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Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend

Mergence
Mergence

Final Halloween costume-related update: At least one of these weekend shows will offer you a discounted ticket in exchange for coming in costume, which is a little like getting a free meal for dragging your Christmas tree somewhere in February.

If you'd like to know which one, you can just wear your costume to all five shows and see what happens or view our complete concert calendar here.

Mergence, Through & Through Gospel Review - Crescent Ballroom - Friday, November 3

Last July, Joel Marquard's Through & Through Gospel Review played a gig we eventually named Best Club Show of 2012; this past July, at the MIM, they recreated the experience for everybody who missed it the first time. Joel Marquard's earthy hymns almost feel like an event, at this point--and they're not even the main event.

Friday night Through & Through, along with Of The Painted Choir, are supporting Mergence, who's got a new single out--"The Nerve," a droning, hazy slice of disorientation-rock that somehow ends up a catchy three minutes long. (Imagine John Lennon writing "Rain" after a bad trip. Or just click the play button.)  

Treasure Mammal's 10th Anniversary - Trunk Space - November 1-2

"The main purpose is to break down conservative walls and conservative mindframes and not just go to a show and be halfway into something.

"Go all in and lose your inhibitions," Treasure Mammal's Abe Gil says, not only with regard to how he and his bandmates should operate, but how the crowd should feel at a Treasure Mammal show as well.

"It's not for everybody. But, the people I think who are into it, the small percentage of people who are into it, I think a lot of them are lifers," Gil says.

"So, I'll do me and you do you," Gil says in the song "Stevie Wonder to the Bullshit" off of 2012's Checkognize. It's emblematic of how members of the band have worked with each other and how the band has worked with its audience over the past 10 years. It's an affirmation of asserting one's individuality and the awkwardness, but more importantly the joy that can bring. The talk is always real talk with Treasure Mammal, and you are always welcome to participate. -- Mike Bogumill  

Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend

Future Loves Past - Scottsdale Quarter - Saturday, November 2

Scottsdale Quarter is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think about spotlighting local music, and no area psychologist would blame you for failing that particular Rorschach test. On November 2, though, their free fall concert series brings Future Loves Past out to the shopping center for a full-length outdoor show. Lately of Lushfest, their album-release-party-turned-local-festival, Future Loves Past is actually a remarkably astute choice as far as Scottsdale Quarter crossover potential goes--parts of

All The Luscious Plants

, their propulsive first album, ramp right up into Duran Duran territory, with a steady beat undergirding big vocals and memorable, borderline-slinky melodies.

If you're not the Scottsdale Quarter type all the Audis and BMWs you'll be parking alongside might make you a little nervous, but I wouldn't worry about it; last time we interviewed Future Loves Past, they told us they weren't touring as much as they'd like to because none of them owned a car. Provided they can get all the way out to Scottsdale and Hayden, now would probably be as good a time as any to seek out a Wealthy Benefactor.  

Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - Crescent Ballroom - Sunday, November 3

In the year since Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band released Between the Ditches, the eclectic blues trio from Brown County, Indiana is finally getting its due, with NPR features, late night TV appearances, and numerous magazine accolades. Well, it's about time. Between the Ditches is the group's eighth release, and given the quirky nature of the songs and the rousing variety of blues styles on display--lowdown acoustic blues, back-porch Appalachian shanties, revved up hillbilly shakedowns and fuzzy North Mississippi hill country throwdowns--broader recognition has been slow in coming.

But all good things in time, and the Rev and crew are nothing but good, as in a good-time band full of high-spirited insight into roads and worlds less traveled--and frequently, time-travelled as well. There's an old-time feeling to the music, a purity that inhabits its makers and listeners alike. Absent (but not missed) is the overproduction and clutter too many acts generate in the course of searching for that perfect sound. With this trio, the songs are about finding the right space to breath and expand, to put down roots or take flight. Best of all, it's not perfect, and that's what makes it so damn good. -- Glenn BurnSilver  

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band - Pub Rock Live, Scottsdale - Sunday, November 3

"For a long time, you're chasing being thought of as this terminally unique snowflake," says Brooklyn singer/songwriter Kevin Devine. "And then you kind of realize you're a worker among workers -- and you put your boots on."

The 33-year-old musician is reflecting on the reverse metamorphosis that changed him from a somewhat navel-gazing emo-folkster (with more band pins dotting his musical lapels than a waitress at Friday's) into a thoughtful but vital rocker following in the footsteps of Elvis Costello, Alejandro Escovedo, and Steve Wynn.

Devine's riding a hot streak both creatively and career-wise since he got himself properly focused six or seven years ago. Not that he was doing badly. He'd released three albums with his college emo band (The Promise Ring-biting Miracle of '86), and three solo albums of quivering orch-folk (think Bright Eyes) before signing to Capitol Records for 2006's Put Your Ghost to Rest. None of them are bad albums, but to fans of those other bands, they can feel overly familiar.

Read our complete feature.

"Everybody's trying to synthesize influences, and what you hope happens at some point is you synthesize enough to where it starts to sound like you," says Devine. "For some of us, it only happens later, and I think the last couple years have been where it really sounds like me now." --Chris Parker

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