Wednesday, April 25
PLAN A: Shiva Trash, The Last Years, San Pedro el Cortez, The Bertos @ Tin Can Ale House. If the Toxic Avenger traded his mop for a Fender Jaguar, he might sound something like Shiva Trash. In league with bands like Ale Mania and Northern Tigers, the local outfit offers a twisted take on surf rock with the pounding punk beats, murky keyboard lines and rollicking mutant riffs of tracks “Bleach Bath” and “Residual Backwash.” PLAN B: Wavves @ Porter’s Pub. You might want to bring your moshing shoes for this one: These pot-smoking punk rockers stood at the helm of some of the biggest pits at South by Southwest last month. BACKUP PLAN: Brendan B & The Breaks, DJ Louis the Beast @ Soda Bar.
Thursday, April 26
PLAN A: Active Child @ The Loft at UCSD. Take the new-age flair of Kate Bush, add the R&B swoon of R. Kelly, top it off with some androgynous singing and flowery harp, and you’ve got the ethereal electro-pop of Active Child. Fans of boundary-pushing softies like Bon Iver and James Blake won’t want to miss this. PLAN B: Joe Pug, Bailiff @ The Casbah. Drawing comparisons to Bob Dylan and Josh Ritter, singer-songwriter Joe Pug might still be in his 20s, but he’s got the husky voice and vivid lyrics of an older, wiser man. BACKUP PLAN: Groundislava, LOL Boys, eLan, Sleeve, Mr. Whipple, Andre Elias @ Kava Lounge.
Friday, April 27
PLAN A: Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Angry Samoans, Retox, F.O.A. @ Brick by Brick. Jello Biafra had his heyday during the Reagan era as the singer of punk pioneers Dead Kennedys. With this awesomely named band, though, he’s continued with his wacked-out vocals and acidic political commentary. PLAN B: J.D. Souther, Jenn Grinels @ Queen Bee’s. Back in the ’70s, J.D. Souther gained notoriety for co-writing winsome country-rock hits by The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. These days, he’s giving scragglier, more intimate takes on classics like “New Kid in Town” and “You’re Only Lonely.” BACKUP PLAN: Sonny Vincent and the Bad Reactions, The Widows, My Revenge @ Soda Bar.
Saturday, April 28
PLAN A: Ogd_S(11) Translation Has Failed @ 98 Bottles. Wow, what a name! One of the city’s most intriguingly bizarre music groups, Ogd_S(11) Translation Has Failed is as likely to play beautiful music as question your very understanding of it. Head here to read a review of their new album, This Middle Ground. PLAN B: Loma Prieta, Japanther, Screaming Females, Toys that Kill @ Ché Café. You never quite know what to expect from Brooklyn’s Japanther. Merging the worlds of punk-rock and performance art, they bang out fun tunes, bark through old-school telephone receivers and perform alongside elaborate installations. BACK- UP PLAN: Trust One, Rinasanz, Aki Kharmicel, Circle Empire, Sighphur One, Anti Citizens, Orko Eloheim, DJ Pound, Beatsmith Resist, Unseen Beats @ Shakedown Bar.
Sunday, April 29
PLAN A: Jane Jane Pollock, Kera and the Lesbians, Little Fowl @ Soda Bar. On their Facebook page, Georgia’s Jane Jane Pollock describe themselves as a “tasty sticky candy coated Thai dried fish treat” and list influences like “sick kittens,” “old scary toys” and “ring worms from wrestling mats.” Strange as that sounds, it makes perfect sense if you listen to their elaborate, weird but quite lovable indie-pop. PLAN B: Kelsea Little @ The Loft at UCSD. The last time I saw local songwriter Kelsea Little perform, she’d set up her harp at an Occupy San Diego encampment in Children’s Park. The venue will be more official this time, but I expect her songs to be just as lovely. BACKUP PLAN: Tanlines, Rewards, Ko Ko @ The Casbah.
Monday, April 30
PLAN A: Big Love, a benefit for Candye Kane @ Belly Up. A bunch of talented roots-rockers, blues players and other folksy types are getting together to raise money for celebrated local blues singer Candye Kane, who’s battling pancreatic cancer. Highlights include barroom marvels Dave Alvin and the Guilty Ones and local legends The Beat Farmers, who’ll play a rare reunion show. BACKUP PLAN: George Sarah @ Soda Bar.
Tuesday, May 1
PLAN A: Carina Round, Kelsea Little @ The Casbah. Hailing from a city called Wolverhampton in the West Midlands of England, singer-songwriter Carina Round might remind you of PJ Harvey or Patti Smith with her smoldering voice and volatile song-craft.