PLAN A: Ian Moore at Winston's. A former Texas attraction, the newly relocated (Washington) songsmith dropped one of last year's most criminally overlooked albums, Luminaria. Do yourself a favor. PLAN B: Brendan Benson w/ Robbers on High Street @ the Casbah. Brendan Benson writes pop songs like Willy Wonka makes chocolate. Jack White is a fan and collaborator. Robbers on High Street, after a mediocre Interpol-knockoff debut, just made a darn good indie-rock record.
PLAN A: Megadeth @ Open Air Theatre. (Read story, this page.) PLAN B: Rebirth Brass Band @ Canes. (Read story, Page 32.) PLAN C: Rusted Root @ House of Blues. Because after a few months open, the HOB could use a good patchouli cleansing. And because 11 years later, "Send Me On My Way" is still making stoner-moms do the twirl-dance.
PLAN A: Street Scene @ Qualcomm. (See cover story, Page 12.) PLAN B: Guru, Supernatural, APSCI @ the Belly Up. The best hip-hop show in San Diego this month. Of all the hip-hoppers copping a feel on Miles Davis' pals, Guru's the top dog at fusing blue notes with deep beats. Supernatural is the heir apparent to 2Pac, and APSCI is Quannum Projects' newbie, about to drop a record that has cameos by Mr. Lif, TV on the Radio, Pigeon John and Antibalas. PLAN C: DJ Micro @ On Broadway. One of the top trance and breakbeat DJs in the world, and also the dude who founded the influential Caffeine Records collective out in NYC. PLAN D: Nas @ House of Blues. Nearly as good at controversy as he is at hip-hop, NYC's crossover star's latest, Bridging the Gap, is deadly good.
PLAN A: Street Scene @ Qualcomm. (See cover story, Page 12.) PLAN B: Tom Stephan @ On Broadway. A New York City native who made his name as a house DJ with a five-year residency at London's Substation club. Stephan, or Sharon & Tracy, or Superchumbo-whichever moniker you prefer-gets props in our book for being a huge Nitzer Ebb fan. PLAN C: Bob Log III @ the Casbah. A white-trashy bluesman who wears an Evil Kneivel outfit onstage and rips through dirty electric blues riffs while operating a foot-drum and bouncing gleeful female fans on his knees. He sweats a lot.
PLAN A: Heiroglyphics w/ Non Phixion, OC and Boom Bap Project @ the Belly Up. Another top-notch hip-hop show for a low-notch hip-hop city. Heiroglyphics is the funky, esoteric battle-rhyming crew from Oak-town founded by Del the Funky Homosapien; Non Phixion is a disturbing, gritty crew who used to be the hip-hop project of Matador Records; OC is the smoothie thinking-man's MC and former "Fudge Pudge" man for Organized Konfusion; and Boom Bap Project is the cream of Seattle's crop, specializing in turntables and battle-rhymes.
PLAN A: Hank III @ 'Canes. One of the best dang twang-heavy country artists playing right now, his live show is split between y'allternative and the second half-bone-grinding death metal. And seeing as how his papa is playing the Embarcadero Marina the next night, you can bet daddy'll be in the audience. PLAN B: Everton Blender @ the Belly Up. One of the smoothest-sounding dancehall reggae men you'll hear. The voice, oh, the voice. PLAN C: The Pernice Brothers w/ Royal City @ the Casbah. The former siblings behind the warped, sad country of the Scud Mountain Boys are still at it now, adding a little psychedelic edge to their Nick Drake-ian songs. Royal City's a bunch of Canucks who write similarly arresting folk dirges à la Buffalo Springfield.
Graham Parker @ the Casbah. The fact that he's one of the most revered artists from the pub-rock scene in 1970s Britain is overshadowed by only one thing-the similarly biting and passionate Elvis Costello got bigger. Still, Graham's a roots-rock legend, even if his biggest hit ("Wake Up (Next to You") doesn't have much root. PLAN B: Tristan Prettyman @ the Belly Up. San Diego's acoustic surf-gal is about to drop her debut album on Virgin Records. She's a captivating one, a humble earth chick with looks and soul to spare. Rally round the local during her big hour. PLAN C: Chaka Khan @ Humphrey's. Because she sang a duet with Ray Charles. Also because Yvette Stevens still feels for you.