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Home / Articles / Music / If I Were U /  St. Vincent, Zammuto and more San Diego concerts
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Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012

St. Vincent, Zammuto and more San Diego concerts

Frankie Rose, Sister Nancy and Watain are just some of the artists we’re stoked to see this week

By Peter Holslin
iiwu St. Vincent
- Photo by Tina Tyrell

Wednesday, April 18

PLAN A: tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, Keep Shelly in Athens @ House of Blues. In a must-see double-header, two of the most provocative ladies in music will face off with their distinct brands of artsy indiepop. While Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs throws down wildly intricate, Afrobeattinged dance jams, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark lays out breathtaking balladry that’s paradoxically ferocious and fragile. PLAN B: Frankie Rose, DIVE, Asha, DJ Mario Orduno @ Soda Bar. You might recognize Frankie Rose as a former member of Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts and Dum Dum Girls. But on her excellent new album, Interstellar, the versatile songwriter forgoes slapdash garage-rock to explore the celestial realms of ’80s-style synth-pop. BACKUP PLAN: The Big Pink, Cold Showers, Polaris at Noon @ The Casbah.

Thursday, April 19

PLAN A: Zammuto, Odd Shapes, Memorial @ Soda Bar.
With the recent breakup of sound-collage mavens The Books, guitarist Nick Zammuto has struck out on his own with Zammuto, a deeply complex and wildly catchy new solo album that merges the band’s digital obsessions with more physical elements of jazz and progrock. PLAN B: James, Elizaveta @ House of Blues. You’ll have to forgive James for having one of the most SEO-unfriendly band names ever. Formed in 1982 in Manchester, England, the band plays earnest, arena-friendly alt-rock that has all the power of U2 and Coldplay but also a subtle streak of refreshing quirkiness. BACKUP PLAN: Bill Frisell and Bill Morrison @ Price Center East Ballroom (UCSD).

Friday, April 20

PLAN A: Sister Nancy, DJ Robi, King Schascha & Irusalem, Lady Karma, Indica Roots, Adhami @ Til-Two Club. Time to clean out the bong, turn on the black light and cue up the reggae—for pot-heads, 4/20 is practically a national holiday. With hits like “One Two” and “Bam Bam,” oldschool Jamaican dancehall queen Sister Nancy is sure to offer ideal accompaniment to your hazy-headed buzz. PLAN B: Living Legends, 6Blocc, Johnny Osbourne @ House of Blues. It’s not uncommon to see members of the famed L.A. rap collective Living Legends at local venues, but it takes a special party like this—put on by stoner-threads manufacturer Seedless—to get the whole, eight-man crew to come out. BACKUP PLAN: Guitar Wolf, Transistors, Slut Machine @ The Casbah.

Saturday, April 21

PLAN A: Hunx and His Punx, Natural Child, Plateaus @ The Casbah. With their happy-go-lucky garage-pop tunes and sleazy, kitsch-tastic outfits, Hunx and His Punx offer a gay twist on the music of the ’50s and ’60s. But as you’ll read in my feature, the band’s flamboyant frontman is more complex a person than you might think. PLAN B: Black Elk, Death Crisis, Totimoshi, Kodiak @ Soda Bar. Advocates of all things loud and fucked-up, Portland’s Black Elk mix elements of noise-rock, heavy metal and no-wave into a volcanic stew. BACKUP PLAN: Too Short @ House of Blues.

Sunday, April 22

PLAN A: Les Sans Culottes, The Amandas, Interrobang @ Eleven (5 p.m.). Don’t go into this show expecting a lesson in authentic musique française: Brooklyn’s Les Sans Culottes might sing in French, have a French name and play ’60s-style pop à la French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, but they’re most definitely not from France. With tunes as cheeky, raunchy and undeniably fun as theirs, who cares?

Monday, April 23

PLAN A: The Lumps, Poor Sons, Psicomagia, Dani Shivers @ Tin Can Ale House. I can’t help but dig The Lumps, who take cues from The Stooges with their fast, messy, old-school rock ’n’ roll. And make sure to check out Tijuana’s Dani Shivers, whose stripped-down Casio-pop is equal parts tender and ominous. BACKUP PLAN: Incomplete Neighbor, Mold, Gone Baby Gone, The Touchies @ The Casbah.

Tuesday, April 24

PLAN A: Watain, Mutilacion, Ritual Torture, Desolator @ The Ruby Room. If you’re a vegetarian and/or get squeamish around dead things, you definitely won’t like Watain, an infamous Swedish black-metal band that pairs unholy riffs with an onstage display of rotting animal carcasses. But plenty of others will think they’re awesome. PLAN B: Best Coast, The KABBs @ Hard Rock Hotel. Indie-rockers Best Coast just love California, and they explain why on “The Only Place,” the catchy, carefree lead single and title track of a new record due out May 15. (RSVP here to attend this free show.)

Email or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.