Crossing our fingers, but we haven't heard a single Christmas song yet. We hope the holiday hasn't yet entered your ears either, and to keep it that way, here are six suggestions for great music to hear this weekend that won't make you want to strangle yourself with tinsel.
For more options, check out our comprehensive concert calendar.
n 1961, Allan and Sandra Jaffe founded Preservation Hall in New Orleans, where they held nightly concerts of traditional jazz music played by those who had seen jazz being born. Defying decades of Jim Crow laws, they integrated blacks and whites in their audiences and even in their band. All the current players hail from New Orleans, with some the offspring of the original band members, including Allan's son, Ben, who like his father plays tuba and leads the group. The younger Jaffe has astutely infused healthy doses of hip into the band, booking appearances on the Grammy Awards, Austin City Limits, Kimmel and Fallon, and associating with the likes of Tom Waits, Andrew Bird and Foo Fighters. Yet for all the hype, they understand the music of New Orleans on a profound, familial level, making them the realest deal of all. --Gary Fukushima
Being a female artist in heavy metal isn't always easy -- especially if you're asked to be the new face of iconic band Arch Enemy, the Swedish death metal outfit known for producing extremely heavy riffs alongside refined, beautiful melodies. The band is also known for Angela Gossow, who set the bar for female vocalists in the genre with a growling style reminiscent of Carcass' Jeff Walker and Death's Chuck Schuldiner. After the talented Gossow stepped down to focus on other projects and become full-time manager of the band, she thought it would be best to pass the torch to her friend, Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist. Thus, White-Gluz found herself in the midst of a war between overly critical metal fans all over the world. However, she had grown up listening to Arch Enemy and embraced the role with grace, dedication, and humility, jumping right in to help write and record the band's 10th album, War Eternal, released in June. Arch Enemy hasn't set foot on American soil in about three years, but now with a new lead vocalist and War Eternal, which is being hailed as the band's strongest album in years, they are hitting the ground running. --Lauren Wise
When Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Exodus came together to play a handful of shows in May, the response was overwhelming. All three bands have been a solid influence in heavy metal since the early '80s, and collectively have quite the bad-ass résumé. But even though these acts have solid footing, all three also are facing challenges, from passed-on band members to new albums with high expectations. So thank God (or Satan, if you're so inclined) that this trio of thrash legends has embarked on a 17-date world tour -- and Phoenix is one of the stops. The two-time Grammy-winning thrash legends Slayer are part of "The Big Four," the bands that historically define the thrash metal genre. The follow-up to 2009's Grammy-winning World Painted Blood is due out in 2015, and who knows what to expect from it: It will be the first without founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in spring 2013, the first with returning drummer Paul Bostaph (who hasn't recorded with the band since 2001), and the first on Slayer's own record label. Gary Holt is pulling double duty on this round, working as Slayer's touring guitarist, as well as the main shredder (and most senior member) in Exodus. This past summer, Exodus vocalist Rob Dukes left after almost 10 years, and was replaced with Steve Souza, who was the band's vocalist from 1986 to 1993 and 2002 to 2004. --Lauren Wise
Los Dias de la Crescent is hitting Civic Space Park and, later in the evening, Crescent Ballroom this Saturday, November 15. The free all-day music festival is jamming 17 local acts into one day this year and reserving the second day's festivities for a bike-in movie showing of Raising Arizona. While there will be a lot of familiar faces like Dry River Yacht Club and Bogan Via at the event, many other fresh faces will also make appearances. Five bands to look out for are Sincerely Collins & Miny, Los Sociales, ¡Caray!, Gabriel Sullivan, and Hasty Escape. See our full recommendations for more details and a complete lineup.
At times sounding like OK Computer-era Radiohead, Constellation branched broke a bunch of hearts when they broke up in summer 2013. But they took a step at picking up the pieces when they announced a reunion show earlier this summer, and the time has arrived. Joining them on the bill will be Small Leaks Sink Ships, Sundressed, and Lastronauts. --Phoenix New Times
KC & the Sunshine Band. Somewhere in the Himalayas, there's a young Tibetan kid in a modest shack drinking Coca-Cola, looking at his Elvis poster, and dancing his ass off to a KC & the Sunshine Band record -- probably "Shake Your Booty." In late 1973, this now-classic disco crew was born when studio intern Harry Wayne Casey cut some after-hours demos at TK Records' headquarters in Hialeah, Florida. The boss -- local Florida music legend Henry Stone -- liked them so much that he invested in the band and some hi-fi vinyl. And within two years, every club rat from John Travolta to Miami's own disco mamas were shaking booty to KC's tunes while screaming, "That's the way I like it!" --Jacob Katel
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