4 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

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For reasons you can probable imagine, there isn't much of a concert calendar this week. That said, here are some picks if you're interested in seeing some live music before the holidays.

Waka Flocka Flame - Monday, December 21 - Livewire
Waka Flocka Flame is an artist known just as much for his antics on stage as off. The rapper (born Juaquin Malphurs) hit the scene in 2009 with a monster single, "O Let's Do It," which not only spawned a new era of down-south bounce rap, but also ushered a young man with little rap experience under his belt to the forefront of the new-school hip-hop class. While the New York-born, Georgia-bred MC does have a penchant for violent lyrics — his name, "Flocka Flame," bestowed upon him by his mentor Gucci Mane, is an onomatopoeic throw to a "street-sweeping" automatic weapon when it's aimed to fire — there is a cutting eloquence amid the madness. RU JOHNSON

The Klezmatics - Tuesday, December 22 - Musical Instrument Museum
You don’t have to be Jewish to feel the joyful sound of the Klezmatics’ hotpot of ye olde klezmer peppered with Eastern European, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean and other influences. The New York-based ensemble’s punked-up variations on trad klezmer have made them cultural ambassadors for a revival of the clarinet-wailing, hyper-thumping soul music of the Jewish diaspora. Somehow politics, religion and sheer party-down ecstasy figure into the Klezmatics music, whose essence is the way it connects the cultures of strangers in strange lands around the world — such as we Phoenicians. JOHN PAYNE

Jared and the Mill - Wednesday, December 23 - Crescent Ballroom
Jared and the Mill has seemingly spent more time on the road this past year than at home, crisscrossing the nation on several occasions while undergoing the tribulations that come with such travel. There was the van’s transmission that ate itself in Atlanta, the night playing to no more than six people in Des Moines, and the requisite breakups that accompany such grueling tour bouts. Frustrations and heartache translated into the band’s recent Life We Chose EP, a name that acts as response to those who would otherwise question the band’s sanity after reading the list of roadblocks above. “We’ve all come together and blended better as musicians,” frontman Jared Kolesar explained earlier this year. “Our writing process has become more natural as we move along.” Carter chimes in: “There’s a lot more songs about loss and things like that. We took the palette we always had and wrapped it around heavier things that kind of developed on their own.” K.C. LIBMAN

Jade Helm - Tuesday, December 22 - Yucca Tap Room 
Christmas and rock ’n’ roll go together like coffee and toothpaste — if you're a square, that is. Provided you've finished all your Christmas shopping and you've got a few evenings to spare, you might want to check out Jade Helm, the new project starring Jackie Cruz of Man Hands fame. Joining the group will be a handful of other straight-up Phoenix rock bands, including garage-punk duo The Christian Family, Spoiled, stoner rock group Dead Canyon, and punk band Detached Objects.

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