Where should I begin? First off: Happy New Year! What's your resolution? We have to start by congratulating Tim Mays and the Casbah for 30 years of providing the best in musical entertainment for music fans -- truly independent and a force (read the SoundDiego interview with Mays here)! Did you know I host local and national talent at the Merrow every Tuesday? Now in my second year -- come on down and expose yourself to some great talent. We have a SoundDiego LIVE at the Pour House in Oceanside on Jan. 25 with James Supercave, Aviator Stash and Los Shadows which is Hosted by Alysha Nett, who I hear may have more Instagram followers than me (RSVP here now for the show and follow me on IG here). And due to the stellar monthly lineup curated for the "Casbah 30 Presents" celebrations (which, to be honest, is pretty stacked), most shows listed below are at the Casbah -- what's a guy to do? Get tickets to 'em now before they sell out! Casbah rules!
Jan. 1: Happy New Year!
Jan. 2: Gilbert Castellanos' Young Lions Series & Jazz Jam at Panama 66. Come hear the future of Jazz in San Diego.
Food. Fun. Lifestyle. Features. All in America's Finest City.
Jan. 3: Lavender Fields and Verde at Soda Bar; a little experimental electronica.
Jan. 4: Hot Snakes and Retox at the Casbah -- two bands made up of members of Rocket From the Crypt, the Locust, Drive Like Jehu, Head Wound City, Back Off Cupids, All Leather, OFF!, Earthless, Obits, and the Night Marchers.
Jan. 5: Calpurnia, featuring Finn Wolfhard from the show "Stranger Things," at House of Blues; or head over to the Casbah for the return of a couple '90s Casbah staples Chinchilla and Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver with Mostly Sunny and Scary Pierre.
Jan. 6: T.S.O.L., Forest Grove, and Blood Ponies at the Casbah -- True Sounds of Liberty, punk legends.
Jan. 7: Man Man at the Casbah. They have been compared to Tom Waits and Frank Zappa, both originally from our fair burg.
Jan. 8: David Bowie Birthday Bash with Ziggy Shuffledust & the Spiders From Mars, Ariel Levine & Friends (playing "Station to Station") and Funky Thigh Collectors at the Casbah. Celebrate the legend!
Jan. 9: Melvins and hepa.Titus at the Casbah; they play the next night as well if the building doesn't implode from the gnar!
Jan. 10: F----- and Bound, Deep Sea Thunder Beast and BobxRoss at Soda Bar. With a name like that, you know it's going to be hardcore and heavy.
Jan. 11: The Dragons, Drip Tank, and Shake Before Us at the Casbah. The Dragons (who play the next night as well with Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver, Deadbolt and Madly) are rock & roll personified and one of my favorite bands. Local moments in San Diego rock history: Years ago, Drip Tank did a tour of local 7-Elevens from the back of a U-Haul!
Jan. 12: Amen Dunes at the Belly Up, bringing atmospheric psych sounds to Solana Beach to sooth your soul.
Jan. 13: AJ Croce, son of Jim and Ingrid, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
Jan. 14: Casbah Day celebration! Beehive & the Barracudas, Low Volts, DJ's GirlgroupGirl and Richard Whig at the world famous Casbah -- let's all celebrate Casbah Day, officially proclaimed by the City of San Diego in 2014!
Jan. 15: Tamaryn, Cold Showers and DJ Jon Blaj at Casbah; shoegaze and indie rock. They call it "shoegaze" because the bands have so many guitar pedals that they look like they're staring at their shoes.
Jan. 16: Bayside at the Irenic. Queens, NYC-based emo-punk band that has been at it since 2000.
Jan. 17: The Donkeys, the Blank Tapes, and Bitchin' Summer at the Casbah. Sounds like the top down in a convertible on a summer day cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Jan. 18: The Penetrators, the Schizophonics, and the Dinettes at the Casbah. This is the last time to catch San Diego legends the Penetrators, as lead singer Gary Heffern performs his "Last Waltz" just a week later (see below).
Jan. 19: Adolescents, Death Eyes, Alvino & the Dwells, and Space Force at the Casbah -- punk-rock legends love the Casbah!
Jan. 20: Mustard Plug, the Phenomenauts, Lexington Field at the Casbah. Mostly ska, so pick it up!
Jan. 21: The Districts and Deeper at the Casbah; jangly rock from Pennsylvania.
Jan. 22: Via Satellite, Goodbye Blue Monday, and Dewey Defeats Truman at the Casbah. A triple-stacked bill of bands from the late '90s and early '00s.
Jan. 23: Mozes & the Firstborn, the Parrots, and Billy Changer rocking some garage pop at Soda Bar. Or Pinback at the Casbah, who play two nights in a row to celebrate Casbah 30.
Jan. 24: Peter Murphy and David J at the Observatory North Park, performing Bauhaus songs, as long as Murphy doesn't get in trouble again.
Jan. 26: Buck-O-Nine, the Downs Family, Unsteady at the Casbah. Ska and Irish Punk in my town, your town, our town!
Jan. 27: Bananarama at the Observatory North Park performing their seminal '80s hits (since No Knife at the Casbah is already sold out)! Sweep away my shadow!
Jan. 28: Gary Heffern's "Last Waltz" featuring Ray Brandes, Cindy Lee Berryhill, David Doyle, David Fleminger, Victor Penalosa and Kevin Ring, the Dils, Manual Scan, Executives at the Casbah. Heffern fronts the Penetrators and this is his swan song -- come say goodbye, but not so long...
Jan. 29: Elton John at the Sports Arena, now Pechanga Arena. Don't miss a chance to see the icon -- his shows in the '70s are the stuff of legend.
Jan. 30: The Silent Comedy, Mrs. Henry, Julia Sage and the Bad Hombres at the Casbah. Good that we get more chances to see the Silent Comedy grace the stage, don't miss your chance.
Jan. 31: Three Mile Pilot, the Dropscience, Physics, and Space Horse at the Casbah. Three Mile Pilot features Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession and Zach Smith of Pinback. That, and the Dropscience hasn't played in years!
Next month, catch me hosting the next SoundDiego LIVE with Kolars, Alex Lilly and Sea Base at the Casbah on Feb. 21 (RSVP here)! Until then, I'll see you at a show!
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