Things to Do

Best Phoenix Concerts This Weekend: Club Placebo Benefit, Badfish, Funtcase

The Father Figures are scheduled to perform at the Club Placebo benefit show on Saturday, January 8, at Crescent Ballroom.
The Father Figures are scheduled to perform at the Club Placebo benefit show on Saturday, January 8, at Crescent Ballroom. Jim Hesterman
Boosters of Phoenix’s music scene, this weekend offers you the chance to support some worthwhile local artists and projects. On Friday night, Valley indie label Hookwoom Records will celebrate the release of its first-ever EP, which features bands like Paper Foxes, Shovel, and the Psychedelephants. The following evening, old-local school punks will gather at Crescent Ballroom to benefit Club Placebo, a gallery, venue, and “living archive” aimed at preserving the history of the scene.

Infamous local dance party CUPCAKE! is also returning from the dead this weekend to celebrate its 10th anniversary with a night of freaky fun and hedonistic excess at the Rebel Lounge

Other notable shows and music events happening around town from Friday, January 7, to Sunday, January 9, including gigs by Sublime tribute band Badfish, masked DJ/producer Funtcase, and EDM duo Dada Life.

Keep in mind, though, the ultra-contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire at the moment. Most local music venues are mandating proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to attend shows, and might also require masks or face coverings. Visit the ticketing pages for each event for more information.
click to enlarge Badfish sets sail for the Marquee Theatre on Friday. - MICHAEL J. MEDIA GROUP
Badfish sets sail for the Marquee Theatre on Friday.
Michael J. Media Group

Badfish at Marquee Theatre

Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996, but his band’s music remains adored more than a quarter-century later. Approximately six million people still listen to the Sublime on Spotify every month, keeping the Long Beach trio’s funky ska/punk/reggae/rock sound alive and well long after Nowell’s tragic passing. Fans can see Badfish – one of Sublime’s most renowned cover bands – celebrate 20 years of honoring the late Nowell and his music on Friday, January 8, at Marquee Theatre, 730 North Mill Avenue in Tempe. The show is at 8 p.m. and admission is free. Matthew Keever
click to enlarge Dada Life performing in the Valley in 2017. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Dada Life performing in the Valley in 2017.
Benjamin Leatherman

Dada Life at Sunbar

Dada Life has successfully built an EDM kingdom of their own, which could only be called Dada World, where the beats are massive and the preferred currency is bananas. As such, the nominally Swedish duo supplies a hefty dose of whimsy within a scene forever on the verge of taking itself too seriously, for which their fans have rewarded them handsomely. But all the ape masks, banana costumes, and oversize champagne bottles would all be so much mush if Dada didn’t deliver where it counts, namely with plush electro jams tricked out to the gills with billowing synths and their patented “sausage fat” bass. This weekend, they’ll take over the sound system at Sunbar, 24 West Fifth Street, on Friday, January 7. Doors are at 9 p.m. and tickets are $20. Chris Gray
click to enlarge Local indie band Paper Foxes. - BRYANT REDD
Local indie band Paper Foxes.
Bryant Redd

Hookworm One Record Release Show at Last Exit Live

Looking to get a taste of what's good in the local indie rock scene? Head to Last Exit Live, 717 South Central Avenue, for the Hookworm One record release show on Friday, January 7. Indie label Hookworm Records' first release is an EP featuring four songs by four Phoenix bands, all of whom will perform at the show. Paper Foxes, The Psychedelephants, The Woodworks, and Shovel are on the bill for the showcase. Limited copies of the record will be available at the concert as well. Tickets are $15 and doors open at 7:30 p.m. Jennifer Goldberg
click to enlarge Masked DJ/producer Funtcase. - RELENTLESS BEATS
Masked DJ/producer Funtcase.
Relentless Beats

Funtcase at Sunbar

English dubstep and drum 'n' bass producer FuntCase will land at Sunbar, 24 West Fifth Street in Tempe, on Saturday, January 8, to deliver a rattling set at the local nightspot. Born James Hazell, FuntCase is best known for his signature mask, similar to the disguises acts like Marshmallow and Daft Punk use to conceal their identities. Unlike his peers' headgear, however, FuntCase's mask looks like something out of a Slipknot lineup. Regardless, Hazell is guaranteed to scare up some good beats when he gets behind the deck. Doors open at 8 p.m. and Voodreau, District13, and Dubcap will open. Admission is $22. Jose D. Duran
click to enlarge Red and black were everywhere at the party. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Red and black were everywhere at the party.
Benjamin Leatherman

CUPCAKE! 10-Year Anniversary at The Rebel Lounge

Fetish freaks and geeks of the Valley, your favorite dance night is making a return, albeit for one night only. Local DJs Betty Blackheart and Self.Destrukt are bringing their infamously lascivious dance night CUPCAKE! back from the dead on Saturday, January 8, at The Rebel Lounge, 2303 East Indian School Road, for it’s 10th anniversary. If you never had the chance to attend the monthly event during its original run from 2012 to 2019 at the now-defunct Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, each CUPCAKE! party offered a unique theme and an “anything goes” atmosphere that mixed libations with libidinous hi-jinks. There were go-go girls, costumes both fetishistic and otherwise, burlesque entertainers, grind artists, DJs spinning industrial rock, and a host of colorful weirdos in attendance. Expect a similarly sinful scene this weekend. The lineup will include sets by Plastic Disease, Baby Magick, II Kings, Vendettoli, and others. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is $10. Benjamin Leatherman
click to enlarge Placebo Records co-founder Tony “Tony Victor” Beram. - JIM LOUVAU
Placebo Records co-founder Tony “Tony Victor” Beram.
Jim Louvau

Club Placebo Benefit Show at Crescent Ballroom

Phoenix’s own '80s punk scene was marked by here-and-gone clubs, artists, and other artifacts, chief among them Placebo Records. Running from 1981 to circa 1990, the label of Tony "Tony Victor" Beram existed at the scene's epicenter, promoting shows at Mad Gardens, releasing music by the likes of JFA and Sun City Girls, and shaping Phoenix's diverse, dynamic music scene over the last 40 years.

What better way to commemorate Placebo’s place in local history than with its own "museum " of sorts? The planned Club Placebo represents a year-plus of work from Beram and other artists, fans, and historians to preserve the label's history. With a building near downtown Phoenix, the proposed project promises to serve as a "gallery, performance/panel discussion [space], and living archive documenting all things Placebo Records and beyond."

A benefit show on Saturday, January 8, at Crescent Ballroom, 308 North Second Avenue, will help Beram and company gain volunteers, promote the space, and drum up future funding. The 21-and-over event begins at 4 p.m. and includes sets by The Father Figures, No Volcano, The Gnomes, Fat Gray Cat, and JJCnV. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Chris Coplan
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.