We present to you our concert picks for the week. Check out our comprehensive Phoenix concert calendar for more options.
William Fitzsimmons - Monday, October 26 - Crescent Ballroom
From the time we are thrust into the world and make an attempt to find our place in it, we have to seek ways to be seen and heard by those around us. The things we say, the words we write, and the clothes we wear help to us to not only differentiate ourselves from others but allow us unique self-expression. For William Fitzsimmons, the bearded singer-songwriter from Jacksonville, Illinois, his attempts to be seen by his parents were musical in nature. His mother and father are blind. Both were struggling musicians, and they passed on their love and knowledge of all things melodic to their son.
"There was no disability with music," Fitzsimmons recalls. "It was something we [all] could share. It was a purely good thing. I don't know if I would ever pick up a guitar if it weren't for my folks."
As Fitzsimmons grew up, his struggle to understand others rather than himself became a prevalent theme. As he started writing his own songs in his 20s, Fitzsimmons was working on a master's degree in the field of counseling. He worked as a mental health therapist but was writing introspective folks songs influenced by the music his mother had exposed him to as a child. JASON KEIL
Kirko Bangz - Tuesday, October 27 - Club Red
It's officially the year of Fetty Wap — the rapper is everywhere, including on Kirko Bangz' new track, "Worry Bout It." Now that the two are on the same imprint of Atlantic Records, perhaps we'll see more of the two in the future. Bangz got his start when XXL magazine named him as part of its 2013 freshmen class, a coveted award that often jumpstarts the careers of the rappers on it. Kirko Bangz was no exception. The rapper has only improved his stock from there. DAVID ACCOMAZZO
Nobunny - Wednesday, October 28 - Valley Bar
Nobunny, who wears a withered, gray rabbit mask while twerking in tightie-whities, is the king of Burger Records-style garage punk. When Justin Champlin (the name his mom gave him) isn’t bouncing around half-naked onstage (or sometimes fully naked), he likes to spin tunes under the moniker DJ GG Allin. And it turns out the man behind the rabbit mask resembles GG when it comes to stage presence, although with less blood and feces. But the Tucson-founded, Oakland-based Nobunny shares just as much in common with fellow Bay Area garage punkers like Hunx and His Punx or Shannon and the Clams in that Nobunny isn’t threatening to “go country” anytime soon. That, and Nobunny actually knows how to write a catchy tune, if nasally lo-fi hits like “Little Bo Bitch” and “(Do the) Fuck Yourself” are any indication. The whole ordeal is enough to make other garage rockers like King Tuff and Ty Segall look like Simon and Garkfunkel — that is, tame as rabbits. TROY FARAH
Sunflower Bean - Wednesday, October 28 - Crescent Ballroom
A good rule of thumb for music writers is avoid referencing another band to describe the one you are writing about. The Brooklyn trio Sunflower Bean makes it easy to break that rule. The group has a hit song titled “Tame Impala,” which they admit is meant to be a clever reference to the Tame Impala song “Led Zeppelin.” One listen to their EP and you can hear the overt nods to Black Sabbath, Rolling Stones, and the Velvet Underground. You certainly can’t argue with the musical tastes of model Julia Cumming, Nick Livlen, and Jacob Farber. They formed the moody psychedelic rock band two years ago as teenagers in an attempt to save the music world from EDM. They fulfill their mission by playing entrancing, raucous guitar tunes that feel like a soundtrack for your evening out, provided your plans were created with some trouble in mind. This is the music that had your mom checking your sock drawer for drugs during your rebellious teen years. As Sunflower Bean puts the finishing touches on their full-length debut, critics will have their noses in the thesaurus in anticipation of its release. JASON KEIL
Jane's Addiction - Thursday, October 29 - Arizona State Fair
In contemporary cultural terms, Jane's Addiction is one of the the biggest and best groups to emerge from the early 1990s alternative scene and garner mainstream commercial success. And, it was in the midst of dealing with drug struggles. A typical story, right? Except that it doesn't have the usual ending. The group didn't burn out, and even with Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro high as kites, their music thrived and their bond survived. It was the blueprint for the band's monster 1988 major label debut, Nothing's Shocking, which may have been slicker, but it didn't sell out Jane's eccentric edge or heaviness. The follow-up, 1990's Ritual de lo Habitual, managed to maintain their cred and expand their fan base tenfold. The group succeeded the old-fashioned way: by writing potent and provocative tunes, playing their guts out, and building an obsessive, organic following. Though their early tenure coincided with the heyday of glam metal, it was the darker, artier underground where Jane's Addiction came of age and ultimately terminated their wimpy hair metal peers. Sure, Nirvana and the grunge movement may get the credit for killing the genre, but Jane's had long been chipping away, their multicolored dreadlocks flying around in the process, a few years before Nevermind. When drugs and drama threatened the group, they got clean, and took a break. But they always came back to music, both individually (Farrell's Porno For Pyros and Navarro's stint with the Chili Peppers, are stand outs) and together. LINA LECARO
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