Gogol Bordello is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 15, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.EXPAND
Gogol Bordello is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 15, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.
Courtesy of Red Light Management

The 30 Best Concerts in Phoenix in November 2016

There are a few reasons why we really dig November, not the least of which are that the weather’s better and the holiday’s are just around the corner.There are a few reasons why we really dig November. Not only does the weather’s actually get particularly cooler sometime this month (no, really) but we’re on the cusp of the holiday season and the chance to reunite with our nearest and dearest.

You know who’s also coming to town soon? Tons of great bands.

Much like September and October, this month happens to be wall-to-wall with big shows by big artists, a few festivals, and long-awaited visits from legendary musicians. You don’t take our word for it, however, and can check out our online concert calendar or the following list and decide for yourself.

Here’s a look at 30 concerts happening in November that we’re eager to see.

Max Frost
Max Frost
Jimmy Fontaine

Max Frost – Friday, November 4 – Valley Bar
First and foremost, Max Frost is an accomplished beatmaker. While melodies come easily, it’s with drums and synthesized beats that Frost first builds the infrastructure of a song. Through later combining everyday ephemera and chords, he relays an easy sense of intimacy. Something almost thematic in Frost’s work is his accessibility. Signed to Atlantic records in 2013, the 22-year-old has released two EPs: Low High Low and Intoxication. While work continues to pour into what will be his debut LP, the singer remains eager to tour as much as possible. When asked if the sincerity he achieves lyrically is intuitive, he confesses that it’s the hardest part: “I dunno, for me I feel like lyrics are my biggest struggle with writing songs. It’s the easiest thing to overthink, the easiest thing to ruin a song or make it feel insincere or forced…but at the same time it can also be the thing that’s perfectly ambiguous and meaningful enough to make something work.” STEPHANIE GREY

Singer/songwriter James McMurtry.
Singer/songwriter James McMurtry.
Scott McCauley

James McMurtry – Friday, November 4 – Crescent Ballroom
Decades from now, when social anthropologists look back on which musicians most accurately and articulately captured the plight of the dwindling American middle class in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, they'll surely home in on the brilliant Austin songwriter James McMurtry. Rivaled only by Jason Isbell in his ability to construct compelling tales of small-town pathos without sounding patronizing, McMurtry doesn't exploit his characters or paint them in overly dour strokes; even his meth-heads have a good time here and there. But off-the-grid life isn't an excuse for McMurtry to sing about lakefront bonfires and Daisy Dukes. Such backwoods blowouts are the stuff of Music Row fiction, filled with trucks, cans (both containing beer and affixed to chests) and one-night stands. Yet for as flawed as the protagonists in his songs can be, you'd still much rather spend time with them than the buff bros and babes by the beach. MIKE SEELY

Less Than Jake performs during the Vans Warped Tour in August.EXPAND
Less Than Jake performs during the Vans Warped Tour in August.
Jim Louvau

Rebel Riot Fest feat. Less Than Jake – Saturday, November 5 – Yucca Tap
In a musical world that’s frequently cast as "adapt or die" and one that’s ruled by youth culture and Next Big Things, Gainesville ska-punks Less Than Jake have proven that persistence pays. The band has never veered far from its ska-punk roots, and its core lineup — drummer and lyricist Vinnie Fiorello, vocalist-guitarist Chris DeMakes, vocalist-bassist Roger Lima, and trombonist Buddy Schaub — has held strong for more than two decades. Though the outfit formed in 1992, it truly established itself during ska’s third-wave moment in the sun, the late-'90s explosion in the genre’s popularity that coincided with (or perhaps brought about) the rise of acts like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, No Doubt, Goldfinger, and Save Ferris. All of those acts have fizzled away (or, in No Doubt’s case, evolved into something far bigger than a niche genre act). Less Than Jake somehow carries on, continuing to issue predictably solid horn-inflected punk albums (eight and counting, with 2013’s See the Light the most recent, along with a number of EPs and live albums) as though the movement never ended. JESSE RICHMAN

Tim Reynolds TR3 – Sunday, November 6 – Rhythm Room
Tim Reynolds might be best-known as the one who offered Dave Matthews his first words of musical encouragement. Matthews, born in South Africa, and Reynolds, born in Germany, would have their confluence in Virginia. The two are separated by a decade in age, with Tim the elder, and though it was the student who'd go on to more mainstream appeal, the student has not surpassed the master. It is Reynolds who has quietly forged along, becoming a powerhouse in the instrumental-rock genre. The Tim Reynolds Trio, or TR3, has been his controlled experiment on musical improvisation since 1984. A multi-instrumentalist (guitars, piano, banjo, violin, harp, and numerous types of percussive elements), he is known and praised for performances that are improvisational ventures and for the fact that Reynolds allows the audience to bootleg his gigs and engage in a tape-trading akin to the Grateful Dead's Deadhead network. The current incarnation of the TR3 is rounded out by the rhythm section of drummer Dan Martier and bassist Mick Vaughn. The group prides itself on genre-bending, and any of its gigs can run the gamut of styles from funk, blues, prog, and psych to jazz fusion, with nuances and touches of classic rock and metal. Aside from an arsenal developed in a catalog of six or seven official releases, they're also admired for spicing up covers of songs by artists like Bob Marley, Marilyn Manson, and Led Zeppelin. ABEL FOLGAR

Puddles Pity Party
Puddles Pity Party
Em Butler Photography

Puddles Pity Party – Monday, November 7 – Crescent Ballroom
For the third time in the last three years, Puddles Pity Party will take ownership of the stage at downtown’s Crescent Ballroom. Though the name implies a group, it’s a one-man show with a giant clown at the helm. Yep, Puddles, who towers at seven feet tall, is a sad and mischievous clown with an operatic voice. Puddles’ initial success came from the YouTube video he released of his cover of Lorde’s hit song, “Royals.” As interesting as it was to see a gigantic clown belting out anything, it was even better with his powerful, undeniable vocal skills. He tackles all styles, too, from Sinatra to Bob Marley to Metallica, and he rises to the challenge each time, taking it to the next level — clown level. It’s nothing short of majestic every fucking time. The Puddles live show is an interactive affair. Throughout each night, he randomly pulls people from the audience and engages them in different types of shenanigans. At his early shows, this was an obviously unexpected component of the night. Audience members looked shocked and a little nervous as he plucked people to include in his act. Now, it’s become something the audience looks forward to; people are dressing clown-style or adorning Puddles-related garb in the hopes of getting noticed by the clown. Hands raise and wave all night now, flailing in “pick me” desperation to score some close-up time with this unique showman. AMY YOUNG

MC Ride (left) and Zach Hill of Death Grips.
MC Ride (left) and Zach Hill of Death Grips.
Courtesy of Third Worlds Records

Death Grips – Tuesday, November 8 – Marquee Theatre in Tempe
Think of the most pretentious bands you can: the ones that take their music almost too seriously, the ones who constantly break up and get back together just in time for a world tour, the ones who cancel such tours to record, then leak their own albums onto mysterious Twitter/YouTube/Myspace/Deep Web accounts. What artists come to mind? Tool? LCD Soundsystem? The late Prince? What about Death Grips? Even if there is a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding Death Grips’ various stunts — such as posting “interview” videos with no sound — it’s clear the band is pushing what it even means to be a band. The Sacramento trio is rapper-vocalist MC Ride (known by his mother as Stefan Burnett), drummer and producer Zach Hill, and keyboardist/programmer Andy Morin. Together, they have crushed industrial instrumentals with experimental hip-hop and noise rock — no easy task — and have influenced everyone from Iggy Pop to Eric André to the late David Bowie. Yes, really. Death Grips have collaborated heavily with Björk, Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos, and even worked with Twilight’s Robert Pattinson on their song “Birds.” Whether they’re a real band or just performing artists making some sort of “statement,” it’s clear people are listening. TROY FARAH

Psychic Twin – Wednesday, November 9 – Crescent Ballroom
In 2012, Psychic Twin, led by singer-songwriter Erin Fein, released several rapt, evocative singles. These starry-eyed exercises in the shoegaze genre, filled with wistful counter-melodies and dark rhythms, were meant to be solitary affairs, a way to capture the feeling of recording with her imaginary twin. The singles showed promise, but little has been heard from Fein since. Until now. Strange Diary, Psychic Twin’s long-awaited full-length album, is a breakup record that tells Fein’s story since the release of those auspicious songs four years ago. It also carves out a new direction for the music of moving on. The album is not the standard collection of acoustic torch songs detailing the personal peccadilloes of a failed marriage, but rather a melodic, synth-heavy package of tunes that redefines confessional music. It is both a sonic chronicle of Fein’s divorce and a documentary of how cold and isolating it can be to start over in a new place, as she packed up her life in central Illinois and relocated to Brooklyn. The result is a raw, intimate diary of thoughts you would share with your closest friend — or imaginary twin. JASON KEIL

SALES – Wednesday, November 9 – Valley Bar
SALES are an indie pop duo from Orlando featuring the musical talents of Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih, with Morgan handling vocal duties. The two-piece craft an elegant and lovely lo-fi sound that blends acoustic guitars and electronic production. Impossibly charming, they’re a must hear and see for fans of chamber pop bands such as Belle and Sebastian or Stars. This Thursday, the second stop of their North American tour finds them popping into Bardot, an infamously intimate venue and thus, the perfect setting for SALES. The group's independently released self-titled LP drops the day before, an album they recently previewed during a live stream on Twitch. The first two singles off the record, “Ivy” and “Jamz,” are sparkling downtempo grooves that feel like a mashup between Best Coast and Chet Faker. On April 21, set time aside from homework or adulthood for this breezy group and what should be a charming evening of twinkling, electro-pop. SALES are as far from punk rock as possible, but pack no less a punch, albeit more of an emotional one. ANGEL MELENDEZ

The members of Diarrhea Planet.EXPAND
The members of Diarrhea Planet.
Pooneh Ghana

Diarrhea Planet – Wednesday, November 9 – Valley Bar
Everyone likes a good poop joke now and then — but Nashville's Diarrhea Planet are quick to point out they are "not a joke band with a joke name. We are a very serious band with a joke name." The weird moniker was chosen as a "fuck you" to the commercial music types at Belmont University, where the six-piece band formed. Plus, as guitarist (one of four) Jason Smith explained when we called him up, it's better than choosing a serious-sounding name, like Vampire Weekend, then waking up one day and realize it's stupid and means nothing. "With a silly band name where it's out of the way and you don't have to think about it," Smith says. In spite of whatever gag-worthy images their name puts in your head, Diarrhea Planet actually takes their craft quite seriously. Indie pop charms funneled through heavy metal puts them somewhere between Wavves and Fidlar with plenty of nods to Black Sabbath, AC/DC and The Ramones. "Ugliest Son" gets sludgy, peppered with themes of sickness and ultimate evil, while "Kids" gets more emotive, exploring the realization that nobody, no matter what age, really has it all figured out. TROY FARAH

Rufus Wainwright – Thursday, November 10 – Mesa Arts Center
Rufus Wainwright's music is hard to categorize. It's not really pop music because too often it lacks the kind of simple catchy hooks that make for great radio fodder. He composed an opera and has set Shakespearian sonnets to music, but you can't really define him as a classical composer. Across all his diverse projects, it is his innate talent for singing and songwriting that defines him as a musician and is apparent across his genre-hopping career. When you're the son of two folk singers (Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III), singing and songwriting are ingrained in you. Wainwright has made a life in music, something his heritage seems to have destined him for, but he has also done so in an extremely distinctive, individualistic way. His music, like him, seems to exist in the grey areas and in-betweens. If he's a little outside the norm, it's probably because that is where he is most comfortable. KATE WOMACK

Car Seat HeadrestEXPAND
Car Seat Headrest
Anna Webber

Car Seat Headrest — Thursday, November 10 — Crescent Ballroom
Car Seat Headrest was the DIY dorm-room project of Will Toledo until his music was discovered by Matador Records last year; now, he and his songs are included on many year-end best-of lists. Toledo, who started recording at age seventeen, has eleven albums to his name, all of which are personal, complex and full of a certain stripped-down charm. He also tends to experiment with genres, mixing punk, psychedelia and pop with excellence, which is most likely why he’s gotten as far as he has in such a short time. Car Seat Headrest may not be what you expect, but it is worthy of all the buzz — and a trip to the Crescent later this mont. ISA JONES

HEALTH – Thursday, November 10 – The Rebel Lounge
It's hard not to think HEALTH is more mechanized than Kraftwerk ever could have dreamed. The Los Angeles quartet teethed itself on the abrasive thrash of New York noise rock bands but committed to harmonic balance with trademark melodic synth licks and singer Jake Duzsik's distant, unaffected voice. With a "no ride cymbal" policy, and by corking their mics through guitar pedals, HEALTH displays some of the most interesting percussion this side of Zach Hill. The band's warped approach earns it labels like "industrial disco," almost as if synthpop group Pet Shop Boys met doom metal legends Earth — but HEALTH's unique mixture of light and dark tones is not so simple. Death Magic, the band's recent third album and first in six years, expands the dance-floor grooves without sacrificing any of the relentless, asymmetrical rhythm inherent in 2009's Get Color. The group often is on the road, and the members have met a lot of interesting friends along the way. When Crystal Castles remixed HEALTH's single "Crimewave," it brought the group mainstream notoriety, and Famiglietti says they are good friends with Purity Ring, whose "Begin Again" was remixed by HEALTH. For Death Magic, HEALTH tapped Kanye West producer Andrew Dawson, noted for his work on Yeezus and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Famiglietti also says they chose a hip-hop producer instead of a rock or metal producer because of the specific tones HEALTH was trying to find. TROY FARAH

Chance the Rapper – Friday, November 11 – Mesa Amphitheatre
Chance the Rapper's 2016 release, Coloring Book, might not be the cutting, intense political statement many of his contemporaries opted to release this year, but it is a brilliantly produced, smooth slice of gospel-laced hip-hop that promotes CtR's infectious positive mental attitude. It's really no surprise the Chicago-based rapper is feeling ttblessed right now With the laundry list of hip-hop's hottest that worked on his record — Kanye, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, Kaytranada, T-Pain, Ty Dolla $ign, and Anderson .Paak, to name just a few — the 23-year-old seemed poised to succeed no matter what. Make no mistake, though: Chance the Rapper's chops aren't solely built on the shoulders of others. After all, he did co-write a handful of tracks on Life of Pablo while working on his own critically acclaimed album. Unfortunately, though, if you didn't already snag tickets or are up for hitting the secondary market, you'll have to sit this one out because the Valley stop on the tour (which was rescheduled to November 11) is sold out. HEATHER HOCH

Lauryn Hill – Sunday, November 13 – Comerica Theatre
Ms. Lauryn Hill has graced the Billboard charts with hits like "Doo Wop (That Thing)” and "Ex Factor" since her start with the Fugees in the early ‘90s. It's her ability to elevate a typical song into a classic with her beautiful, soothing voice that has given her a special place among R&B and hip-hop worlds. While Hill hasn't officially released an album for two years, she contributed her talent to several songs on a soundtrack compilation for a documentary about Nina Simone. Although she was only supposed to record two songs for the soundtrack, she ended up recording six, much to the delight of critics who've called the release Hill's best work since her 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Over the years, she's also shown her support for various issues dealing with racial equality, such as her recent Diaspora Calling! show series to promote black artists from around the world. Both Hill’s music and her activism game is strong as she embarks on another world tour. PABLO ARAUZ

PWR BTTM — Saturday, November 12 — The Rebel Lounge
Aesthetically glam, sonically grungy and socially radical, PWR BTTM pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a punk in 2016. Carrying on the tradition of duos that thrash just as hard as full rock bands, drummer Liv Bruce and guitarist Ben Hopkins share vocal duties to create a whirlwind of emotion wrapped in noise and sometimes a little sarcasm. Self-professed genderqueers, Bruce and Hopkins write songs that tackle and challenge traditional ideas around relationships, personal pronouns and social norms. The East Coasters were recently picked up by indie mainstay label Polyvinyl, exposing their wild style to an even wider audience. The future is here and queer, and PWR BTTM’s candy-coated politics are leading the charge. BREE DAVIES

Har Mar Superstar – Monday, November 14 – Valley Bar
Sean Tillmann’s Har Mar Superstar alter ego began as something of a goof, as he channeled an R&B sex-god persona into his Everyman frame, working his pudgy physique and receding hairline like his fellow Minnesotan Prince (R.I.P.) doing splits at the climax of Purple Rain. Sixteen years and six albums later, Har Mar seems less like a gimmick and more like an authentic extension of Tillmann’s personality and talent. He may not look the part, but Tillmann can croon a soulful bedroom jam with the best of them, and his songwriting skills have gotten sharper with each LP. His latest, the just-released Best Summer Ever, coats everything from dreamy, hands-in-the-air balladry (“I Hope”) to bouncy electro-pop workouts (“It Was Only Dancing (Sex),” “Youth Without Love”) in a haze of summery, old-school synths. ANDY HERMANN

LANY – Tuesday, November 15 – Crescent Ballroom
Despite touring with acts like X Ambassadors, Halsey and Twin Shadow in the United States and opening for Ellie Goulding in the United Kingdom within its first year of being an established touring band, three-piece alt-pop electronic band LANY has been barely a blip on anyone’s radar. “We spent our entire last year as a band going everywhere and supporting a lot of people, and playing probably 100 shows to rooms of people who didn’t know who we were,” says frontman Paul Klein. However, after releasing the EP Make Out, featuring remastered versions of music in the trio's back catalogue of tracks and a stripped-down version of hit single “ILYSB,” LANY announced a headlining tour throughout the U.S. Seemingly overnight, the once-unknown band started selling out venues. “I guess it’s one of the best feelings in the world to have success like this, and I hope people understand that this is a LANY tour, so it doesn’t look or feel the same as it did the last time they might have seen us,” Klein says. For now, LANY's fan base continues to grow, and although Klein and his bandmates acknowledge that they reach a predominantly teenage demographic, they're hopeful that they'll evolve into an all-ages band. "It kind of feels like the older people get, the less they want to be fans, and I hate that so much," Klein says. "The best thing we can do as human beings is to be fans of things and to be appreciative of each other and supportive of what one another is doing." LAUREN ARCHULETTA

Ringo Starr in his element.
Ringo Starr in his element.
Photo by Eva Rinaldi/ CC-BY-3.0, via Flickr Creative Commons

Ringo Starr – Tuesday, November 15 – Celebrity Theatre
In the most famous band of all time, of course Ringo Starr is one of the most famous drummers of all time – a quirky, loveable Liverpool kid who lucked out by getting served a fantastic opportunity. Without Starr, however, the Beatles might have had a hard time transitioning from fun-loving mop-top stars to some of history's greatest songwriters. Ringo's breathtaking inventiveness on tracks such as "In My Life," "Something" and "Paperback Writer" is often overlooked as nothing more than "straightforward," but Ringo's Zen-like minimalism with the Beatles – which influenced virtually every quality drummer since him – was deceptively ingenious, inspired and underrated. ADAM PERRY

Gogol Bordello – Tuesday, November 15 – Marquee Theatre
You can listen to Gogol Bordello's albums, watch videos, see photos or read about the gypsy punks, but none of it can really compare to the act's vigorous, highly charged shows. Fronted by wiry frontman Eugene Hutz, who's a whirring ball of energy on stage, the band usually blasts through song after song with a punk fury, stirring up frenzied mosh pits with fists pumping, bodies bouncing and sweat flying around wherever they go. JON SOLOMON

Trash Talk – Thursday, November 17 – The Rebel Lounge
About 12 years ago, four California skate rats came together to play music. Back then, Trash Talk was abrasive and aggressive, grouped into the subgenres of extreme powerviolence and grindcore. Punks who appreciated their early sound flocked to see them. The momentum snowballed, and as mosh pits grew larger, the band toured the nation and eventually other countries. Keeping true to their roots has benefited Trash Talk, now a world-renowned hardcore-punk act. In 2012, the band reached its fandom tipping point when rapper and record producer Tyler, the Creator began collaborating and performing with the tattooed punks. "Our music sounds like us," vocalist Lee Speilman says. "It's not just spastic hardcore punk; there's a method for the madness. We make music because we want to, not because a label told us to." They toured Australia and Japan and, last year, released a record called No Peace. It was a more polished, mainstream, and grown-up sound from the band's earlier years, perhaps a sign of maturity, but certainly not any sort of softening. Last month, the band released its new EP, Tangled, for free on their website (Speilman urges fans to download and "fuck with it.”) Though Trash Talk has taken some time off from touring in the past few years, Speilman says he and his bandmates feel invigorated, restless, and ready to tour the country once again — playing both classics and newer songs. WILL TOOLE

Attendees of last year's Global Dance Festival Arizona at Rawhide.EXPAND
Attendees of last year's Global Dance Festival Arizona at Rawhide.
Benjamin Leatherman

Global Dance Festival Arizona – Saturday, November 19 – Rawhide Western Town
What makes an electronic music festival a memorable one? The lineup’s typically the biggest thing, as are such factors as production value, execution, the energy level of the crowd, and (of course) the quality of the actual performances. There’s also something to be said for the location itself, which can help add something extra to the experience, particuarly if its unique, and help the event stand out from any of the hundreds of other EDM extravaganza around the world. To wit: there’s Dimensions Festival, which takes place at an 18th century fort in Croatia or Day Zero, an all-night rager within the Mayan ruins of Tulum outside of Cancun, Mexico. And then there’s the Valley’s own Global Dance Festival Arizona, which ultizes the kitschy setting of Rawhide Western Town,. DJs mix with duded-up cowboys at the annual event as a nonstop soundtrack of beats and bass are unleashed from three different stages that are located among the theme park’s old-timey structures. Y’all can expect a similar experience at this year’s edition of the festival, which takes place on Saturday, November 19, and features such artists as Bassnectar, Nero, Galantis, Alison Wonderland, Cedric Gervais, Datsik, Herobust, Lee Foss, Louis the Child, Mat Zo, Valentino Khan, and Cheat Codes, Gina Turner. The event runs from 3 p.m. until 2 a.m. General admission is $89 and VIP access is $149-$179. BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

Journey – Saturday, November 19 – Talking Stick Resort
Don't. Stop. Believing. Three words that on their own are somewhat unremarkable, but when put together form the foundation of one of rock's best feel good anthems. Journey isn't a one song band by any means, but a song like "Don't Stop Believing" gets special recognition for being pretty damn special (even when its coming from the sweet pipes of the bands current front man, Filipino singer Arnel Pineda). All that said, if you don't get a stirring in your chest when "Faithfully" starts up... well... I'd tell you to feel bad but clearly you're incapable of feelings. You’ll definitely hear the hit – as well as such signature Journey hits as “Wheel in the Sky,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Who's Crying Now,” “Be Good to Yourself,” and, yes, “Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart)” – when the band lands in Scottsdale later this month for a poolside performance at Talking Stick Resort. Be sure to have a lighter handy for the requisite solos by guitarist Neal Schon and drummer Steve Smith. CORY GARCIA

Huey Lewis and the News – Saturday, November 19 – Livewire
The world’s love for Huey Lewis and the News’ perfect cocktail of blues and radio-friendly pop can likely be traced back to their hit “Power of Love” in the film Back to the Future. But It’s probably impossible to attend a concert and not recognize every other song they’ve released over the past few decades. Hits such as “I Want a New Drug” and “The Heart of Rock and Roll” cemented the band as one of the best to come out of the ‘80s. Their last album, Soulsville, was released in 2010 and is a tribute to the artists and music of Stax Records. They’re likely to perform all of the aforemention songs at their upcoming show at Livewire in Scottsdale on November 19. DIAMOND VICTORIA

The Suffers – Sunday, November 20 – Crescent Ballroom
Kamerra “Kam” Franklin doesn’t seem like a singular bit of energy when you see her in person. She almost feels kinetic, a combination of 40 or 50 different singers who all pile inside her when the curtains rise and stay with her weeks after she walks offstage. She glows, radiates and, even when she clutches her purse and laughs with friends, is still a Presence. As lead singer of The Suffers, all eyes are normally on Franklin. The band’s self-titled debut album dropped earlier this year along with a coronating performance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to match. For The Suffers, it’s another feather in their growing list of big stages. Formed in 2011 by Adam Castaneda and Pat Kelly, the group has taken on many forms, eventually building toward the ten-piece machine that exists today. Over time, the band danced around with sounds of neo-soul, ska, hip-hop, brass-band jazz and more. Their sound consistently leaves critics unable to put them anywhere near a box, stymieing easy comparisons. It makes Franklin, their de facto leader, satisfied. “We can shy all we like, but it would do us no good,” she says of The Suffers' contemporaries. “Comparisons give folks that may be hesitant to check you out a reason to invest time in listening to you. I'm just glad I love all the artists folks seem to compare us to. It'd get a little awkward if it were the other way around.” BRANDON CALDWELL

Red Fang - Wednesday, November 23 - The Rebel Lounge
There's a tongue-in-cheek element to Red Fang that counters an aesthetic that includes beards, brews, and bruises. Though hard to pigeonhole from any external angle, Red Fang is always drenched in fuzz pedals, hammering drums, gigantic vocals, and, of course, Pabst Blue Ribbon. "I guess we're maybe not skilled enough musicians to pull off a genre-specific thing," says vocalist/bassist Aaron Beam. "It's just whatever comes out when you're sitting on the couch with a guitar, that's just what ends up being a song. There's a unifying theme that it's just the four of us playing and all bringing our individual styles, so it's always going to sound like Red Fang because of the way the four of us play." K.C. LIBMAN

Meat Puppets - Friday, November 25 - Crescent Ballroom
Among the handful of American post-punk bands that helped shape Generation-X alternative rock, locally grown heroes Meat Puppets mingled hardcore punk, desert psychedelia and honky-tonk to arrive at a most unique formula. Kirkwood brothers Curt and Cris have been through hell and back since their seminal early-'80s SST albums, but have stabilized since Cris' 2007 return, fleshed out by Curt's guitarist son Elmo and Shandon Sahm (son of late Tex-Mex legend Doug) on drums. In 2013, the rejuvenated Puppets released Rat Farm, their most intoxicating music since 1994's gold-certified Too High to Die. CHRIS GRAY

Young Thug – Saturday, November 26 – Marquee Theatre
Young Thug has created a career for himself without a single official studio album to his name. He's borrowed Future's rapid-fire album approach by putting out 14 mixtapes in just five years. And although there are a few misses, Thugger has recently been killing it after putting out Slime Season trilogy and Barter 6 last year. Young Thug's nasally, slick vocal delivery is hard to miss, although it sometimes makes the lyrics themselves fairly easy to miss. But that's fine, because you'll be too busy dabbing or whipping or something to notice. MATT WOOD

Skinny Lister – Monday, November 28 – The Rebel Lounge
At first glance, the name Skinny Lister may evoke the image of an underweight nerd who's been taunted by his classmates. In reality though, it's one of those clever band names that leaves a somewhat amorphous impression. In truth, the Lister family were actually innovators in the field of anesthetics, but according to singer/ukulele player Lorna Thomas, their Skinny Lister was a boy that guitarist Dan Hepinstall went to school with. "We have no idea if he is still skinny, but we will hopefully get a chance to reunite with him one day in the future," Thomas muses. "Hopefully he doesn't mind us nicking his nickname!" If by some chance he happened to hear Forge And Flagon, the debut album from his namesake combo, he'd probably be flattered. A stirring combination of edge, angst and insurgent attitude, all instilled with a genuine folk flourish, the album provides an ideal snapshot for the band,  as do the follow-ups efforts. 2014's Down on Deptford Broadway and this year's The Devil, The Heart and the Fight. LEE ZIMMERMAN

The Mystery Lights – Monday, November 28 – Valley Bar
Brooklyn’s Daptone Records — your longtime source for contemporary soul and funk like Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones — has just launched a rock sublabel called Wick, probably because that’s what you need to start a fire. And of course the debut release is a burner: Brooklyn’s Mystery Lights, a garage outfit who match diligent Crypt digging with the haunted feel of the 13th Floor Elevators or even Cold Sun. A lot of so-called psychedelic bands now are all flash; these guys are fog and smoke, with slo-mo fuzz leads lurching out of the darkness like the torturous final reveal of some low-budget movie monster. Their self-titled album and accompanying 45 single are well worth your judicious examination — they’ve got not just the sound but the feel and the spirit of the real-deal bands from right now as well as back then. Some might call it raw, but really it’s just pure. CHRIS ZIEGLER

Nick Waterhouse – Tuesday, November 29 – Last Exit Live
Nick Waterhouse hasn't shed his continental suit since the release of his debut album, Time's All Gone. The Los Angeles native remains in 1950s character as long as he's touring, and he does it in classic soul style with a stage full of top-notch musicians. The horns are the central focus on Time's All Gone, with the Motown-inspired backing vocals a close second. Swaggering in all their flatulent glory on "(If) You Want Trouble," the "whoop-whoops" of the ladies are fanned by Waterhouse's catcalls and taunting guitar. The saucy "Is That Clear" has bold stops and starts emphasized by jabbing piano keys. LILY MOAYERI

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >