Here are our picks for the best concerts in Phoenix this weekend.
Landlady – Friday, February 24 – Valley Bar
Landlady hails from Brooklyn, and they are currently on tour for the double vinyl release of their new stunner, The World Is A Loud Place. If you’re looking for some unusual indie rock that involves every instrument found in a full orchestra with a moody trip-hop vibe, clashing with post-punk angles and dizzying percussive arrangements, this is your jam. There’s a certain degree of fascination in the slight neuroticism of Adam Schatz’ vocals that seem to tie the entire affair together, but it’s what he’s got backing it that makes it one of the most compelling albums of the year. Schatz’ quirky lead never sways and anchors each song without devolving into histrionics, while the music unravels and weaves back together again. Landlady has as much affinity for esoteric eclecticism as it does for a certain sense of psychedelia which they use to dabble in every genre available, with moments incorporating jazz, new wave or mid-1960s pop arrangements. With the sheer breadth of the record in mind, it is certain to be a fascinating ride live. Local rockers the Blank Waves snagged the opening spot for the show. MITCHELL HILLMAN
Pharoahe Monch – Friday,
Erstwhile Organized Konfusion member Pharoahe Monch has spent the last decade and a half wandering the earth recording great hip-hop – everything from legendary room-destroying bangers like "Simon Says" to the casual, bouncing song-rap "Love," for J Dilla's The Shining. And although Monch might never achieve household-name status, he's one of a select few living legends who
Captured! By Robots – Friday, February 24 – Yucca Tap Room
Insanity and chaos are on the horizon – and no, we don’t mean the sort being dispensed by our orange-skinned overlord in Washington, D.C. We’re referring to the insanity wrought by novelty rock act Captured! By Robots, which is partly a band and partly a bizarre performance art project by Jay Vance, also known as JBOT. What he's done here is build a band, literally, by building robots which eventually turned on him and held him captive, hence the name. He is their human slave and now they (wait, he?)
Migos – Saturday, February 25 – Celebrity Theatre
When you're in bumper-to-bumper traffic after a hectic day at work, the best thing to do is blast your radio so loudly you stop caring. Atlanta hip-hop group Migos' "Bad and Boujee" single is an ideal jam, causing your rear-view mirror to vibrate, your loose bumper to rattle, and the girls in the car next to you to shake their asses in their seats, almost causing an accident. It's just that damn good. "Bad and Boujee" is just the latest in a string of smash radio singles from Migos. Generating a hit isn't easy, but Lawrenceville, Georgia, natives Quavo, Takeoff, and Offset have mastered the act of turning any traffic jam into a party with their many club bangers. Critics have been on Migos' side since
Keeping the Rave Alive: Neon Nation – Saturday, February 25 – Club Red
You’ll never hear anything gentle, subdued, or soft coming out of the sound system during a Kutski set. As in ever. The British-born DJ prefers his beats to be hard, heavy, and relentlessly paced, which is why his mixes are a nonstop onslaught of stridently pounding sounds and grinding warbles that smash into your skull. Kutski is famous for his love of the harder electronic dance music genres, including hardcore and hard techno, which he blasts whenever possible, whether it’s at gigs or during his old BBC 1 radio show. Said genres are also a big part of his popular podcast, Keeping the Rave Alive, which draws its name from Kutski’s desire to foster underground dance culture. Lately, he’s been doing just that via the Neon Nation tour, which has been bringing hardstyle sounds and the rave aesthetic to clubs around the world. Its next stop is Club Red in Mesa on Saturday, February 25, and will feature Kutski and like-minded DJs like Mark Breeze and Nodari getting fists pumping, glowsticks waving, and eardrums melting for six straight hours. Performances will take place in both of Club Red’s theaters, and the lineup will include several local DJs — such as Displacement, Tempus, Axion, data.MAX, and Dark Mark — spinning everything from techno and
Moose Blood – Saturday, February 25 – The Rebel Lounge
If it weren't for the British accent of Moose Blood singer/guitarist Eddy Brewerton, you'd never know these guys were from the United Kingdom, given their worship of late-'90s American-style emo acts like Jimmy Eat World and Brand New. Their 2014 debut, I'll Keep You in Mind, From Time to Time, rewinds the clock 10 years to a time when muscular riffs mingled with delicate guitar passages and lyrics about being young and heartbroken or, conversely, head over heels in love, were de rigueur. "Do you want to come over late to my house and watch American Beauty in the dark," Brewerton sings on "Gum." "I'll hold your hand until the very end, and we'll stay up late until tomorrow starts." If lyrics like that make you nostalgic for 2002 or, perhaps, Deja Entendu, Moose Blood will delight. DAVE LAKE
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Playboy Manbaby – Saturday, February 25 – Trunk Space
After about half a year of delays, Playboy Manbaby is finally releasing its latest album, Don’t Let It Be. The band has been all but bursting to share the songs with the public; Donald Trump’s ascendency to power no doubt prompted the early release of “You Can Be Fascist, Too,” a razor-sharp take on the mindset of the president’s base. But come February 25, the wait will be over, and the release comes with good news for the band: The group now has a deal with Lolipop Records, a well-regarded indie label based in Los Angeles. That shows a promising upward trajectory for the group, and maybe pretty soon the rest of country will be getting to know a band that for a long time has been a treasured local gem. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Dark Star Orchestra – Sunday, February 26 – Livewire
It oughta come as no surprise that certain outfits are embracing the cover band concept and reaping rewards as a result. Consequently, there's a veritable cottage industry that flourishes via tributes to the Beatles (natch), Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and a host of others. In many cases, the original band is defunct, and now they, the tribute band, can recreate every note and serve as the next best thing. Still, one has to credit Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra with earning more than a hint of actual legitimacy. Keyboard player Rob Barraco performed with the Dead bassist Phil Lesh in his band Phil Lesh and Friends and also toured with the reunited band that went by the abbreviated name the Dead in 2002 and 2003. Likewise, guitarist Jeff Mattson has also played with Lesh, as well as onetime Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux. Singer Lisa Mackey claims to