover.com, MS/daysleeperrocks).
PLAN A: Mike Watt @ Winston's. Kelly Clarkson fans should really come down and hear the bearded ugly she's chosen to collaborate with on her new album. It's kinda like pop, only louder and without the choreographed dances. Watt's new trio includes drummer Raul Morales and Red Krayola's Tom Watson on guitar. www.hootpage.com. PLAN B: Bloody Hollies, The Power-Chords, Ari Shine @ The Casbah. It's the CD-release party for San Diego's Bloody Hollies--a real good White Stripes-esque garage-rock band on Alive Records. The Power-Chords' monotonic mod-rock single-handedly justifies the late '70s. Ari Shine is a bit like an L.A. version of Elvis Costello. www.bloodyhollies.com, MS/thepowerchords, MS/arishine. PLAN C: Sirhan Sirhan, Thee L.A. Gentlemen Callers @ The Alibi. Sirhan's one of San Diego's better violent bands that harken back to the distorted megaphone days of The Butthole Surfers. Gentlemen Callers is a good rock band featuring members of L.A.'s Qui. MS/sirhansirhan, MS/gentlemencallers. BACKUP PLANS: Earthless, Orange Sunshine @ Kensington Club (MS/earthless, MS/orangesunshinerocks). Cash'd Out @ Tower Bar(www.cashdout.com).
PLAN A: Fishtank Ensemble @ Dizzy's. Fishtank is seven Oakland musicians--including an accordionist, flamenco guitarist and one on the Japanese string instrument, the shamisen--centered around Romanian singer and violinist Fabrice Martinez. It's klezmer, gypsy, flamenco, Japanese folk and Romanian music all played with little reverence for traditional tempos. www.fishtankensemble.com. PLAN B: Action Andy, Lanterns, Barbara Trentalange @ The Casbah. Two San Diego bands--Action Andy, an old-time western swing trio built around Andy's sweet, nasal drawl, and Lanterns, a good upstart indie-rock band a la Les Savy Fav--are joined by Seattle's Barbara Trentalange, a dusky, semi-electronic singer-songwriter (and former Crooked Fingers member) who just added San Diego's Rodney Elliott on drums. MS/sandiegoactionandy, MS/wearelanterns, www.trentalangemusic.com. PLAN C: Greg Friedman, Teresa Storch @ Lestat's. Friedman's a solid San Diego singer-songwriter who can do tender downhearted folk and whimsical, peppier stuff about Jada Pinkett. Storch is a jazzy, acoustic troubadour from Boston. MS/gregfriedman, MS/teresastorch.
PLAN A: Bob Wayne & the Outlaw Carnies, Waxy, Hostile Comb-Over @ The Casbah. A night for punks who love Hank III. Wayne is a dirty, contentious bastard from Seattle with banjo-spiked outhouse ditties about shotguns and lasses and ghosts. Waxy is a Palm Desert band that mixes stoner rock with a bit of that old Alice in Chains yowl. San Diego's Hostile Comb-Over could be generalized by saying they take Drive Like Jehu's abrasive screams and put it to Helmet's militaristic punch. MS/bobwayneandtheoutlawcarnies, MS/joebuckyourselfmotherfucker, MS/waxymusic, MS/hostilecombover. PLAN B: The Donnis Trio @ Dublin Irish Square. Some may be tempted to write off Encinitas' Nate Donnis as a Jack Johnson-come-lately (the two could fake a family photo together), but there's a bit more world-weariness and diversity in Donnis' acoustic tunes. www.natedonnis.com.
PLAN A: Of Montreal, The Blow @ Soma. For Of Montreal, please see the feature story on this page. The Blow is the minimalist-pop project from Portland visual artist/singer Khaela Maricich and electro-nerd Jona Bechtolt. Rubbery, offbeat beats with Maricich singing like a pop chanteuse who's dedicated her live to turning pop inside out. www.ofmontreal.net, MS/theblowus.