Here are our concert picks for the week.
After almost two decades together, Carbon Leaf (playing tonight at the Bluebird Theater with Chamberlin) has effectively created its own brand of accessible bluegrass. But the Virginia natives can't be pinned to a single genre — the band has an ostensible pop side, one that best translates live through Carbon Leaf's varying stringed instrumentation. BREE DAVIES
Gardens & Villa - Tuesday, September 15 - Crescent Ballroom How many indie bands can you name who use an Indian bansuri flute? Maybe it’s common, IDK, but it works wonders for dream pop quintet Gardens & Villa. The flirty pulse on “Domino” evokes Beach House or Bogan Via, while “Bullet Train” is the kind of melodic hum that makes of Montreal fans squirm. But Gardens & Villa don’t focus on gimmicky, East Asian relish — they seem to take their sound seriously, judging by how they like to embed themselves in isolated studios for weeks at a time. They recorded their debut album in the shower-less, kitchen-less Oregon studio owned by producer Richard Swift, known for his work with the Shins and Foxygen. And when they recorded their sophomore album, Dunes, G&V hunkered down with acclaimed DFA Records producer Tim Goldsworthy in Benton Harbor, Michigan for a month, they only left five times during the recording process. TROY FARAH
Chris Brown - Tuesday, September 15 - US Airways Center
Have we, the public, forgiven Chris Brown? Will we ever? Should we? There’s no clear answer to any of those questions, especially the third one. Pre-2009, Chris Brown was slated to be the next Usher — the tremendously talented teen star destined to be a hit-making heartthrob for decades to come. Then came the news of his arrest for domestic violence against fellow superstar and at-times girlfriend Rihanna, and the horrifyingly graphic picture illustrating just how brutal the attack was. Critics don’t seem to have forgiven him nearly a decade after the fact. His recent albums, despite massive popularity, have received mixed reviews, at best. But judging by his sheer popularity, there are plenty of people who have moved on. Brown continues to be one of the biggest stars in the country. His 2014 album X has been on the Billboard charts for almost a year as of press time, and he also currently has three songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Hell, everyone on the tour is currently hot: Omarion (one song, featuring Brown), Fetty Wap (four songs), and Kid Ink (two songs), and French Montana (none currently, but he’s no stranger to the charts) round out the lineup, which just might be the most star-studded bill to come to Phoenix this summer, domestic violence or not. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Luis Miguel - Wednesday, September 16 - Comerica Theatre
Luis Miguel is considered by many to be the handsomest man in Latin music. Nay, the handsomest man in the world!
Any dude who can count among his past conquests Myrka Dellanos, Araceli Arambula, Gabriela Sabatini, Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, Brigitte Nielsen (way back in her hot days), Daisy Fuentes, and Colombian bombshell Sofia Vergara deserves his due.
It doesn't hurt his case that Mr. Miguel has such a massive fan following that he can demand exorbitant tickets prices ($78 to $138 plus fees) and still sell a full two nights in this town.
But then, the Mexican singer certainly has earned his way. He's been putting out records since 1982 when he debuted at the ripe old age of 12 with Un Sol. And he's kept on producing steadily ever since, releasing an average of an album a year for the duration of his career.
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Along the way, he's amassed a ridiculous 300-plus platinum records — not to mention a couple of diamond records and more than his fair share of gold. PAUL TORRES
Cannabis Corpse - Thursday, September 17 - Club Red
Cannabis Corpses sticks out in terms of its mainly because it is a brutal death metal band. Just take one look at the band's artwork, or read the song titles and lyrics. The band is part parody, part tribute to smoking weed, and the death metal band Cannibal Corpse. This is a murkry, head trip of a merger between thetechnical, breakneck speed of Florida style death metal, and a passion for all things ganja. But the twist is Cannibal Corpse songs, replaced with marijuana laced tales of buds coming to life and killing people, stoners being smoked alive, lungs being filled with THC, and more stoned macabre subjects. Cannabis Corpse features members of Municipal Waste, and is heavily influenced by and constantly under the influence of THC. Fan favorites include extreme stoner takes on Cannibal Corpse songs such as 'Skull Full of Bong Hits,"(Skull Full of Maggots) "Mummified in Bong Water,"(Mummified in Barbed Wire) "Blunted at Birth,"(Butchered at Birth) and "Addicted to Hash in a Tin,"(Addicted to Vaginal Skin) among others. Brutal yet highlarious. ALEX DISTEFANO