Have you recovered from Mad Decent Block Party? Last weekend, everything musical in Phoenix paused to give space for what is arguably the largest EDM event that will happen this year. This week, the Phoenix music universe has adjusted, compensating for the overabundance of beats and turntables with a slew of radio rock concerts and some New Kids on the Block hangers-on called One Direction. So check out the best shows to see in Phoenix this weekend, and browse our comprehensive concert listings for more options.
After scoring several films, including Her, which got Owen Pallett an Oscar nomination, and orchestrating the string arrangements for bands like Beirut, The Mountain Goats, and Arcade Fire, Pallett's name is well-known in the music community. Making the leap commercially might be another story.
Despite his love of immersive role-playing video games like Skyrim and Ancient Domains of Mystery, which he says he often plays on tour to unwind, he found time to release an album earlier this year. In Conflict is one of the better records released in 2014.
The album is powerful, dark, and intense, contrasting the ethereal and theatrical moments of Heartland. In Pallett's strong and beautiful vocalization, you can hear the pain of self-realization over his trademark lushly layered instrumentation. --Heather Hoch
These are the rudimentary notes I typed while listening to CLPPNG, the debut album from L.A. noise-rap act Clipping. on respected indie rock-leaning imprint Sub Pop: Demons thrashing, Gozer worship, twerk requests, Murder Dog magazine shoutouts, more yells of "bitch" than Jesse Pinkman, percussion that sounds like someone drunkenly pounding on a locked garage door at 4 a.m. Machines vomiting. Rap as scenes from a long-lost Fritz Lang dystopia.
Clipping. is a cryptogram in search of a cheat code. Third-person narratives zigzag with a Zodiac Killer's malevolence. Sheets of white noise hiss add a torrid Greek chorus. But it's not necessarily obscurantist rap. Electrifying cameos also come from rising ratchet queen Cocc Pistol Cree, West Coast legend King Tee and the former first lady of Three 6 Mafia, Gangsta Boo. Somehow, they all reflect elements of Clipping.'s DNA.
"As strange as it is, it's the least pretentious way to make rap music, considering our upbringing, tastes and lifestyle," says Clipping. member Jonathan Snipes. "We made a decision early on to keep personality and ourselves out of it." -- Jeff Weiss
A word of advice: Try to avoid getting anywhere within a few square miles of University of Phoenix Stadium on the evening of September 16, unless you want to get caught up in a teeming tween- and teenaged throng. That's because One Direction will be swinging through town, and, in all likelihood, anyone aged eight to 18 (or Directioners of every age) will be heading straight to the hinterlands of Glendale to fill the entirety of the stadium and see Hazza, Nialler, BooBear, Leeyum, and DJ Malik in the flesh.
And given 1D's record-setting success at moving records (including the recent honor of making the Guinness World Records), amassing a multimillion dollar music empire, becoming arguably the world's biggest boy band, and getting adolescents all twitterpated and screaming their lungs out, it's not much of a shocker that the show will be packed. Its bound to be the biggest. night. evar. for most of the 60,000-plus in attendance, at least until the next big boy band comes along.
Call it the Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle that never quite was: Post-Pixies art-rock wrecking crew strikes cultural gold on second try then unravels into relative, willful obscurity. Last year, the original Breeders' lineup anniversary toured the 1993 alt-touchstone Last Splash, offering long-suffering fans hope for the bombastic, slithering follow-up that never quite was, but while getting crunk to "Iris" and "Cannonball" for the first time in a dog's age. Don't blank on the incidental awesomeness accrued during the Deal sisters' wilderness years. On this short tour, the band will be touring with some new material. -- Raymond Cummings
Blake Mills isn't a household name, but like classic sidemen of lore (David Lindley, Ry Cooder, Leon Russell), he's makes an impact wherever he shows up. As a guitarist in Fiona Apple's band, and for the likes of such musicians as Lucinda Williams, Cass McCombs, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Conor Oberst, Julian Casablancas, and others, Mills has turned heads with his guitar prowess. The songs ought to earn him as much notice. His records -- including 2010's Break Mirrors and this year's Heigh Ho -- are remarkable, balancing folksy balladry with hard-edged pop, acoustic guitar murmurings against electric guitar ravers. Mills' voice is strong and clear, possessing an ease and confidence that shines on through the songs. -- Jason P. Woodbury
Okay, here's a quick and dirty history of trap music, courtesy of our sister paper, LA Weekly. The music started as a subgenre of hip-hop, named after the slang term "trap," a place where one would go to buy drugs. Atlanta rappers seemed to pioneer what would become called "trap" -- guys like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy. As the trap sound became popular in hip-hop, electronic music producers began appropriating the sounds into their songs, increasing the mainstream exposure of the music.
In that context, meet Keys N Krates, the world's first "trap band." The Toronto trio formed in 2008 and features a drummer, a synth player, and a DJ, all coming together to produce sounds that seem to have no business coming from an instrumental trio. The band somewhat reluctantly accepts the "trap band" label, saying its influences range from house music to mainstream hip-hop, but the results are aggressive and make for a surprisingly engaging listen. Plus, how can you not be intrigued by a band who makes a music video playing their songs to skeptical Mennonites? -- David Accomazzo
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