Thursday 2
Calico Horse rides tonight when Belly Up brews a benefit for the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA up there in Enci. From the dregs of Clock Work Army, Emily Neveu culled a new crew in Calico Horse with a visionary drone-folk soundscape that drops jaws. Get your mitts on the Horse’s Pall Jenkins–produced debut Mirror to see how heavy the Horse’s head, and then jump online to check out their inspired cover of Radiohead’s “Idioteque.” Granted, they’re not for everyone, but alt-pop headliners Stripes and Lines should polish the rest of your knobs.... Also up thataway, Dallas sextet Forever the Sickest Kids lay it down at UCSD’s Loft space. The electronica rockers were named in ‘07 as Alternative Press’s number-one underground band, launching their full-length Universal Motown debut Underdog Alma Mater to number 45 on the Billboard charts.... Honky soul-cat hit-maker Gavin DeGraw just dropped his third proper, Free. The heartthrob’ll be wooing your wives and daughters tonight at Soma. You want to go too? That’s okay, dood, because soul-pop chanteuse Angel Taylor sets the stage. Yum.... The Dexter Romweber Duo (formerly Flat Duo Jets) dial in at Radio Room with Pushin Rope.... Traveling troubadour the White Buffalo will join local folkies John Meeks and Vision of a Dying World at Casbah.... And indie-pop peeps Swim Party and Secret Apollo splash down at Bar Pink.

Friday 3
Cross one Motörhead (Lemmy!) with one Stray Cat (Slim Jim Phantom) and enjoy the greezy beats of Head Cat. The rockabilly trio will slink into Brick by Brick Friday night along with pirate-rockers Thee Corsairs.... “Hey There Delilah,” the Grammy-nominated, Chicago-based alt-pop big band Plain White T’s will visit House of Blues downtown.... While uptown, ya got all kinds of junk to get into: get up ‘n’ dance to local funk-n-soul fusion group the Styletones at Bar Pink...indie experimentalists Empty Rooms (SF), Fever Sleeves, and By Sunlight pour into Soda bar...hometown pop-rock hits Hotel St. George check into Whistle Stop...and radio-ready alt-rock revisionists War Stories and Dynamite Walls blow into Beauty Bar.

Saturday 4
Slo-core, slow-to-grow Los Angelinos Autolux’ll light up Casbah Saturday night. Their gaze-y rock draws plenty of (justifiable) comparison to My Bloody Valentine. The trio is set to drop its second proper collection in eight years (?!), Transit Transit. In the mean, easy to settle for the swank ooze of ‘04 crit-hit debut Future Perfect. Highly recommendable record, and with io echo and Mini Mansions, most recommendable sets this week.... Else: Soda Bar draws a draught of Ting-a-Ling and Tribe of Kings.... Beauty Bar plants Blood Flowers with Buddy Akai.... The Publicists sell it at the Ken.... Soma stages Winds of Plague and Emmure.... And industrial-strength comic Joe Rogan yuks up House of Blues.

Sunday 5
Ruby Room’ll be cooking with Noodles Sunday night. The Japanese trio’s pop-punk style and she-devil smiles are just delish. Take a taste: myspace.com/noodlesvelvet. With Kenta and Four Minutes til Midnight, this should be a fun Sunday nighter.... “Why comb your hair if you’re living on a prayer?” Bar Pink brings in Fresno’s nonchalant indie nudniks rademacher t’find out.... Berlin electro-pop duo Stereo Total joins Ames, Iowa “ceWEBrity” Leslie & the LY’s for an evening of comedy pop at Casbah.

Monday 6
It’ll be Japanese Sunday at Casbah’s Anti-Monday meet-up. The local shoe-gaze quartet is just back from a multi-city tour in Japan. Go figure, and then go on and welcome them home. Rawkin’ Chi-town transplants Marasol set the Middletown stage.... House of Blues hosts Virginian piano princess Rachel Yamagata and hometown hit Greg Laswell for a night of singer-songwriterly stuff.... NYC’s electro-garage classicists Aluminum Babe play Bar Pink with local nu-wavers Lights On, who are just back from Austin. And we understand guitarist Mike Kamoo’s got some stories to tell. Brows UP!

Tuesday 7
“Hours of music.” New York electro-punk duo Talibam! joins Jerkagram, White Fang, Pregnant, BWATWOB, Fortress of Amplitude, Stag Hare, Italic Indian, and Rob Walmart to fill a hella bill at Ché Café Tuesday night. Too much bold type to break ‘em all down, so suffice to say, at $10, that’s some gnarly noise-per-nickel value.... Reggae royalty Junior Reid and Stranger will be up the highway at Belly Up.... And Drew Andrews and Spectral Cities sound off at Soda Bar.

Wednesday 8
Pop folkie Dorothy Dar Williams appears at Belly Up Wednesday night. The folk-fest favorite is out to tout her latest, and first in three years, Promised Land. She’ll be joined by solo acoustic artist Melissa Ferrick.... Bluegrass jam band Yonder Mountain String Band hits House of Blues. The Colorado quartet’s Cabin Fever tour got waylaid earlier this year but is back on. They’ll be joined by “freestyle fiddler” Darol Anger.... Kansas City quintet the Republic Tigers bring the pretty indie pop of debut Keep Color to the Loft at UCSD.
Barnaby Monk

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