(For websites listed below, MS=www.myspace.com)
PLAN A: Subtle, Pigeon John, Kneehighs @ The Casbah. Best hip-hop show in town this week. Subtle is the six-piece hip-hop/art-rock band from Oakland (on the Anticon label) that sounds like what might happen if the paranoid modernists in Clinic joined with Adem to make a hip-hop joint. Pigeon John is a goofy, eternally lovable MC from Inglewood who's a bit like a skinny Biz Markie doing summertime party jams. The Kneehighs have joined Deep Rooted as San Diego's go-to hip-hop act for shows like this, with good four-on-the-floor material. www.subtle6.com, www.pigeonjohn.com, MS/kneehighs. PLAN B: The Upstarts, Latanya Lockett @ the Belly Up. Second-best hip-hop show in town this week. It's the CD-release party for a new San Diego trio featuring MC Profile, the former mouthpiece for the Sound Providers. Talented local soul singer Latanya Lockett opens. MS/theupstarts, MS/latanyalockett. PLAN C: Duchesses, Mr. and Mrs. Tribute to Ugliness, Vaginals @ Che Cafe. Duchesses are a dizzying hybrid of Locust screams and Animal Collective tribalism. Mr. and Mrs. Tribute to Ugliness: imagine a bit slower version of Jesus Lizard with swampy surf guitar. Vaginals are a promising headfuck that's part dysfunctional electronic, part spoken gibberish, part, uh, opera--all underpinned by steady, insectile beats. MS/duchesses, MS/mrandmrstributetougliness, MS/vagisillier.
PLAN A: Eliza Gilkyson @ Acoustic Music San Diego. Eliza's a lifelong folk wanderer--landing mostly in Austin, Texas--whose father was a folk singer (and the dude who wrote "Bear Necessities" for the Disney film, Jungle Book ). She's done a duet with Bonnie Raitt, been covered by Rosanne Cash and earned a Grammy nomination in 2004 for "Best Contemporary Folk Album." Screw the resume--go listen to "Man of God" and tell me she's not every bit the salt-of-the-earth that makes Lucinda Williams so appealing. www.elizagilkyson.com. PLAN B: Reverend Horton Heat, Junior Brown, Legendary Shack Shakers @ 'Canes. God bless the Rev, but his revivalist rockabilly shtick hasn't been fresh for a decade or so (although entertaining for newbies). Tennessee's Junior Brown, however, is a bug-eyed national treasure--a country singer and unbelievable guitarist who invented the "guit-steel," a combination six-string guitar and lap steel. Th' Legendary Shack Shakers are what happens when well-read rednecks find punk rock. www.reverendhortonheat.com, www.juniorbrown.com, www.cockadoodledont.com. PLAN C: Chad Farran @ Lestatï¿½s. Farran is the talented drummer for Superunloader who's doing his own mix of acoustic music and Brazilian percussion. MS/chadfarran. BACKUP PLANS: Dirty Sweet, Thriving Ivory @ The Casbah (www.dirtysweetmusic.com, www.thrivingivory.com), DJ Thumbprint (CD-release) @ Kava Lounge (MS/djthumbprint).
PLAN A: Tennessee Three @ Brick by Brick. Along with Rosanne Cash and a heap of brilliant albums, the Tennessee Three are the most palpable part of Johnny Cash's legend still above ground. It's the band responsible for Johnny's "freight train" sound. Original guitarist Luther Perkins died in a house fire in 1968, and was replaced by Bob Wooten for the next 35 years. This show features Wooten (vocals-guitar), original drummer W.S. Holland, Wooten's wife Vicky (vocals-guitar) and daughter Scarlett (vocals), plus stand-up bassist Lisa Horngren. www.tennesseethree.com. PLAN B: Red Feathers, The Clock Work Army, The Antiques @ Ken Club. The Red Feathers is a new San Diego band that hasn't even finished its debut album, but their plodding Rolling Stones-esque blues-rock is making local rock hounds giddy. The Clock Work Army is another local band to watch--like Mates of State fronted by a manic Natalie Merchant. The Antiques are a good, lazy throwback to '70s country-rock. MS/redfeathersblackgun, MS/theclockworkarmy, MS/theantiques. PLAN C: Battalion of Saints @ Jumping Turtle. In the early '80s, the Batts were one of San Diego's premiere punk bands, eventually featured both in the film and the soundtrack of American Hardcore . This lineup is a who's-who of local hardcore, including original vocalist George Anthony and ex-members of Heroin, Clikitat Ikatowi and Hot Snakes. MS/battalionofsaints. BACKUP PLANS: Fall of Troy, Portugal. The Man @ Soma. www.thefalloftroy.com, www.portugaltheman.net. Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ the Belly Up (www.dirtydozenbrass.com). Jesse Dayton, Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys, Hacienda Brothers @ The Casbah (www.jessedayton.com, www.bigsandy.net, www.haciendabrothers.com). Year Long Disaster, Nautical Disaster @ Scolari's Office (www.yearlongdisaster.com, MS/nauticaldisastermusic). The Hi-Lites @ The Whistle Stop (MS/thehilites).
PLAN A: Birdmonster @ The Casbah. The move to San Francisco paid off for San Diego natives David Klein (guitarist) and Justin Tenuto (bassist). There, along with frontman Peter Arcuni, they formed Birdmonster--a Fugazi-like punk band with some of the western undertones that Replacements records had--and their second album, No Midnight , is one of SpinArt Records' biggest buzz projects in a while. The live show is electric. www.birdmonster.com. PLAN B: Thee Emergency, Blues from a Gun @ Zombie Lounge. Thee Emergency is one of the brightest spots in Seattle's rock scene, a stomping rock band led by soulful white rock chick, Dita Vox. Blues from a Gun is one of San Diego's best--all organ-and-sax blues rock somewhere between The Doors and Morphine. www.theeemergency.com, MS/bluesfromagunmusic. PLAN C: Ian McFeron Band @ Twiggs. Seattle's Ian McFeron Band play some solid guitar-and-fiddle folk- and blues-rock and have played Seattle's famed Bumbershooot festival. www.ianmcferon.com. BACKUP PLANS: Leather Nun @ The Alibi (MS/leathernunamerica). Digital Unicorn, Supernova, Roses On Her Grave @ Jumping Turtle (www.digitalunicorn.net, MS/supernovaarmy, MS/rosesonhergrave). Sean Costello @ Humphreyï¿½s Backstage Lounge (www.seancostello.com). The Nurses @ the Whistle Stop Bar (MS/nurses).
PLAN A: Chixdiggit!, The Donkeys, Ryan Ferguson, Rafter @ The Casbah. No offense to Canada's old-school pop-punk headliners (OK, some offense), but the three San Diego opening bands are the reason to go to this show. The Donkeys are some great 1970s-style mellow rock. Ryan Ferguson, former guitarist-vocalist for No Knife, rivals Reeve Oliver as the pop-perfect champ in town. Rafter is the kitchen-sink indie-pop project of Bunky's Rafter Roberts. www.chixdiggit.com, MS/thedonkeys, www.fergusong.com, MS/rafterroberts. PLAN B: Amber Rubarth @ Lestat's. Rubarth's a talented, mellow singer-songwriter on piano and guitar and some jazzy vocal phrasing. www.amberrubarth.com.
PLAN A: Cold War Kids, Piers Faccini @ the Belly Up. For the Cold War Kids, see our story on Page 24. Piers Faccini is a really talented French singer-songwriter, a total downer with a touch of folk, blues and gospel. www.coldwarkids.com, www.piersfaccini.com. PLAN B: The Long and Short of It, Sirhan Sirhan, Batwings, Bumbklaatt @ The Casbah. Four of San Diego's better thrash/hardcore/punk bands. Bring ear plugs and some issues. MS/thelongandshortofit, MS/sirhansirhan, MS/batwingskillyou, www.bumbklaatt.com.
PLAN A: The Finches, The Bushes @ Che Cafe. The Finches are a guy and a gal from San Francisco with guitars and downhearted folk music, for fans of Damon & Naomi. The Bushes are two white dudes with a drum machine and corny raps--could be entertaining or atrocious. MS/thefinches, MS/thebushes.