PLAN A: Def Leppard w/ Journey @ Coors Amphitheatre. We would've liked to have been in the Camaro when some 40-something rock promoter-gut, cigarette wrinkles, beer teeth-thought this one up. The two cheese-embracing arena rock bands have sold more than 100 million records combined. Judging by the parade of hits, it seems they were the only two bands recording in the '80s (Journey especially, so expect an aging crowd to croon along to "Open Arms" and "Faithfully"). Journey's replacement singer is sick, so they replaced him with another replacement, Jeff Scott Soto-a former vocalist with Yngwie Malmsteen and Soul Sirkus, the side project of Journey guitarist Neal Schon. He's no Steve Perry, but he's reportedly not bad. Leppard will bring the torn-jeans hits as well, plus some covers from their latest release. PLAN B: Onethousand Pictures w/ Persephone's Bees @ The Casbah. To be honest, headliner Every Move's a Picture is forgettable. But the support is fine. Onethousand Pictures is San Diego's newest breakout band, signed to Velvet Hammer/Columbia Records before anyone besides their parents knew their name. A bit of an '80s mix of keyboard alt-rock and Boingo-era Danny Elfman yelps, they're worth seeing now before their major-label debut drops in October. Persephone's Bees is a punky new-wave thing from Oakland, with a female vocalist who's half sex, half attack dog. PLAN C: Deep Rooted @ the Belly Up. San Diego's mellow hybrid of hip-hop and soul, trading harmonic flows with female-sung gospel swoons.
PLAN A: The Soft.Lightes w/ Plural & Manuok. Three of San Diego's better alternative bands, two of which are up for San Diego Music Awards in September. The Soft.Lightes is the elusive second project for Ron Fountenberry, who formerly fronted The Incredible Moses Leroy. It's a bigger, happier sound for the eclectic-pop softy. Plural is an impressive band with killer vocal harmonies and some symphonic guitar rock. And Manuok is the brainchild of Scott Mercado (also an adjunct member of Black Heart Procession), who specializes in mixing electronics with lo-fi fuzz and has a high sweet swooner of a voice.
PLAN A: Matt Costa @ the Del Mar Racetrack. Jack Johnson's insane popularity has waned, but on his way down the buzz ladder, he signed a few of his buddies to his record label. That both happened to be ex-pros at board sports seemed to induce a groan from the music audience. As if Jack was trying to run a coup. Maybe that's why Costa's charming debut, Songs We Sing, has gone largely underappreciated. Costa's a real talent-a love-song troubadour with a cutting vocal style. PLAN B: TSOL @ The Casbah. "Did anyone/ see the children cry today?" You remember it. And you remember True Sounds of Liberty. Frontman Jack Grisham is done running for governor of California but still spouting punk politics on stage. PLAN C: Cash'd Out @ Club 710. This tribute band is good enough to outlive the Johnny Cash mania. Lead singer Doug Benson even sweats like the Man in Black.
PLAN A: Zero 7 w/ Jose Gonzalez @ House of Blues. This is our must-see of the week. Although Zero 7's new album doesn't come close to the chill-out goodness of their 2001 debut, Simple Things, the U.K. soul DJs are still some of the best in the game. One of the best songs on the new album is "Futures," which features Argentinean-born Swede, Jose Gonzalez. With one of popular music's best new voices since Ray Lamontagne, Gonzalez' hushed acoustic songs are total stunners. If you haven't heard his 2005 debut album, do so now. PLAN B: "Sessions Fest" @ Golden Hill Park. Upstart local label Cat Dirt Records has put together an outdoor summer bash that features four local bands that are on our watch list: Society! (electro-Afrobeat), The Sess (sloppy indie rock), Fifty On Their Heels (punk) and MC Flow (white-girl hip-hop). PLAN C: Jeremy Enigk @ The Casbah. Fourteen years ago, he founded Seattle's cult heroes, Sunny Day Real Estate. Ten years ago, he released his first solo album, and it was damn near brilliant. Now the sweet-voiced tender heart is touring to preview his second solo album, World Waits.
PLAN A: Listen to Local Music @ Your Radio. Stay home and switch back and forth between Loudspeaker on 91X (6 to 8 p.m.) and Local 94/9 on 94/9 (8 to 10 p.m.). Hear what those nappy rock star neighbors of yours are up to.
PLAN A: Talib Kweli @ The Casbah. For hip-hop fans, this is a rare opportunity to see one of the genre's most talented MCs play a tiny club. The show sold out early, which is no surprise-the former Black Star flow-poet could command a much larger audience. Looks like he's going the "intimate and cool route" for this tour. PLAN B: Roseanne Cash @ Humphrey's. Roseanne would be a star even if her parents weren't legends. For more, see the feature on Page XX.
PLAN A: Pimp Your Page @ Your Computer. Your Myspace page is boring, which is significantly bringing down your social standing. Get with the geeks.