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Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

This is just a very well-labeled press photo.
This is just a very well-labeled press photo.

You missed your chance, over the weekend, to indulge in some multi-band '60s nostalgia, but tonight, Crescent Ballroom will make up for it by allowing you to resurrect old arguments about whether remaking "Pretty in Pink" was a bad idea (and then, inevitably, whether the end of Pretty in Pink was a bad idea.)

You can get into arguments about John Hughes at any of our five must-see Phoenix shows this week -- or just by sending us a tweet underrating She's Having a Baby -- but only one of them features the Psychedelic Furs.

Click through to see the rest. (Or click here for our complete Phoenix concert calendar.)

Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

Psychedelic Furs - Crescent Ballroom - Monday, July 15

Certain records seem to appear, somehow, at virtually every yard sale: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours , Foreigner 4 , Carole King's Tapestry . . . and Psychedelic Furs' Talk Talk Talk . The first three make sense, given how ubiquitous they were, but the latter is harder to explain. Released in 1981, Talk Talk Talk , the Psychedelic Furs' second release, generally is considered the British band's best album -- so well-regarded that a 2011 tour merited performing the album in its entirety. So why the sales bin?

Listeners must have grown tired of the band's post-punk/New Wave sound, which oscillated between poppy and edgy without ever taking hold of either. Later versions of the band dabbled mistakenly in harder rock, as well as overtly commercial forays -- including a schmaltzy remake of "Pretty in Pink" for the John Hughes movie of the same name -- which could have alienated early fans.

The band itself seemed to have had enough by 1991, calling it quits as founding Butler brothers Richard (vocals) and Tim (bass) formed Love Spit Love. But just shy of a decade later, the Furs reformed, recorded a new song, and toured on a nostalgia for the '80s that must not extend to record collections. -- Glenn BurnSilver

 

Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Mesa Arts Center - Tuesday, July 16

Rodrigo y Gabriela are known for taking plenty of extra guitars with them on tour, and for good reason: The force with which they play the instruments usually leads them to a grisly end. The duo tends to wield their guitars as though the only thing standing between the virtuoso musicians and the end of the world is their ability to get through their songs in their inimitable style.

The two originally came together through their love of metal and a shared frustration with the music scene in their hometown of Mexico City. From there, they performed as buskers across Europe before settling in Dublin, where they gained a local following. One easy way of imagining how their acoustic guitars sound: They're well known for their elaborate, acoustic covers of and tributes to metal songs. Rodrigo plays lead and Gabriela plays rhythm guitar and percussion simultaneously, in a way most people have never seen any guitarist play. -- Yezmin Villarreal

 

Green Line Operator
Green Line Operator

Green Line Operator, Fairy Bones, The Echo Bombs - Crescent Ballroom - Tuesday, July 16

At the Crescent on Tuesday: Three local bands for not very much money at all. Green Line Operator, last seen organizing a very tightly themed THR33 SHOW, plays a kind of unmediated guitar pop that will make you want to go home and play Crazy Taxi , right after you figure out where you put your Dreamcast.

The Echo Bombs, whose EP Awkward Summer was released this past Awkward Spring, takes the reverb-beach-party sound of Wavves and Surfer Blood and mixes in a little unnerving tension. It's probably just because my Dreamcast is already out, but "Dark Surf" sounds like something they'd play on the X-Files while an Oakleys-wearing, spiky-haired hacker-grrl broke into the mainframe.

Fairy Bones has a song called "Alcohol and Adderall," which is a very bad idea, but their live show -- if the videos are any indication -- tends more toward the Adderall, with a bunch of hyperactive, seemingly unrelated musical thoughts cohering into one focused whole.

(Read our interview with Green Line Operator's Desert Muserelli)

 

Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

Cayucas, Baptist Generals, Writer - Crescent Ballroom - Wednesday, July 17

The Baptist Generals are coming, but we're not talking Ulysses S. Grant or Robert E. Lee. Rather, July marks the return of a psychedelic folk band from Denton, Texas, last heard from circa 2003.

Back then they were touring behind their debut release, No Silver/No Gold, a crash-bang-boom rush of emotionally charged songs designed to beat the doors down. An acoustic folk undercurrent served as the platform for seething electric guitars and off-kilter instrumentation. Critics loved it, but little more was heard from the Generals until this May's release of Jackleg Devotional to the Heart.

Ten years spawned many theories about why The Baptist Generals leader Chris Flemmons took so long on the band's follow-up, but it wasn't for a lack of desire (or attempts) to write new songs. -- Glenn BurnSilver

Read our full feature/interview.

 

This is just a very well-labeled press photo.
This is just a very well-labeled press photo.

Kitten - Pub Rock, Scottsdale - Thursday, July 18

An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young, or so sayeth Oscar Wilde. His eccentric wit is a perfect fit for L.A.'s Kitten, fronted by the just-barely legal Chloe Chaidez, who co-founded the band when she was just 15. By now she's likely tired of hearing how young she is, but it really is an achievement; in a few short years, Kitten has toured at South by Southwest, shared road trips with Paramore and Young the Giant, and earned nods from various rock journalists as an up-and-coming act.

As Chloe puts it herself, "People always say, 'Oh, she's so young, but the thing is, I've been doing this for a really long time already." It's true: Kitten's ingredients have matured well beyond their years, given Chloe's almost encyclopedic background in music. For Kitten, that awareness of the past has translated into a light blend of Siouxsie Sioux packed with the sexy edge of Debbie Harry -- combined with the modern, synthesizer-speckled sensibilities of bands like Metric, Austra and Purity Ring. The title track off last year's Cut It Out EP resembles a futuristic anti-love song, while other tracks like "Japanese Eyes" and "Sugar" demonstrate a mature, tight-fitted songwriting style with a sexy, tender edge. -- Troy Farah


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