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Wednesday 24
Old schoolers, DJ Heather Hardcore hosts a Christmas Eve git together at Radio Room, whose Space page bills it as an “’80s new-wave dance party.” Spin me right 'round, baby.... Old, old schoolers, like it read last week, tonight’s the annual Exile on Kettner sets at Casbah, with all your fave local players rolling bones and dishing up Stones!

Thursday 25
Happy Christmas. Got you a best-of list cuz music’s the only scientifically proven gift to keep on giving, and the following cheap baker’s dozen are the best of ought-eight, I don’t care what anybody else tells you. So, without further ado-doo, the “Twelve Discs of Christmas,” or, How to Spend Them Holiday Gift Cards: On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, the new one from AC/DC, Black Ice. Best cock-rock band evah. #11, Okkervil River’s Stage Names outtakes, The Stand Ins, put most bands’ proper releases to shame. #10, No Age’s Nouns exposed these L.A. weirdo rippers for what they really are — superawesome weirdo rippers. #9, Radiohead’s In Rainbows was blaggerty blaggerty blaggerty. Makes you sick, doesn’t it? #8, Fucked Up’s The Chemistry of Common Life seeds a genre — artcore. You gotta try on some melodic punk sung by a 300-pound bald man called Pink Eyes. #7, Blitzen Trapper’s Furr proves that folk-rock can be fun, Meg Griffin smokes pot, and hummus is peeeeople, iiit’s peeeople!! #6, The New Year, The New Year. This sublime self-titled third from Matt and Bubba Kadane props the Austinites as one of the smartest indie-pop bands in the land. #5, Deerhunter got less about Bradford Cox’s artfagginess (that a word?) and more about banding for the cause, man, the indie-rock cause! Microcastle is some deft shit, daft punk. #4, She and Him put the shine on some standard fare and turned out a gem of a pop record, Volume One. That, and Zooey Deschanel’s my girlfriend. Stop looking at her! #3, King Kahn and the ShrinesSupreme Genius of... These garage-rock psych-outs are not for the faint of heart or weak-kneed indie geek. Genius is heavy, man. #2, Fleet Foxes’ SubPop debut wowed 'em in [your hometown here]. Few debuts come so assured, so universal. In FF’s case, the hype was right. But at #1, Coldplay’s Viva la Vida... I’m totally kidding. Had you, though, didn’t I? Naw, Alopecia by Why? is the disc that’ll dominate your drive time and outlast all the others for its sheer entertainment value. Yoni Wolf’s trip-hop poetry and sparkling beats make for some pretty heady pop music. Rack it in your carousel.

Friday 26
Local up-and-comin’ pop-rock quintet Dynamite Walls will headline Casbah Friday to promo their bid for MTV2’s “band on the rise.” Crash Encore and Stripes and Lines fiddle first.... Minty Fresh minimalist Drew Andrews makes a Whistle Stop stop.... Local alt-rockers Fuzz Huzzi, Bombay Status, and Deny the Silents hit the beach at Canes.

Saturday 27
The Mexican Moz, Jose Maldonado, brings his Sweet and Tender Hooligans to Casbah. DeVoid sets the stage. Thought DeVoid was gonna be a Devo trib act but they turned out to be a Chili Peppers knockoff from El Segundo.... Belly Up books Karl Denson and his Tiny Universe 'longside Robert Walter and his 20th Congress. Fuuunk me.... That ol’ Rugburner Steve Poltz is sure to pack 'em in at 4th&B downtown. ¿Si or no?... Uptown you got party bands Buddy Akai, the Yelling, Lualta, and them Hell on Heels burlesque girls kicking at Beauty Bar...while the Postals deliver at the Ken.

Sunday 28
Stephen Pearcy and his trademark of '80s metal name Ratt scurry through House of Blues. The current crew is on an “Invasion of Your Holidays” HoB spree around the Southwest. Bummer is every other date gets the Donnas in the opening slot. The Antidivision’ll set the stage here in SD.... Particle and Mike Kang of String Cheese fame lay granola jams on Belly Up.... 94/9 hosts a Staring at the Sun Volume 6 thing at Casbah, featuring circaNow, Lualta, Anna Troy, and Wendy Bailey on the main stage, while out in the Atari it’ll be Brooklyn, Soundescape, and Dave Humphries. Gonna be free eats from Lucha Libre and a live radio broadcast. Yell stuff. Doors at 7p.... O’Connells fills an alt-rock bill with Someday Assassin, Firethorn, the Inevitable Mr. Chris, and Day of Anomie.

Monday 29
Take the skinheads bowling, take them bowling...or, better yet, take 'em to the Cracker/Camper Van joint at Belly Up Monday night. Always a rock-roll party when Lowery and his skrunky Camper Van Beethoven roll with his radio-ready Cracker. Just saw all these cats at the Pioneertown Camper Van campout, and they’re all fresh as daisies. One hella Monday-nighter up in Solana Beach, music fan.... But downtown, Casbah’s Anti-Monday team tags Austin’s awesome she-punk, thrash-funky Finally Punk. Check their Space takes and live looks. These girls get it! The Crocodiles, Doctor Bird, and Blessure Grave on the bill.... ‘Nother girl after my own heart, Lady Dottie, will hot-damn your post-holiday blues at U-31.

Tuesday 30
The Wailers will perform Bob Marley’s magnum opus, Exodus (“Jammin’,” “One Love”), in its entirety at House of Blues. Didn’t know this, but apparently Marley was recouping from an assassination attempt through most of the recording.... Round town: Microphone Mike, Illuminauts, and Burn 1 light up a Beauty Bar art show...Bumbklaat and Salted City (OR) dial in the heavy at Radio Room...and Soda Bar (old Chasers) serves up Vaginals, the Lickets (SF) — I should, but I won’t...too easy. — Bitter Sober, and Rio en Medio (NYC).

Wednesday 31
Gigs to get to New Year’s Eve’d be the Swami’s showcase at Belly Up, featuring Night Marchers, the Soft Pack (ex-Muslims — the pop-rock band, not the denomination), and Cheap Leis...B-Side laying out the Latin dance jams at Canes...Steve Poltz and Rugburns strolling mem’ry lane for the diehards at Casbah...and electro-punk duo MSTRKRFT spinning at Spin.... Cheap seats? Fing and Scarlet Symphony play Beauty Bar...Creepy Creeps, Northern Town, and Batar-Zan are at the Ken...Re-mones (Ramones thing) and the Milli Vanillis (Screeching Weasel thing) flip tribs at Radio Room...and Black Box bands rock the Soda Bar.... Need a midnight kiss, try this: “Take out your false teeth, mama, I wanna SUCK on your GUMS” — Peter Wolf, 1972. Like a charm, dude.
Barnaby Monk

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