Morrissey is scheduled to perform on Thursday, November 16, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. We hope.
Morrissey is scheduled to perform on Thursday, November 16, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. We hope.
Timothy Norris

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

We’ve got a couple of questions on our mind this week, both of which pertain to Morrissey: Is The Smiths frontman going to make his scheduled performance in the Valley this week? And, more importantly, will the show be any good?

Both are fair questions, considering Morrissey’s penchant for canceling concerts at the last minute (like that one in California recently) and for putting forth a less-than-stellar effort (like that awful performance in Tucson back in April).

But here’s hoping that Moz turns out for his concert at the Marquee in Tempe on Thursday and weaves his magic.

Other high-profile concerts happening in the Valley this week include gigs by Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, Japanese experimental rock group Boris, badass singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco, and husband and wife blues-rock act Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Full details about each of these gigs can be found below in our list of the 10 best concerts in Phoenix this week. (And for even more options, check out our online live music listings.)

Ariel Pink found the work of Bobby Jameson through YouTube — and it led to his newest record.
Ariel Pink found the work of Bobby Jameson through YouTube — and it led to his newest record.
Eliot Lee Hazel

Ariel Pink
Tuesday, November 14
Crescent Ballroom

Ariel Rosenberg is the forefather of chillwave, but after he signed on with 4AD, the lo-fi sound of his early work as Ariel Pink began to slip into the background. September’s release changed that.

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a return to form for Pink. The album is named for a cult-favorite singer from the ’60s who died in 2015 and whose music is enjoying a second surge of popularity thanks to YouTube. Tracks like “Another Weekend” and Bobby Jameson’s title track evoke images of driving through the desert at sunset. Pink’s melodies can be eccentric, and some critics say he suffers from a lack of focus, but he proves that pop music can be more than popcorn. Nick Bostick

The musicians of Bad Suns.EXPAND
The musicians of Bad Suns.
Eliot Lee Hazel

Bad Suns
Tuesday, November 14
The Pressroom

Touring off their sophomore album, 2016’s Disappear Here, Bad Suns will visit Phoenix on Tuesday night at one downtown Phoenix’s more noted venues. Sounding like a band influenced by Elvis Costello, The Cure, The Police and various acts used in iPhone commercials, the California-based four-piece keeps things safe and smooth.

New songs like "Daft Pretty Boys" and "Heartbreaker" will mix well with the band's best-known material, like "Cardiac Arrest." Opener Hunny is a great fit for the band, as they have a light and easy sound that you can dance to. This will not be an all-out rock show, but it also won't be a snoozefest for those who want to stave off the blues of the workweek. Eric Grubbs

Derek Trucks (left) and Susan Tedeschi (right) perform.EXPAND
Derek Trucks (left) and Susan Tedeschi (right) perform.
Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Tuesday, November 14, and Wednesday, November 15
Orpheum Theatre

Before the TTB’s 2010 founding, guitarist Susan Tedeschi had success as a solo artist. Her husband and co-bandleader, Derek Trucks, led a group, was a permanent member of the Allman Brothers Band, and was a touring axeman for Eric Clapton. Doyle Bramhall II, a fellow guitarist on that tour, has become a close friend and writing partner for Tedeschi and Trucks.

While the band lineup has changed slightly over the course of three studio LPs and two live records — the most recent of which is this year’s Live from the Fox Oakland — Tedeschi enjoys the somewhat controlled chaos of the circus. “This band is really unique, and there are so many great players and the personalities are just wonderful,” she says. “I’m very lucky to be in this circus, too."

Tedeschi and Trucks are writing material for a new studio record, collaborating on some tracks with Bramhall and TTB singer Mike Mattison. Tedeschi says the subject matter is a struggle this time.

“It’s hard not to write about hurricanes and war and politics and racism," she says. "It’s just hard to comprehend everything going on today. But we want to write music that makes people have a positive feeling. … People need hope, because there’s not a lot out there.” Bob Ruggiero

Legendary Japanese experimental act Boris.EXPAND
Legendary Japanese experimental act Boris.
Miki Matsushima

Boris
Wednesday, November 15
Crescent Ballroom

Boris are celebrating a quarter-century as a band this year. Originally a quartet, the Tokyo band took their name from a Melvins song. That tip of the hat tells you right away what kind of band Boris are: one that’s eager to follow in the eardrum-puncturing footsteps of King Buzzo and Dale Crover. But the current trio of Wata (guitar/keyboards), Takeshi (guitar/bass), and Atsuo (drummer) are no tribute act.

They are one of Japan’s most versatile and adventurous hard rock groups. No small feat, considering the island’s history of producing batshit crazy music.

The band are also insanely prolific. Boris have recorded 24 studio albums (sometimes dropping 2 or 3 records a year). They’ve also recorded 13 collaborative albums with other groups and musicians, including Merzbow, Keiji Haino, Sunn O))), and The Cult’s Ian Astbury. It’s a work ethic that few bands can come close to matching (with the exception of fellow Japanese noise aficionados Acid Mothers Temple, whose sprawling discography makes Boris look like underachievers).

The through-line connecting all those records is sheer volume. Even when Boris are trying to be quiet, they can still deafen. And on the band’s latest release, 2017’s Dear, they show that after 25 years of rocking, their music can still make people beg for earplugs. Ashley Naftule

Indie rock band Speedy Ortiz.EXPAND
Indie rock band Speedy Ortiz.
Shervin Lainez

Speedy Ortiz
Wednesday, November 15
The Rebel Lounge

“Be kind to your bad self,” Sadie Dupuis sings, “cause sooner or later you’ll come out good.” That line from the song “Death Note” sums up the cathartic spirit of Speedy Ortiz, the band Dupuis fronts.

Speedy Ortiz’s sound harkens back to the early ’90s, when indie rock still had teeth. Dupuis’ poetic lyrics and powerful voice are backed by crunchy, aggressive guitars. It’s a potent mix of melody and fuzzy guitar parts that recalls the work of Archers of Loaf and Swirlies, groups that weren’t afraid to obscure their catchiness beneath layers of amp-warping weirdness.

What sets Speedy Ortiz apart from their sonic ancestors is a knack for crafting irresistible hooks. Dupuis’ gift for pop songwriting is fully apparent in her side project as Sad13, which trades in Ortiz’s surging guitars for bubbly keyboards and drum machines. But she doesn’t save all the bubblegum for Sad13 — Speedy Ortiz songs like “Raising the Skate” and “Plough” are stealth earworms. First they’ll make your ears ring, and then they’ll make you sing along. Ashley Naftule

Singer-songwriter (and all-around badass) Ani DiFranco.EXPAND
Singer-songwriter (and all-around badass) Ani DiFranco.
GMDThree

Ani DiFranco
Wednesday, November 15
The Van Buren

For girls of a certain age, Ani DiFranco is a feminist icon. Her angry feminist aesthetic has formed the backbone of many a rebellious teenage girl, and she hasn't slowed or mellowed almost 20 years later. DiFranco's anger, which is decidedly still well-placed considering our current political climate, is perhaps her defining feature, one that is best displayed onstage.

Those needing an outlet for their feminist rage will find comfort in DiFranco's angsty, folky tunes. Perhaps more notably, though, DiFranco's accomplishments as an instrumentalist and musician are woefully underappreciated. If you make it out to The Van Buren on November 15, you'll see exactly what we're talking about. Amy McCarthy

The members of Propagandhi.EXPAND
The members of Propagandhi.
Mandy Malazdrewich

Propagandhi
Wednesday, November 15
Club Red in Mesa

There is something very un-punk about the members of Propagandhi. They don't write optimistic anthems about radical social change, or dress down in the all-black anarchist uniform, or have any illusions about having to make certain compromises in a capitalist society.

Yet the Canadian-born outfit is one of the most aggressively active political bands to come out in the past decade, known for being staunch supporters of animal rights and the vegan lifestyle and for an almost hostile stance against homophobia and America's encroaching imperialism.

Propagandhi’s efforts in recent years aren’t simply punk rock, however, and bleed over into the realms of metal and even crossover thrash, as evidenced by their most recent albums, 2012’s Failed States and this year’s Victory Lap. Tuyet Nguyen

His royal Mozness.EXPAND
His royal Mozness.
Sam Rayner

Morrissey
Thursday, November 16
Marquee Theatre

The voice that launched a thousand jangly guitar bands, Morrissey has made sardonic posturing and self-involved sensitivity a hip look for over 30 years now. At 58 years old, the artist formerly known as “the only guy from the Smiths whose name you can remember” remains as angsty and golden-tongued as ever.

He can still make a pop song feel like a dark secret whispered in a David Lynch wet dream. With a silvery lilt and a melodic turn, he can still make you feel 17 again — and that the world is an immensely beautiful thing just waiting to be conquered. Despite the years of controversy, angry veganism, and scores of canceled shows, Morrissey is still just Morrissey: one of the very best and most influential figures pop has ever seen. Jonathan Patrick

The infamous Liam Gallagher.EXPAND
The infamous Liam Gallagher.
Rankin

Liam Gallagher
Thursday, November 16
The Van Buren

The often misunderstood Gallagher brother, Liam, vocalist for the defunct Oasis, is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. This is due, in part, to his nakedly honest interviews, his riveting Twitter feed, and many respected musicians voicing their appreciation for both him as a person and his music. Mostly, however, it is due to his absolutely stellar debut solo album, As You Were.

Gallagher has lost none of his signature vocal abilities or his enviable rock-star swagger. If anything, they are showcased to their fullest on As You Were. Performing live for the better part of this year, Gallagher has constructed set lists that are a tidy balance of his personal Oasis favorites, such as “Morning Glory,” “Live Forever” and “Be Here Now,” and future classics from As You Were such as “Bold,” “I’ve All I Need” and “Chinatown.” Lily Moayeri

The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.EXPAND
The Rebirth Brass Band ain't just for New Orleans tourists.
Ian Frank

Rebirth Brass Band
Thursday, November 16
Last Exit Live

You hear them before you see them – a sunny, brassy, and sassy expulsion of horns and clattering drums welling up in the distance, growing ever louder and more percussive as they approach in a second-line parade down a New Orleans street.

The horns are too loud and leering, a boozy cacophony of pent-up exultation, while the drums are too scattershot and shuffling to be militaristically formal. Instead, the drums groove like a drunk swaggers – loopy and seemingly chaotic, jerking in every direction, pulling themselves up smartly and tightly just before falling into the gutter.

This is no mere Crescent City tourist music; Rebirth Brass Band unselfconsciously pour a whole lotta funk and a little hip-hop into their jazzy, Treme-tastic gumbo. Falling James

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