Shows are in season this week, with a slew of great options for musical entertainment in the Valley of the Sun. So kick back, relax, and get your concert on. We've got recommendations for you below, and be sure to check out our comprehensive concert listings for more info.
The two-man band -- drummer Patrick Carney and guitarist Dan Auerbach -- emerged from Ohio in the early 2000s, just a few years after Lars Ulrich and Metallica were making headlines for suing Napster. The duo made bruising, high-octane blues rock more rooted in the sounds of yesterday than the present, drawing inspiration from Muddy Waters and R.L. Burnside. With every album release, the band got successively popular and by 2012 had two platinum albums, Brothers and El Camino, to prove it. Their new album, Turn Blue, is possibly the least "Black Keys"-like album in the catalog, marked by spacey jams and top-to-bottom album cohesion rather than crunchy, blues-driven rock songs. -- David Accomazzo
You might have thought you'd never have the chance to see Death From Above 1979, considering the band broke up in 2006, citing irreconcilable differences. Well, if you can't get enough of DFA'79 and its grungy yet danceable punk jams, you're in luck, because 10 years after the release of You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, the duo not only has reconciled, but it has released a new album and is back on the road. Sebastian Grainger and Jesse Keeler have come together once again with The Physical World, a record about which you can safely say revisits the band's uniquely forceful style. Though The Physical World may be less edgy and more mellow (but just a little), it still blends the same frenetic but structured and cymbal-heavy drumming with the wailing, distorted guitar riffs that you've come to expect from the band. Combined with Grainger's grizzled, moaning vocals, it seems not a lot has changed since You're a Woman, but, hey, isn't that what you wanted? -- Heather Hoch
Some matches are made in heaven. Others, like Run the Jewels, are made in the murky, underwater trenches of underground hip-hop. Named after a verse in LL Cool's J "Cheesy Rat Blues," RTJ swerves like a great white shark -- sleek but dangerous. This isn't the first time El-P and Killer Mike have crushed it together -- El-P was behind Killer Mike's 2012 critically acclaimed album R.A.P. Music, and later that year, Mr. Killer appeared on the track "Tougher Colder Killer" from El-P's Cancer 4 Cure. After that, forming Run the Jewels was just a natural progressions. The band's self-titled debut topped a number of 2013 year-end best-of lists, but its just-released sequel, Run the Jewels 2 -- featuring blink-182's Travis Barker, Diane Coffee (of Foxygen fame), and even Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine -- already is proving that Nick Gazin's cover art isn't the only thing about this duo that's iconic. -- Troy Farah
Indie-rock guitar god J Mascis has a load of side projects, including a solo joint under his own name. Yes, the Dinosaur Jr. frontman still shreds on Tied to a Star, and his wry sense of humor is on display in the cult-themed video for the lead single, "Every Morning," starring Fred Armisen. On Tied to a Star, he seems to carefully choose his spots for electric guitar. When asked if he misses the loud electric guitar aesthetic when making a solo album, Mascis says he does. "Yeah, I'd always rather play loud. It's more an exercise in restraint trying not to put drums on it. And noisy guitar. That's my instinct. That's what I like to do." -- Richard Morgan
Long before heavy metal was known for ingredients such as shredding guitars, double bass, "horns up" or black leather, the budding chefs were studying up in the 'burbs of England. Not far from Birmingham -- which eventually spawned Black Sabbath -- a young Rob Halford walked to school in Walsall on a daily basis, past the metal foundries with molten metal oozing out of vats. In 1973, Halford (in his early 20s) came on board with Judas Priest, just a few years after the band's conception. A year later, the landmark metal band released its debut, Rocka Rolla, followed by such legendary albums as Painkiller, British Steel , and Screaming for Vengeance. "We say that metal was invented in the West Midlands," says Halford. "So we were living and breathing it before a note was even played."
For 40 years Judas Priest has influenced just about every metal band there is in some way, and has brought a brand of ever-strengthening brand of metal to the masses. Even the maturation of Halford's vocals have helped evolve the band's sound -- the singer has elaborated in the past that over time your vocals age; it's not like you can tune them up, like drum skins or guitar strings. -- Lauren Wise
Cohesion is the name of the game for Dum Dum Girls' Dee Dee Penny nowadays.
Though you might know the band based off of the highly-acclaimed first album I Will Be, four years later the band's sound has morphed from a lo-fi, surf vibe heavy on female vocal harmonies to a style that showcases Penny's solo vocals, backed by darker, yet more polished '80s and '90s Brit pop.
"In the beginning, I was kind of hiding behind a wall of sound," Penny says.
2014's Too True strips all of that away and builds it back up, as she puts it, with "a lot more textural guitar work to support the skeletal framework of songs." -- Heather Hoch
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