Jessica Lea Mayfield is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, January 23, at Valley Bar.Courtesy of ATO Records
Things are about to pick up in the Phoenix concert scene. The post-holiday lull is finally behind us, which means countless artists and acts have resumed their touring schedules and are headed our way in the weeks and months ahead.
And this week, that will include such names as influential indie rockers Pinback, singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield, power pop band Charly Bliss, and country mainstay John Hiatt, who have gigs at Valley music venues over the next few nights.
Other highlights of this week’s concert calendar include ska kings The Toasters, thrash metal band Machine Head, experimental/post-punk act Glaare, and jazz legend Lewis Nash.
Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts in Phoenix this week. And for even more options, check out Phoenix New Times' concert calendar.
Like a lot of country musicians, John Hiatt got his start as a songwriter for a publishing company in Nashville. He moved to Tennessee from his home state of Indiana at 18 and began penning tunes for $25 a week. The job required him to record the songs he wrote, and that ended up landing him a record deal.
More than 40 years later, he’s still going strong. The sincerity in his songs has always been a draw. Hiatt’s tunes are loaded with emotion. He incorporates blues and folk into his country style, and his ability to craft poignant tunes seems endless. Whether it’s the pure sadness or witty snark he sometimes uses to pepper his tunes, Hiatt knows how to haunt the listener.
The artist’s current tour celebrates 30 years with his backing band, The Goners, and features slide guitar master Sonny Landreth, who like Hiatt, has collaborated with a list of greats, including Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler. Hiatt has recorded more than 20 studio albums and earned a number of awards, including the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2008, and a star on Nashville’s Walk of Fame. Amy Young
Go to an online search engine and enter "Toasters." The first thing that comes up are numerous sales pitches for the kitchen appliance. Oh, well. Search a little harder, and The Toasters, America's first ska band (though their leader is of English descent), finally appears in the results, even though the band has been playing tight, groove-laden riddims since 1981 and shaping a sound that endures today.
In many ways, their relevance in your Google search epitomizes the plight of this multiracial, Jamaican roots-based band. The Toasters are trapped between the late-1970s 2-Tone second-wave ska revival and today's more popular third-wave ska bands like Sublime with Rome, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Reel Big Fish. The Toasters, says founder Robert "Bucket" Hingley, are "the missing link between the two waves." True.
When Hingley immigrated in 1979, America had not yet been fully introduced to ska, though the scene across the pond was buzzing with bands like The Specials, Madness, The English Beat, and The Selector. Working off the 2-Tone blueprint, yet adding edgier guitars and a sometimes more aggressive horn section, The Toasters pioneered an original ska style right for the American palate. Thirty years later, it still tastes great. Glenn BurnSilver
On his newest album, The Living Daylights, Mesa-based rapper Teek Hall gives listeners deeper insight into his childhood and weaves stories of heroes and villains into his own narrative. Hall collaborated with underground hip-hop artists and groups on tracks such as “Hunger Pains,” “The Gospel,” and “Beautiful Loss.”
The artist will celebrate the release of his new 11-track album on Monday, January 22, at The Rebel Lounge. Along with new music from Hall, the release party will showcase local rappers Dela Preme, Johnnie ApeShxt Bananerrz, Toure' Masters, Mega Ran, and Juan Pedro Stude. There will be live art by IxChel Tolteca.
Tickets to the 21-and-over event are $10 to $15. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8. For more information, visit the Rebel Lounge's website. Laura Latzko
Jessica Lea Mayfield has risen through the songwriting ranks with one foot in the old and the other in the new. She got her start touring with her family bluegrass band, but after a stroke of luck, she was suddenly pushed into the spotlight with high-profile tours accompanying the likes of Black Keys, Ray LaMontagne, Lucero, and Jay Farrar.
But success hasn't seemed to make her too happy: Her songs are still dark, brooding little things you'd expect more from a cranky old woman, not a 28-year-old. Listening to her, you might think she was an old country or folk performer, as her drawl comes across as something you'd be more likely to hear in the '70s than today. Still, she doesn't always play the jaded, lovesick adult, and 2011's Tell Me experiments more with rock and pop than her debut. Thorin Klosowski
The Cocteau Twins, The Cure, Kate Bush, and Slowdive are all listed as acts that darkwave, post-punk trio Glaare dig. And it shows. Glaare’s sound is a mixture of gothic-inspired genres that are rooted in instrumentalism and experimentation. The Los Angeles-based group is coming to share that sound with Phoenix and teaming up with their Funeral Party Records labelmate, Fearing, and local experimental DJ A0n.
Glaare will be supporting their latest album, To Deaf and Day, which was just named as one of the best albums of 2017 by post-punk.com.
Nu/flesh, a local group that curates dark electronic concerts in Phoenix, is hosting the show. For those unfamiliar with the macabre sounds of alternative punk and gothic genres, Glaare is a great introductory point due to their dream pop accessibility and intimate lyrics. Catch them at The Lunchbox on Tuesday, January 23. Admission is $10, and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tanner Stechnij
The Rebel Lounge will host the prairie folk meets country blues of The Deep Dark Woods. There's something about the soulful music this Canada-born band makes that could give you the chills while warming you, and their last album Yarrow from last year is pretty amazing. Ditto for their previous efforts, including 2011’s The Place I Left Behind and 2013’s Jubilee.
Local singer-songwriter Daryl Scherrer and psych-folk act Meet the Sun will open for The Deep Dark Woods during their Phoenix show on Wednesday, January 24, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. David Garrick
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