April showers bring May flowers. What a wet winter and we needed it, but I am ready for spring and summer. Looking ahead, as usual the choices are many but the dollar doesn't go as far, so how will you spend it? Are you staying more local? Seems like that is the future as we get more cool stuff in the neighborhoods. Plus, gas is expensive. We need an all-ages venue in each part of the county and we need more people to support local bands. The good news is most of these places that booked cover bands for the last several decades are stepping out and booking original music, good for you. And now here is your May calendar -- and "May the fourth be with you!" (Hey, that's my birthday.)
May 1: Passion Pit at the Observatory North Park. Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their debut album "Manners." (Read the SoundDiego interview with band here)
May 2: Steel Pulse at the Belly Up. Reggae legends! Open says a me, here comes Rasta man.
May 3: Colin Hay at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Men at Work frontman.
May 4: Lauren Ruth Ward and Laura Jena Anderson at the Casbah. "Who the f--- is Lauren Ruth Ward?" is the actual headline of her website. Go to the show and find out.
May 5: Violent Femmes and X at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay; the Faint at the Observatory North Park; or Peter, Bjorn and John at the Irenic -- you decide.
May 6: Part Time at the Casbah. Lo-fi/new wave/pop love songs...
May 7: Wargirl at Soda Bar. Dubby garage-rock with touches of afrobeat, straight outta Long Beach.
May 8: Liz Cooper & the Stampede, Briston Maroney, and Dani Bell & the Tarantist at the Casbah. The headliner is a three-piece rock band from Nashville, Tennessee.
May 9: Camp Cope, An Horse and Oceanator at the Che Cafe. Camp Cope is an alternative-rock band from Australia.
May 10: The Bouncing Souls, the Bronx, Skinny Lister and Sharp Shock at House of Blues. Stay hydrated and your time in the pit will be more enjoyable.
May 11: Eels at the Observatory North Park. One foot in weirdness and one in pop genius, Mark Oliver Everett, aka E, will satiate your need for audio gold.
May 12: Foxing; Now, Now; and Daddy Issues at the Casbah. Emo indie-rock.
May 13: El Vez presents the Unhappy Hour and Stephen El Rey at the Casbah. El Vez is also Robert Lopez of San Diego's first punk band the Zeros.
May 14: Ingenuik, Triton Eye and Slum Summer at the Merrow. Local music night hosted by yours truly.
May 15: Willie Nelson at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. On the road again...and have you tried his cannabis?
May 16: Shy Girls and Akua at the Casbah. R&B music is no longer an urban format -- scrawny white dudes are writing some sexy tunes these days.
May 17: The Dandy Warhols at the Observatory North Park. 'I'm bohemian like you!'
May 18: The Dickies at the Soda Bar. Pop-punk jokers at it since 1977.
May 19: The Dodges, the Petty Saints and J. Hofstee at the Casbah. It's local music and I booked it -- will you come? They said you would.
May 20: Hexa, John Errol, EST and DJ Jon Blaj at the Casbah. Dark music for dark people,
May 21: Idles and Fontaines D.C. at the Belly Up. Two amazing U.K. bands that are my favorites of the moment, post-punk energy!
May 22: Dead Boys, Forest Grove and Modern Love at the Casbah. Stiv Bators left us in 1990, but Cheetah Chrome keeps the band alive with a very believable frontman, I've seen it and it rocked!
May 23: The Bright Light Social Hour, Swimm and King Shelter at Soda Bar. Moody punk and cosmic soul from Austin, Texas.
May 24: The Damned at House of Blues. U.K. band that began in 1976 and features Pinch on drums, a local resident, so they are semi-local and legendary!
May 25: I Am Through Being Cool Fest with My American Heart, Dead American, Audio Karate, For the Win, Forever Came Calling, and Andy's Room at the Irenic
May 26: Jenny Lewis at House of Blues. Solo or with Rilo Kiley, she is amazing.
May 27: Briana Marela at Soda Bar. Ambient-pop artist.
May 28: Howe Gelb and David Huckfelt at the Casbah. Founding member of Giant Sand in the mid-'80s.
May 29: The Hives, Refused and Bleached at the Observatory North Park. It's the rare dual headliner, with both bands coming from Sweden!
May 30: FIDLAR ("F--- it dog, Life's a risk") at the Observatory North Park. The floor will feel like it's moving from all the energy given off by the kids.
May 31: The Specials at House of Blues. Legendary 2-tone ska band from the U.K., playing the second of two nights.
I spend many, many, many, many nights out seeing local and touring bands, but I really do it for you, San Diego. I've made it my job to stay on top of the heap, on the cutting edge of rock. I am an ambassador for San Diego, always looking for that next great local band like Ignant Benches or Fashion Jackson (two of my current favorites) but also bands from around the world. So take a gander every month here for your curated calendar, or listen to Loudspeaker, the local music show I host on 91x (Sundays at 7 p.m.) or the FTW New Music show at 11 p.m. (also Sundays on 91x). Don't be a star-bellied sneetch, we're all in this together.
Tim Pyles, a longtime local who grew up in La Jolla, is the unofficial mayor of local music and hosts Loudspeaker via 91x every Sunday from 7-10 p.m. He also books local acts at the Casbah, Public Square Coffee and the Merrow. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org