Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend
I've never done anything interesting enough to merit a Kickstarter, but if I ever happen to by accident I could do worse than following the example of Northern Hustle, who's celebrating their crowdfunding victory with a CD Release show this weekend.
That's just one of the titular must-see Phoenix shows this weekend. We have more. (View our complete concert calendar here.)
Northern Hustle CD Release Show - Long Wong's, Fort Wanderlust - September 6-7
Northern Hustle understands Kickstarter. When the year-old band set out to print its new album, Forgether , they asked for a distinctly reachable $1800. Instead of spending the next month biting their nails, they got what they needed in three days. In the end, 74 people pledged $3098 to help them get their thoughtful acoustic pop into the hands of thoughtful acoustic-pop fans.
It's less than you'll get if you're promising a smartwatch, or a minimalist wallet, or a Veronica Mars movie, but it was enough--and that they got there after so little time together is a testament to how polished they sound already. Their/our reward: A two-day Forgether release party. The first night's at Long Wong's; they'll be joined by Owl & Penny, There Is Danger, LA native Christian Lee Hutson, and Playboy Manbaby. On Saturday, The Balcony Scene, Where Are All The Buffalo?, and Dylan Pratt will join the party, which--I should note--is officially titled the Spring Break '98 America Festival of Friendship.
Kris Roe - Pub Rock Live, Scottsdale - Friday, September 6
Nostalgia is a big part of The Ataris' music, whether it's band's name, its lyrical content, or how fans relate to the songs. Most millennials feel pangs of nostalgia when a song from 2003's So Long, Astoria plays--perhaps "The Boys of Summer" served as a gateway to Don Henley's music, or "In This Diary" reminds us of that one kick ass high school summer. We all seem to love reaching back to those golden teenage years, and singer/guitarist Kris Roe is no exception.
The Ataris have been performing for almost 20 years, and even though the band has had a revolving door of members, Roe continues to pull the heartstrings of fans old and new. The themes of his songs are pretty universal--crushes, heartache, longing to get away from one's hometown, etc., all of which still work 18 years later. Roe may have experimented with shoegaze on 2007's Welcome the Night, but he continues to play the songs fans know and love, so count on a little "San Dimas High School Football Rules" and longing to watch Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. -- Melissa Fossum
Kaleidoscope Kamp Out - Pepsi Amphitheater, Flagstaff - September 6-7
The second annual Kaleidoscope Kamp Out kicks off this weekend in Flagstaff at the Pepsi Amphitheater and has been extended, this year, to a two-day event. Kaleidoscope is one of the more unique music festivals to come out of Arizona; the uniquely woven set of musicians includes DJ Emancipator, who will be headlining, along with various hip-hop acts from across the country like Eligh, Mansions on the Moon and OG Status. Several Arizona acts will be incorporated into the lineup as well, including Prescott-based Spafford and Tempe originals Endoplasmic and Dry River Yacht Club.
Read More: Our complete interview with Garnet of Dry River Yacht Club
DRYC has gained a devoted fanbase across Phoenix since their inception in 2007, becoming a staple in local venues and charity events across the city with their offbeat brand of bluesy, gypsy-esque music. The eclectic face-off between bands like DRYC and new-age electronic acts will serve up the rare music festival that can plausibly be described as a mix between Bonnaroo and Wet Electric, for all those inspired to camp out in Flagstaff this weekend among the grass skirts and glow sticks. -- Caleb Haley
Tobacco - Crescent Ballroom - Saturday, September 7
Master of the mindmelt, Tobacco is probably best known as the enigmatic frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow, penning the vocoder-drizzled psychedelia of a digital generation that misses Super Nintendo and VHS tapes. While BMSR is often the kind of tuning you'd slap on as you peaked on a mushroom trip in a field of wildflowers, Tobacco's solo efforts are more appropriate for long bike rides that leave you drenched in sweat and nearly dead by the side of the road.
Read More: Our complete interview with Tobacco
His 2010 release Maniac Meat featured Beck on two tracks, plus the Pennsylvania synthesizer brainiac has worked with Aesop Rock, Health, Rob Zombie and Matthew Dear. With a new album hinted at in mid-2014, not to mention all the dark energy carried over from BMSR's latest release, Cobra Juicy, whatever this show brings will be the fluid of dreams to come. And if you haven't heard, Tobacco is also behind Demon Queen, a collaboration with Zackey Force Funk of Tucson's Machina Muerte hip-hop collective.
Zackey, a whirlwind of falsetto funk and old skool beats, will be opening, and there are rumors that some Demon Queen action will also liquefy your spine. -- Troy Farah
Scattered Melodies - The Rogue Bar, Scottsdale - Saturday, September 7
Phoenix has plenty of things going against it when it comes to uniting the local music scene. The venues that most often book local acts are often miles and miles apart, forcing fans to hop on freeways and drive up to an hour to see their favorite bands.
One thing the Phoenix music scene does have going for it is projects like Scattered Melodies, a rhythm duo that employed nine different singers and several guitarists for its upcoming album, A Collective Agreement. The album is a testament to the current buzzing within the local community, a growing, diverse collection of talented artists who span a variety of genres.
These are the artists who make it a point to head to The Sail Inn, the Rhythm Room, and Yucca Tap Room each night to support local bands. As Last Exit Live marketing director Matty Steinkamp says, within the past five years, the Phoenix music scene has witnessed a transformation in how bands support one another -- and the Scattered Melodies project is a perfect example of new alliances being formed within the Phoenix music community. --Nicki Escudero
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