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Thursday 16
Say hello to your new guilty pleasure. With Columbia debut Partie Traumatic, Jacksonville's Black Kids stuck bubblegum in the hair of indie pop. The five-piece exploded off a MySpace hit by the tastemakers at Pitchfork, who praised their Wizard of Ahhs EP's pastiche of new-wave wit (think Smiths) and no-wave vibrancy (think the Go! Team). Hang up your hang-ups and give the Kids' "Listen to Your Body Tonight" a spin. NYC boy band the Virgins and local comers Dynamite Walls help ignite Belly Up tonight.... North Park ne'er-do-wells the Syndicate infiltrate Bar Pink with pop-rock. Los Angelino funk-rock four-piece Casxio split the bill.... "Vote for love." New York acousticat Matt White joins folkies Schuyler Fisk and Sharon Little for a night of soft rock at Casbah.... "Swirly whirly" dreamtiger prowls Beauty Bar. Give a listen to Glisten for the deep, dark depths of their shoegaziness. Pacific UV and Evervess are on the bill.... SanDago's alt-rock big band Burning of Rome heats up the Ken Club with the Fascination.... And there's some acoustic cuts from the middle of the FM band by soul-pop singer John Oates at Anthology and the mayor of Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet, who'll be down at the Cricket.

Friday 17
Radio hits Weezer rawk Cox. With the release of this year's s/t return, Rivers Cuomo put the L.A. quartet back on the pop-culture map with a single, "Pork and Beans," that held #1 on Billboard all summer. Now their latest, "Troublemaker," is creeping up there. The band's hook-heavy power pop is, uh, infectious, but there's a cure.... You could go to Ruby Room's grand-opening thing, featuring local odd-pop peeps Grand Ole Party, whose debut Humanimals has made them international indie darlings, and Rafter, whose latest Asthmatic Kitty disc, Sweaty Magic, has Web bloggers declaring music "fun again!" The Ruby Room is in the guts of Hillcrest, right exactly where the San Diego Sports Club used to be.... Toronto trio Born Ruffians aren't so tough; in fact, the flavor-of-the- month's back-to-basics pop can juuust take the twee. Sample fresh cuts off Little Garçon, and while you've got the phones on, hit up openers Plants and Animals and the Nurses before you make the break for these Casbah sets.... Lotsa 'lectro-pop at Belly Up Friday night, as L.A. duo Uh Huh Her tour Common Reaction through town and Danish quartet the Fashion kick off a stateside swing behind their s/t debut.... Tribbers Led Zepagain ape the almighty Zep's 1977 Song Remains the Same tour at House of Blues. And Roundabout will set up the House with Yes's proggy hits.... Temecula alt-pop act the Shake Ups join the Wellingtons (Aus.), True Stories, and Bleu (L.A.) at O 'Connells in Bay Park.... While in the 'hood, ya got MEX and the Deere Johns plowing down Bar Pink with barroom skrunk...and Tape Deck Mountain and Jamuel Saxon servin' up tasty indie cuts at Whistle Stop.

Saturday 18
At the POW! Texas native Kris Kristofferson made his mark in Nashville with hits such as "Me and Bobby McGee," "Sunday Morning Comin' Down," and all-crawler fave "Help Me Make It Through the Night." The 72-year-old singer, songwriter, actor, Country Music Hall of Famer will appear at Poway Center for the Performing Arts. This bad boy's done sold out, so your broker's got the gash if you've got the cash.... No? How about some experimental noise rock by Chinese Stars, Kill Me Tomorrow, Hostile Combover, and Sirhan Sirhan, all of whom'll be rawkin' the Casbah Saturday night.... Else: Mexican pop star Marisela hits House of Blues downtown...greezy garage rock by hot threes circaNow at the Ken...Kingston's reggae roots and ska crew the Skatalites at Belly Up...and Austin's favorite folk-rocker Bob Schneider dropping in at Wave House on Mission Beach.

Sunday 19
Bright Eye'd young'un Conor Oberst does an all-ager at Soma Sunday night. The indie-rock songsmith is best known for his crackly warble and heart-on-sleeve confessionals with Bright Eyes. Check out Fever and Mirrors or Lifted for the high-water marks. Oberst this year released a s/t solo affair, which has been a crit hit and commercial kicker for the maturing artist. Check out some Space takes; he folks and rocks Dylan-like. Oberst is backed by his Mystic Valley Band, while the Like and All Smiles set the stage.... Twenty-year-strong Finnish surf-rock quartet Laika & the Cosmonauts land at Bar Pink behind their latest Yep Roc collection Cosmopolis. With San Diego's own surf-twang gang Secret Samurai.... Japanese Devo knockoffs Polysics, L.A. "other" rockers io echo, and Brooklyn samplers Black Gold kick glitch at Casbah.... AM-pop troubadour Gordon Lightfoot plays Humphrey's by the Bay. How many times has Lightfoot sung "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"? Show your work.

Monday 20
Brightblack Morning Light seeps into Casbah's Anti-Monday meet-up. The New Mexico art-house act just dropped Matador crit-pick Motion to Rejoin, a collection of folksy psychedelia. BML made news last year by banning military recruiters from their shows, 'cuz, as you know, Rambo, indie kids love the war machine. Sonic soloist Glasser sets the stage.... And Portland pair Hillstomp brings the rock-o-billy to Bar Pink. With locals Pant Hoots and Portland folk-punk mcdougall, this one's a trick triple bill at the North Park nightspot.... KC MC Tech N9ne will roll up on House of Blues and drop his latest, Killer. It's the one with the Thriller parody cover shot. Take a peep; it's pretty funny.

Tuesday 21
Pinback and Mr. Tube and the Flying Objects hook up for a coupla sets this week. Tuesday night, the hot-shit locals play Belly Up and then reconvene Wednesday at Casbah for a fund-raiser for Boilermaker band man Terrin Durfey.... "John Lennon's original band" the Quarrymen dig it at Anthology. The rock classics are raising funds for "Guitars in the Classroom".... Round town, real quick: San Antone girl group Girl in a Coma lays out at Bar Pink...Beauty Bar stages local 'lectronic experimentalists Rise of the Speedmen...and Chapel Hill psych-thrash act Valient Thorr conquers Casbah with Black Tusk and Tweak Bird.

Wednesday 22
"The one thing I've always demanded of the records I've made is that they be danceable," says two-time Grammy winner Taj Mahal, who brings 40 years of roots and blues to Belly Up Wednesday night. The multi-instrumentalist/composer is out to tout his latest, this year's Maestro, which injects the artist's take on world beat into his Stax-style tracks. Ragga-blues prodigy Corey Harris sets the Solana Beach stage behind breakthrough Zion Crossroads for a hella double bill and a purist's go-to gig.... Ruby Room hosts a Holy Mountain Records show, featuring Seattle's happy hardcores Wildildlife. Give a listen to their debut Six. Music mag Skyscraper's apt description pins 'em as an "unholy union of Can, Black Sabbath, and the Pixies." Yeeeeah. With novel "comic-jam" band Mammatus and local psych-rock organ-grinders Red Octopus, this oughta be a fun one.
-- Barnaby Monk

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