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Thursday 20
The Underground Railroad to Candyland hauls a load of Nuggets-era garage rock to Bar Pink tonight. The San Pedro four-piece plays it like a less adventurous Black Lips — more rock than roll — let’s call it West Coast Ramones. Check their Space takes. You’ll dig Recess Records debut Bird Roughs’ trilling Strat strum, stomping drum, and pub punk shoutalongs. With Brooklyn noiseniks Japanther, this is a fun one for the North Park nightspot.... Len Paul stages one for the indie kids ever’ now and again. Sure, it’s Soma side-stage style, but über-cool-for-Wasilla (yea, that Wasilla) quartet Portugal, the Man get the gig. The experimental pop quartet’s out to tout new one, Censored Colors, which adds a dash of roots blues to their off-color stew. Earl Greyhound and Wintersleep open.... Belly Up books Bacon Bros. Kevin the actor and Michael the unfamous one will shill their latest folk-rock disc New Year’s Day. Priest-turned-pop star (no kidding) Michael Tiernan sets the Solana Beach stage.... Uptown, ya got Beauty Bar hosting an NPR-affiliate KCRW thang, featuring Little Dragon, Manuok, and Aimee Belle...the Ken’s staging Bedford Grove with the Kyle Van Band and Drop Joy...and up up town, at the Ché Café, it’s Wet Hair and Peaking Lights.

Friday 21
Roll into Whistle Stop Friday night for a change of rock-roll scenery and catch Chulajuana punk-pop outfit the Powerchords with tasty indie-pop trio Christmas Island. Both bands are on the up-and-come, and you haven’t seen South Park in a while.... Miss the door at that one, alt-rawk throwbacks and SDMA nominees Scarlet Symphony jack in down the street at Bar Pink. L.A.’s desert grime group Slang Chickens split the bill.... Josh Tree electronicats Gram Rabbit join borderland dub dudes Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects at Casbah. Blackout Party in the Atari.... O’Connells in Bay Park fills an alt-rock bill with Flight to Athena, Jack Left Town (L.A.), Lisa the Lush, Even Elroy (SF), and Ticket to Tokyo.

Saturday 22
You get your quantity and your quality Saturday night when (deep breath) Joey Harris and the Mentals join Sweet Tooth and Moontucky Risin’ for a night of beery barroom rock at O’Connells...local noise-pop acts the Lanterns and Weatherbox meet L.A. Casio punks Meho Plaza to play the Ché...San Dago sax cat Charles McPherson cooks “bebop flambé” at Anthology...ladies with lungs converge on Bar Pink as Solana Beach three-piece A.M. Vibe splits sets with L.A.’s Killola...or get your pop rocks off at Beauty Bar with the Shys, Army Navy, and the Takeover UK...LMFAO and Buddy Akai jam a party-pop joint for Boogie Nights at Belly Up...Radio Room dials in Seattle’s hard-rockin’ Doom Hawk and Filth Mattress...and all-agers at Epicentre bop to power pop by William Tell, White Apple Tree, War Stories, Somato Sensory, and We Are the Arsenal.

Sunday 23
GWAR’s an IDM band from Virginia. Huge in East Coast clubs, totally stylin’ — a good date band if you’ve a new girl. Seriously, you should take her to House of Blues Sunday night to see GWAR, and she’ll see how you’re all fun and into some pretty heady dance jams. Don’t worry, the other bands on the bill sound nothing like their names — Kingdom of Sorrow, Terror, and Toxic Holocaust — it’s all, uh, whadda ya call, ironic. You like irony...and you like that girl, right? Duuude, this is your ticket.... The rest of you stop your sniggering... Brooklyn’s “Enya with bounce” band Yeasayer hooks up with Chi-town dub-club kids Icy Demons at the Loft in La Jolla. Give the Demons’ Skyscraper-approved Miami Ice a spin. Pinback for the lounge set?... O’Death, Old Devil, and Tobin Clarke and the Faeries play a mystical, magical Sunday-nighter at Casbah...while the Tighten Ups, Pleaseasaur, and Joe Jack Talcum serve up a smorgasbord at Bar Pink.

Monday 24
SanFran’s 'lectronic dance band Von Iva’s got some soul. Looks like a duck, but walks like a...a jungle cat — a leopard with Day-Glo spots and leather whip for a tail. Nice. VI’s Space takes smack of Gossip without the guitar grind. They’ll hit it with Roxy Jones for a freebie (!) at Bar Pink.... A solo Ben Kenney (Incubus, the Roots) hooks up with psych-rock ‘n’ soul band Heavy Young Heathens at House of Blues. Need a little nookie for your noggin? Check out the Heathens’ Space takes — like Eels covering Revolver, Realistic amps at 11.... Casbah’s Anti-Monday team tags local newbies the Gift/Curse and Die Sabotage with TJ jam band the Subadons.

Tuesday 25
Get your jazz hat on, kid, because McCoy Tyner’s in town! The Philly piano man, best known for his work in Coltrane’s hard-bop quartet, will be appearing at Anthology Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The 70-year-old jazzman is out behind this year’s CD/DVD Guitars, which features fretwork by generational giants Bill Frisell, Derek Trucks, John Scofield, Marc Ribot, and banjoist Béla Fleck.... It’ll be a night of country skrunk out at Radio Room with Joe Buck (the dude from Hank III, not the sports voice guy), Captain Sean of Throwrag fame, Whiskey Dicks, and the Strikers.... Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden’s My Brightest Diamond brings the indie folk of A Thousand Shark’s Teeth to Casbah. Fellow Brooklynites Clare & the Reasons open.... MJ tribbers Who’s Bad moonwalk into House of Blues to cover three decades of the King of Pop, from “ABC” to “You Rock My World.”

Wednesday 26
Wednesday night’s that long-awaited makeup date for Buzzo and Dale of the Melvins out at Canes. The Nor’west sludgers’ll rock Nude with Boots with their other half, L.A. bass and drum band Big Business.... Skintights and skinny-tie night at Belly Up, where you can skank-n-stomp to mod-rockers Buck-O-Nine, the Devastators, and Social Green.... Back downtownways, it’s bed-sit pop by indie kids Sweetness and the Fascination out at Beauty Bar...and a free Jivewire night at Casbah. Shake ya butt!
Barnaby Monk

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