PLAN A: The Calico Kids, The Mighty Sequoyah, About a Girl @ Tin Can Ale House. Falling under the same alt-folk umbrella as fellow local bands The Howls and The Black Sands, The Calico Kids hark back to the mid-’90s with their rootsy twang, polished hooks and rainy-day seriousness. PLAN B: Hey Rosetta!, Rich Aucoin, Michael McGraw @ Soda Bar. Everything about Canadian indie-rock outfit Hey Rosetta! is overpoweringly elaborate, from their brainy lyrics to their big arrangements (rock instruments, strings, multi-part vocal harmonies, etc.) to their hard-charging, Arcade Fire-esque breakdowns. BACKUP PLAN: Andre Nickatina, PROF, MUM-BLS @ House of Blues.
Thursday, May 24
PLAN A: YACHT @ The Loft at UCSD. Don’t come expecting a bunch of Champagne-toasting preppies decked out in pink polo shirts and skipper hats. A staple on DFA Records, Portland electro-pop duo YACHT make tautly catchy, distantly artsy electro-pop that’s fit for a hipster dance party. PLAN B: Northern Tigers, Electric Healing Sound, Bagdad @ Tin Can Ale House. Though they hail from Tijuana, quartet Electric Healing Sound take much of their influence from Great Britain, delivering noisy drone-rock riffs and psychedelic shoegaze ballads in the style of Joy Division and Spacemen 3. BACKUP PLAN: The Growlers, The Abigails, Wild Wild Wets @ The Casbah.
Friday, May 25
PLAN A: The Beach Boys, Foster the People @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. Three words: Brian fucking Wilson! To celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, the mad genius is touring with his mates for the first time in years. Here’s hoping they’ll play weird cuts like “Chug-A-Lug” and “Vegetables.” PLAN B: Cuckoo Chaos, Golden Boots, Ohioan @ The Propagandist. If you’ve been dying to check out this intriguing new Downtown bar, now’s the time: Local Afrotastic indie-rockers Cuckoo Chaos shred like crazy, and the bizarre psych-pop of Dr. Dog offshoot Golden Boots also sounds pretty rad. BACKUP PLAN: Skrapez, Old English, Walter Gross, V-Rock, Skatterbrain Cobain, Broken Dreams, Living Dead, Mystery Cave, DJ PWC @ Kava Lounge.
Saturday, May 26
PLAN A: Mrs. Magician, New Mexico, Ditches, DJ Swami @ Soda Bar. As I write in this feature, the guys in local band Mrs. Magician have a laid-back vibe, an acidic sense of humor and hummable hooks up the wazoo. PLAN B: Dr. Know, Toxic Holocaust, Midnight, Systematic Abuse @ Brick by Brick. Delivering thrash-metal riffs with a skate-punk sensibility, hardcore band Dr. Know helped pioneer the Southern California “Nardcore” scene in the early ’80s. In recent years, founding vocalist Kyle Toucher has been jumping onstage in between doing visual-effects work for shows like Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek Voyager. BACKUP PLAN: Camouflage, JP Richardson, Keoni Celoza, Thomaz Nestlehner @ Kava Lounge.
Sunday, May 27
PLAN X: “I Love This City” @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. If you like glowsticks, neon booty shorts and overblown bass, you’ll love this daylong fest featuring Skrillex, The Crystal Method and nearly two-dozen other electronic-dance-music artists. If not, however (and who can blame you?), check out… PLAN A: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ Anthology. Decades into his reign as godfather of psychedelic funk, George Clinton still gets down with synth-heavy grooves and wild wigs. PLAN B: Gilbert Castellanos w/ Daniel Jackson, Marshall Hawkins, Gary LeFebvre, Mundell Lowe, Carlos Vasquez, Graham Dechter @ Tango Del Rey. In honor of San Diego’s greatest jazz artists, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos will jam with some of the city’s best and brightest.
Monday, May 28
PLAN A: Tim Barry, Julie Karr, Otis!!! @ The Casbah. I know that lots of people who go to shows don’t always end up paying attention to the music, but Julie Karr is the kind of singer-songwriter you’d actually want to listen to. Her tough, quietly intense songs just might leave you breathless. PLAN B: Benefit for Jazz 88.3-FM w/ Pocket, Euphoria Brass Band, Bayou Brothers @ The Ruby Room.
Tuesday, May 29
PLAN A: K.Flay, Colin Munroe, Grammatical B and The B-Verbs @ The Casbah. A Stanford University alum who’s influenced as much by Missy Elliott as Fiona Apple, Bay Area rapper K.Flay gives hip-hop an indie-music twist with rock guitar samples and verses about suburbia and trust funds.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.