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Best Phoenix Concerts This Week: iDKHOW, Current Joys, John Moreland

I Dont Know How But They Found Me are scheduled to perform on Tuesday, January 18, at The Van Buren.
I Dont Know How But They Found Me are scheduled to perform on Tuesday, January 18, at The Van Buren. Lauren Watson Perry
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing cases to surge in Arizona, resulting in many folks choosing to stay home out of an abundance of caution. For those who happen to be vaccinated, boosted, and consider spending a night out at a concert an acceptable risk, there are a number of noteworthy artists performing this week.

Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, indie-pop act iDKHOW, singer-songwriter John Moreland, and mopey indie artist Current Joys are all scheduled to appear at metro Phoenix music venues from Monday, January 17, to Thursday, January 20. Details about each of these shows can be found below.
click to enlarge Bluesy, folksy singer-songwriter John Moreland. - CRACKERFARM
Bluesy, folksy singer-songwriter John Moreland.
Crackerfarm

John Moreland at Musical Instrument Museum

John Moreland makes his words count. The singer-songwriter’s bluesy folk-rock with a country twang resonates in the chests of listeners, partly because of his deep, raw voice, and partly because of his highly personal, honest lyrics, which are born of his time playing hardcore punk in high school. Another factor in Moreland’s songwriting is his diverse array of musical influences, which range from Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty to Levon Helm and Randy Newman. His fifth studio album, aptly named LP5, came out in 2020 and received good reviews from Pitchfork and American Songwriter. He’s still touring in support of the album and will perform at Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard, on Tuesday, January 18. Singer-songwriter S.G. Goodman opens the 8 p.m. concert. Tickets are $33.50 to $38.50. Sage Marshall

iDKHOW at The Van Buren

When former Panic! At The Disco bassist Dallon Weekes and onetime Falling in Reverse drummer Ryan Seaman created iDKHOW, it was envisioned as more of a high-concept project instead of just another band. Launched in 2016 as I Dont Know How But They Found Me, the act featured fictionalized backstory depicting themselves as some long-lost pop band that fell into obscurity (including filming retro-style videos to pass off as found footage). Weekes and Seaman added to this aura of mystery by playing infectiously poppy songs at dive bars and small venues around L.A. with their faces obscured while publicly denying the band's existence. The two eventually dropped the shtick in 2017, put out a couple of excellent EPs over the past few years, and got loads of airplay with tracks like “Choke” and “Leave Me Alone.” Their debut LP, Razzmatazz, dropped in 2020 and charted very well. iDKHOW are scheduled to perform on Tuesday, January 18, at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $27.50 to $32. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Jazz great Wynton Marsalis. - CLAY MCBRIDE
Jazz great Wynton Marsalis.
Clay McBride

Wynton Marsalis at Mesa Arts Center

In 1981, Wynton Marsalis burst on to the musical scene, arrogantly and expertly blowing his trumpet and immediately landing a high-profile major-label record deal. He came from a musical family (his father and three of five brothers are performers) in New Orleans, ancestral home of jazz and its rich Dixieland traditions. Offered a scholarship at Yale University, he went instead to the even more rarefied halls of the Juilliard Music School, which he left after a year to join the famed Jazz Messengers, led by drummer Art Blakey.


By 1984, those precocious moves seemingly had paid off: Marsalis had his own band and would be the only musician in history to earn Grammy Awards in the jazz and classical categories in the same year. (He even repeated the feat the following year). In the decades since then, Marsalis has released more than 50 albums, garnered a string of awards (including a Pulitzer Prize for his 1995 oratorio "Blood on the Fields"), and toured prodigiously. His latest travels bring him to Mesa Arts Center, 1 East Main Street, on Thursday, January 20, where he’ll perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $80. Nina Korman
click to enlarge The members of progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers. - JOSH GOLEMAN
The members of progressive bluegrass band Punch Brothers.
Josh Goleman

Punch Brothers at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

It's not often that you'll find bluegrass that errs on the side of erudite. That's basically because it's typically a genre that's so extensively tied to the rural, to the people who work with their hands. The Punch Brothers hailing from Brooklyn (natch) make what is perhaps the most Starbucks-ready bluegrass possible. It's tight, delicate, and artisanal. The quintet’s convergence of elements from indie rock, bluegrass, and classical create a fine sculpture. They’ve released seven albums since debuting 16 years ago, including the Grammy-winning All Ashore from 2018. The Punch Brothers are scheduled to visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, for a show on Thursday, January 20, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42 to $68. H. Drew Blackburn
click to enlarge Nicholas Rattigan, also know as Current Joys. - BROOKE BARONE
Nicholas Rattigan, also know as Current Joys.
Brooke Barone

Current Joys at The Van Buren

On first listen, it seems that every day Nicholas Rattigan went into the studio to record his 2018 album, A Different Age, was overcast. Over slow-tempo guitar strums, Rattigan (who has released music as Current Joys since 2015) gently sings his songs, mostly of fear and anxiety, until catharsis feels best. On some songs, he sings nothing at all, allowing the two chords of his guitar, a simple drumbeat, and synth to express everything. Rattigan’s moodiness extends into his follow-up album, 2021’s Voyager, where it's mixed with melancholy vibes. The result, as music publication Grimy Goods describes, is a series of “slow downbeat downers and upbeat goth-pop bangers” in which Rattigan “croons to tales of existentialism and heartache with a little romantic bravado woven in along the way.” Tracks from both albums will be on his setlist when Current Joys comes to The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, on Thursday, January 20. Brooklyn-based indie project Dark Tea will provide support. Doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $24 to $26. Julian Hernandez and Benjamin Leatherman
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.