Highlights include English pop-rockers The 1975, post-punk/darkwave act The Soft Moon, and bass player/singer-songwriter Blu DeTiger. Local bands Phunk Junkeez and Dead Hot Workshop are also staging hometown shows on Wednesday night that are likely to offer a bit of nostalgia.
More details can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley from Monday, November 21, to Thursday, November 24, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.
The Soft Moon
Monday, November 21
Valley Bar, 130 North Central AvenueOakland’s Luis Vasquez has a lane and he drives it well. It’s shady and mordant, a lane that traffics in harsh darkwave and industrial sounds. Vasquez’s The Soft Moon has been delivering its brand of loud, brooding synth music since 2009, tapping into a deep well of post-punk and gothic influences. Vasquez doesn’t sing so much as moan over his songs, soundscapes of hissing cold electronics that smother the listener like dry ice smoke. On The Soft Moon’s 2022 album Exister, Vasquez throws in some goth night bangers to enliven the proceedings. While much of the album is in that post-punk sweet spot where everything sounds like music that Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore would write to play at his own funeral, songs like “Become The Lies” and “Him” tap into a pulsing club energy that gets the blood moving. Like the best goth music, The Soft Moon’s songs are sad and sexy but he serves it up with a side-order of tinnitus. With MSPAINT, Secret Attraction, and DJ Desire Armed; 7:30 p.m., $25 via seetickets.us. Ashley Naftule
Tuesday, November 22
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second AvenueWhen Blu DeTiger got locked down, she decided to get down. The bass prodigy built a following during the early days of the pandemic by covering songs on social media. It all started when she messed around on her bass to cover “Say So” by Doja Cat on a tossed-off TikTok; a few 100,000-plus likes later, she found her niche. DeTiger made it a regular thing, getting dressed up every day to learn and perform a new cover for her growing fanbase. While social media stardom has given her platform quite a boost, DeTiger has been an active musician for years. Inspired by the bass virtuosity of Bernard Edwards and Meshell Ndegeocello, the New York-based musician gigged for years, becoming an in-demand player for musicians like Caroline Polacheck. Now she’s got her own EP, How Did We Get Here, out. Playing a groove-based, alt-disco sound, DeTiger’s music is full of spunky attitude and irresistible bass licks. She’s even done a few collaborations with Chromeo, whose sleazy goofball funk is a perfect fit for DeTiger’s style. With Tiffany Dayl 8 p.m., $20/$23 via seetickets.us. Ashley Naftule
Wednesday, November 23
Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue, TempeLegendary rap-rock band Phunk Junkeez — whose party-hearty anthems “Me ‘n’ Yer Girl,” “I Love It Loud,” and “B-Boy Hard” were staples of '90s alternative radio and popped up in flicks like Tommy Boy and National Lampoon’s Senior Trip — will turn Tempe’s Marquee Theatre into a time machine on Thanksgiving Eve. Most of the band’s original lineup (including Soulman, K-Tel Disco, and DJ Roachclip) will perform, as will disco tribute band The Boogie Knights and DJs like Al Page. Feel free to break out your JNCOs and wallet chains for this affair, which should be as lively as the ragers PJ used to stage at now-defunct spots like the Party Gardens back in the day. 7:30 p.m., $35 via ticketweb.com. Benjamin Leatherman
Wednesday, November 23
Arizona Financial Theatre, 400 West Washington StreetWhen most modern bands pick the bones of the ’80s clean, they usually leave some of the more excessive, over-the-top pieces behind to rot. Not so with The 1975: the UK alt-pop rockers have made a career out of being too much. The band’s sound is glossy and immaculate: a deft bricolage of New Wave synths, Phil Collins studio cheese, and the lush romantic sadness of Scotland’s The Blue Nile. While their music screams “I WANT MY MTV,” what makes The 1975 a band of the 21st century is Matt Healy’s stream-of-consciousness, social media-poisoned lyrics. The 1975 don’t hide their try-hard tendencies. They talk about Kerouac in interviews, write songs inspired by social sculpture performance artist Joseph Beuys, and have recorded multiple (different!) songs named after their own band. Healy is the kind of lyricist who’ll quote memes and social media hot takes in songs like he’s doing some kind of Burroughs-ian cut-up technique on his Twitter timeline. He isn’t afraid to rhyme "Adderall" with "vitriol" and "Aperol" in the same song. But what makes Healy’s songs so interesting is how self-aware he is, interrogating his own role in culture and mocking the band’s self-seriousness while also mixing in devastating and sincere observations about love and addiction. 7 p.m., tickets are available on the secondary market. Ashley Naftule
Dead Hot Workshop
Wednesday, November 23
Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second AvenueTimes may change but local favorites Dead Hot Workshop have managed to keep their long-running tradition of staging an annual Thanksgiving Eve concert for decades. True to form, this year’s edition of the show is set to take place on Wednesday night at the Crescent Ballroom. Expect to see plenty of familiar faces both onstage and in the crowd, as Dead Hot’s friends and collaborators will participate. To wit: Singer-songwriter Stephen Ashbrook and local band The Stumbles (both of whom are fellow refugees from Tempe’s jangle-pop glory days of the ‘90s) are scheduled to open. Out in the Crescent’s cocktail lounge, you can catch a set by rockers Sliced Limes before the music gets going in the main room. 7 p.m., $15/$20 via seetickets.us. Benjamin Leatherman