English alt-rockers Wolf Alice take the all-ages stage at the Irenic on Monday.
Art-pop gem Nicky Diamonds takes the stage at Casbah on Friday.
Soda Bar stages Off with Their Heads on Sunday. The Minneapolis four-piece trades in melodic hardcore seasoned with straight-ahead punk rock, and it looks as if they are picking up a tour that was cut short in 2013 behind their Home record. Apparently, the main head-lopper had a, shh, nervous breakdown, so be cool. The “therapeutic punks” from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Spraynard, set it up.... From Oregon, Wisconsin (yes, that’s a place), jazz-punk hip-hop (yes, that’s a thing) ten-piece Youngblood Brass Band split a bill with old-timey locals the G Burns Jug Band at Casbah. With all those heavy-metal instruments and ten milk-fed Midwestern dudes, the ’Sbah’s gunna get loud and steamy Sunday night, y’all.
Grunge daddy Neil Young plays the RIMAC at UCSD on Tuesday.
My Love Is Cool is Ellie Rowsell’s coming out with Wolf Alice. The hard-touring English alt-rock band dropped one of this year’s best debuts, a grunge-based set of songs with weaknesses as interesting as its strengths. If that makes sense. If it doesn’t, stick around for the buried title track (“Teach me, teach me/ Teach me rock and roll”). Had the collection on shuffle all weekend, and it wins no matter how you cut the deck. Wolf Alice takes the all-ages stage at the Irenic on Monday night. Drenge and Made Violent open the show.... Ex-Unicorns/Islands frontman Nick Diamonds plays Casbah behind this year’s art-pop gem City of Quartz. Diamond (né Thorburn) has fun with analog synths and tends to get conceptual with his records. Pitchfork suggests that City of Quartz, like its video-game name, is a little trip through planet Nicky — on a Unicorn (the similarities in this set are too strong not to mention the Unicorns, and that’s a very good thing). London-based singer-songwriter-producer Lyla Foy is up first.... From Orlando, Florida, 15-year-strong thrash-metal band Trivium takes the stage at Observatory North Park behind their seventh studio set, this year’s well-received Silence in the Snow. That one’s an all-ages show.
English indie-rock act Florence & the Machine plug in at Viejas Arena at SDSU on Wednesday.
Grunge daddy Neil Young’s at the RIMAC at UCSD on Tuesday. “Old Neil” has got a new one in the bins called The Monsanto Years, a concept record criticizing the agribusiness giant. According to the Missoulian (Montana, 3 days ago at this typing), “Young mesmerizes crowd.” I read the piece and it’s referring to his show-opening acoustic and piano balladeering. After the crowd was sufficiently mesmerized, Neil’s new electric band, Promise of the Real, came out and kicked in Montana’s teeth. Alt-country chanteuse Jenny Lewis opens the San Diego show.... Else: English indie-rock act alt-J plays the other college campus at Cal Coast Credit Union’s Open Air Theatre at SDSU...L.A.’s playful synth-pop trio Superhumanoids visit Casbah...while Oklahoman alt-rock trio Other Lives (they toured with some band called Radiohead in 2012) take the stage at Belly Up in Solana Beach behind this year’s Rituals record.
Bob Forrest brings Survival Songs to the Whistle Stop on Wednesday.
I am out of room, so here are the humpnight hits you should look inta: English indie rockers Florence & the Machine, touring in support of this year’s well-regarded How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, plug in at Viejas Arena at SDSU...L.A. singer/songwriter Bob Forrest rolls into South Park bar Whistle Stop with his new collection, Survival Songs, a folk-rock record of new material and reworked songs by his old bands, Thelonious Monster and the Bicycle Thief...nu-wave singer George Lewis Jr., aka Twin Shadow, bring’s his Rally Midnight Tour to Belly Up...for fans of the Coldplay brand, Casbah screens Silent Film, an English piano-rock and drums duo touring in support of their new, eponymous record...Joy-pop troupe Calliope Musicals will headline sets at the Merrow in Hillcrest...Greyboy’s “next-gen power trio” Taurus Authority takes the stage at Bar Pink...while Lagwagon’s Joey Cape plays Brick by Brick with “the shouty one in Albion Gold,” folk-punk Laura Mardon.