The countdown to the end of summer is here. In just five weeks, summer will be over, and so will the city of Phoenix's annual indoor exile. Time flies when having fun, so check out these concerts as a way to get all Flux Capacitor on the most hated of seasons.
Make sure to check out our comprehensive concert listings to find many more options.
Local blues musicians and their acoustic guitars will get the spotlight Aug. 11 at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). Nina Curry, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere, and Mikel Lander and Meridith Moore from the Sugar Thieves will provide the entertainment, presented by the Phoenix Blues Society.
Curry plays roots blues, Jimmy Pines and Washboard Jere perform country blues, and the Sugar Thieves are known for their dancing blues music, but Lander and Moore (billed and Mikel & Meredith) often perform as a duo.
This is the second year of the event that was sold out last year. The 2013 edition had six groups performing, but this year organizers have broken it into two shows, with the second show coming Aug. 31. Leon and Juke Joint, Scott Spenner and Dirt Music Express and Paris James will bust out the acoustic guitars for the shows. --Stan Bindell
At 72, Paul McCartney has had a long, illustrious career -- most of it post-Beatles, though all too many forget that the Beatles lasted a mere 10 years. Still, Sir Paul's history starts with the Quarrymen, which morphed into the Beatles, the most popular rock band, and one of the best selling, of all time.
Innovation was the key to the Beatles success. Sure, they were cute, wore long hair when others didn't, and could harmonize better than most R&B groups. But their music went way beyond the simple melodies and pop trappings the songs offered to a welcoming public. There were also strings, classical instruments, horns, overdubs, backmasking and other wild studio trickery that was pretty unheard of at the time.
It got wilder as the band aged, discovered mind-expanding drugs, and found that advances in musical equipment and recording equipment erased many conceptual roadblocks. McCartney was responsible for many of the innovations even as John Lennon got credit for being the wild one. Both has a major say in Beatles happenings (eventually leading to the group's disbandment), yet it's important to note that Paul was responsible for "Helter Skelter" and "Wild Honey Pie" and even conducted the orchestra for "A Day in the Life." -- Glenn BurnSilver Read the full article here
Seeing the bands that helped shaped punk in the '70s and '80s still performing today generally is disastrous. It's easy to write off bands like Black Flag and Dead Kennedys (sans Jello Biafra) for doing a cash grab at the expense of the fire, anger, and passion that made them famous, but 7 Seconds is one of the few bands that's doing it right. The band recently released Leave a Light On, its first album in nine years, and it's one of the best-crafted punk albums to come out in a while. The album is short and full of poignant messages ("Exceptional," "Slogan on a Shirt"), and remarkably sounds like it could have followed 1985's Walk Together, Rock Together. "It's not about your physical age. It's about how you carry yourself and how you manage to find joy in life," vocalist Kevin Seconds says, reflecting on the band's 30-year career. "I'm nursing a torn meniscus from jumping poorly on a stage in LA. Those are little reminders that I'm 53, and not 23." Even though 7 Seconds' members are middle-aged and tied up with career and family obligations, the band still adheres to the "Young 'Til I Die" ethos. --Melissa Fossum
Don't call it a comeback; technically, Rx Bandits only broke up for a year. But about three years ago, it sounded as though the Long Beach ska/punk-turned-prog outfit were calling it quits for good. In 2001, the guys announced they would stop touring after a 36-date summer excursion across North America. With that, it seemed as if the band would be on extended hiatus, even though guitarist Steve Choi did say at the time that it wasn't a break-up, per se. Still, for a lot of medium-level national acts 16 years into their career, that might have been it. A lot of people thought the band might be done, both inside and outside the organization.
"There was a lot of angst and frustration, strife that was expressed through our music," Choi says, adding the break could have been "six months or eight years" or forever -- nobody really knew. It wound up lasting a little more than a year. The band reassembled in spring 2013 to do exactly what it said it was through with doing, embarking on a summer tour in celebration of the 10th anniversary of their most popular album, The Resignation, playing the album front to back across the U.S. and U.K. -- Adam Lovinus
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Sure, Black Kids frontman Reggie Youngblood sings like an overly earnest Robert Smith impersonator, and sure, the band sounds like a thick patois of nearly every '80s musical dialect ever put on acetate, but that's exactly what makes them fantastic. It's almost as if they've tumbled out of a wormhole that sidestepped the wonder and the terror of the Reagan era, and yet they can still churn out four-minute pop songs mirroring everything that made the decade great.
Cheesy synth lines played to hooky, hokey perfection, oil-slick production values, and canned yet canny beats forcing you to dance with embarrassing style are all there, and it's all glorious. Pile on the band's indefatigable party vibe, carried in no small measure by the drill-team exuberance of Dawn Watley and Ali Youngblood, to fill out a giant, sweaty-faced, fun-flushed smile of a band. Detractors point to the imitations and hype-machine expectations dashed, but everyone else is wearing the gaudiest, brightest clothing and having a fantastic time with five musicians who know how to make that happen. -- Nicholas L. Hall