Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend
Nostalgia acts are heartier than the rest of us. Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé booked themselves all the way into December, when Phoenicians will once again gloat about the weather; everywhere else across the music-act spectrum, things seem to be slowing down, hibernating.
But if you're into campy, accomplished new wave, '60s pop-rock, West Coast hip hop, or (not pictured) boy bands, your weekend is officially figured out. I can only hope that ROAR, Kitty, and Anamanaguchi will be operating a package tour of their own (Reblogged Fest™) in 2038. (For even more shows, check out our complete concert listings.)
Go Go's and The B-52s - Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale - Friday, July 12
The B-52s' funky, flirty and groovalicious party sound is as unmistakable today as it was when the band formed unexpectedly in 1976, after the founding members downed a flaming volcano drink at an Athens, Georgia restaurant. "We never planned on having a band. We were friends and crashed parties together in Athens and hung out," explains Kate Pierson. "One night we went to the Chinese restaurant and we had very little money to eat, so we thought we'd share this drink. ... We went over to a friend's house and started jamming and ... that's how it happened; the magic drink."
After the success of "Rock Lobster" and a major-label deal they became the de facto party band for college kids everywhere. Every song, Pierson says, was part of a collective writing process based around jamming. "The style of jamming, the way we did it that [first] night, became the template for the way we always wrote. You let it flow and get into a Zen place... You never know what's going to happen; there's no control over it. Then we piece it together. It's like a collage. There's very little point in trying to say we're going to make this a normal song." --Glenn BurnSilver
Happy Together Tour - Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale - Saturday, July 13
West Coast Fest - Marquee Theatre, Tempe - Saturday, July 13
Look: You grew up in the [1960s/1990s], and it's not like you're saying music is bad , now, exactly, but you and all your friends agree that the [1960s/1990s] were the best decade for music. I mean, what do the last few years have that's as fresh and revolutionary as [The Beatles/NWA] were, that first time you heard them? [Rock/Hip hop] has just been kind of stale ever since.
I mean, [The Beatles/NWA] -- they may seem kind of tame, now, but our parents were scared at the time. That's how important [rock/hip hop] was back then. [The Beatles/NWA] won't be at [Happy Together Tour/West Coast Fest], obviously, but when it comes to [60s rock/g-funk] in 2013, you have to take what you can get.
[The Turtles/Bone Thugs-n-Harmony] aren't actually from [England/California], but they were definitely a part of that sound, and the important members are still there. Acts like [Gary Puckett/Warren G] and [Mark Lindsay/Tha Dogg Pound] weren't as huge, but it'll definitely be good to see them again. Look: You get that it's a nostalgia tour, you know? But if you like the [1960s/1990s] as much as you do, what's wrong with that?
Hey, did you ever hear that weird urban legend about [Chuck Negron]'s penis exploding? Man, ouch.
The Crystal Method - The Monarch Theatre - Saturday, July 13
You'll have to forgive The Crystal Method for taking a little longer than expected to unveil its latest studio album. Yes, the follow-up to 2009's Grammy-nominated Divided by Night has been more than four years in the making, but the venerable electronica twosome of Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland have a legitimate excuse for their tardiness. Specifically, the fact that latter beatsmith recently endured a fairly serious heath crisis.
In April, Kirkland underwent neurosurgery to remove a benign cyst from his brain after suffering from headaches while he and Jordan were in their L.A. studio wrapping up the project. The affliction, he joked, could've turned into a potentially life-threatening situation due to his "tendency to get a little excited on stage." Hence, they subsequently pushed back the album's release and nixed a number of performances, including a Valley show originally scheduled for May.
Now that Kirkland's fully recovered, everything's back on track. The currently untitled disc will drop later this year while The Crystal Method has resumed its exhaustive tour schedule. On Saturday, July 13, the duo will headline at The Monarch Theatre, 122 East Washington Street. Expect the platinum-selling artists, who've been around the EDM game for exactly 20 years now, to weave some of their newest efforts into their typically epic and bombastic dance mixes of big beats, grinding hooks, and superstar guest vocals.
Locals like DJ J. Paul, Murk, Pneumatic Fist, and Disko Bomb will also perform. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $40 for VIP access (which includes an after-party). --Benjamin Leatherman
ROAR, Kitty, Anamanaguchi - Rhythm Room - Sunday, July 14
Chiptune heroes Anamanaguchi and anhedonia-hop heroine Kitty (f.k.a. Kitty Pryde) don't make a lot of sense on the same bill, at first; she raps over beats that occasionally sound like something Time-Life would sell boomers to meditate to about thinking too much; they play extroverted rock with guitars and drums and videogame systems.
But both are novel, instantly compelling, and just weird enough that the broader culture is going to have trouble turning them into a trend piece or a crossover success. The demographics work, too -- everyone at this show will have had an opinion on Yahoo! buying Tumblr.
Phoenix's own ROAR is even less likely to appear in a trend piece, but that's trend pieces' fault. Until Buzzfeed does a list of 38 Bands Who Kind of Do That Weezer Combination of Rumbling Guitars and Brian Wilson/Phil Spector Tricks, But Not Just That at All, and Are Really Great, ROAR will have to settle for just being really great.
Hot Rod's Birthday Bash & Wig Mafia Music Video Shoot - Spanish Fly, Scottsdale - Sunday, July 14
Brock "MegaWatts" Roulier and Petey Pe$o, the twosome behind gonzo Scottsdale hip-hop act Wig Mafia, prefer their beats hot, their outfits color-coordinated, and their club gigs completely off-the-chain. Expect all three at the poolside rager they're throwing along with G-Unit rapper Hot Rod and DJ Slippe on Sunday afternoon.
"It's going to be enormous fun with a bunch of good-looking Arizona people hanging out getting half-naked in the pool," Roulier says. "Its what Wig Mafia likes to do in their spare time: Partying hard and just having fun."
It's more than just one of the four-alarm weekend fiestas typically found at Spanish Fly, as the event will also fete Hot Rod's birthday and celebrate the launch of his Immature Gang record label and clothing line. Oh yeah . . . they'll be filming a music video for the latest Wig Mafia music project, a Scottsdale-specific reworking of the Eazy-E jam "Boyz-N-The-Hood."
According to Roulier, Wig Mafia collaborated with Hot Rod and Slippe, as well as local pop songstress Holly Rae, on the remake of one the late N.W.A. icon's signature track, which switches out lyrics about gangland exploits for shtick about partying in Old Town in the summer. (To wit: The new versions starts out, "Woke up quick/At about noon/Just thought that I had to be in Scottsdale soon.")
"We're musicians who want to make fun party music. That's what we do. So it's about the whole Scottsdale pool party vibe and what we kind of do out here in the summertime," Roulier says. "We had it on one of our mixtapes we started doing awhile back and we thought it would be the perfect environment to film it at Spanish Fly."
Eat your heart out, Dynamite Hack.
While the Alpine may not be pumping fresh shit by N.W.A., DJ Slippe will supply the backbeat via the Spanish Fly sound system all afternoon during the party, which runs from 2 to 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to sport wigs (natch) and other costumes. Admission is free. --Benjamin Leatherman
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