Five Must-See Shows This Weekend

Curious what's going on around town this weekend? Need some suggestions as to how to rock, dance, or krump in the Valley of the Sun?

Don't fret: These are our Five Shows to See This Weekend.

Friday, June 22: Culture Jam feat. Doctor Bones, Frequent Kings, Matty Dubbs, Emby Alexander, & D. Russ @ Roxy Lounge

No one is going to blame you for feeling a bit squeamish when hearing the words "rock" and "rap" smooshed together. After all, Crazy Town, Limp Bizkit, and Methods of Mayhem pushed out more than enough bad musical juju to completely erase any goodwill earned by the Judgment Night soundtrack or The Clash's early hip-hop appropriations. But lest we throw the baby out with the hotdog flavored bathwater, let's hold up a minute.

Hip-hop and rock music have never been closer bedfellows than now, when the dude from Coldplay is palling around with Jay-Z and Beyonce, and Kanye West is riding King Crimson and Can samples to the top of the charts. So it's less about definitions than it is about playing to the lowest common denominator, something we're certain won't be happening at the R.E.I.G.N. Network's Culture Clash, a "themed night of art, music, fashion, and dance," where Valley indie acts Doctor Bones and Emby Alexander will be teaming up with hip-hoppers Matty Dubs and D. Russ, respectively.

If the combinations make as much sense as Emby Alexander songwriter Michael B. Alexander's former collaborations with Russ (when Alexander was still fronting art-combo Boys and Frogs) the proceedings should lean toward the Solange Knowles/Dirty Projectors side of things than say, that Ice Cube and Korn's "Children of the Korn" jam. --Jason P. Woodbury

Friday, June 22: Sadisco* [Tank] @ Chasers You won't see any furious fisticuffs taking place at Chasers this weekend when the industrial-loving freaks of Sadisco* invade the Scottsdale music venue. Ditto for any sort of cage-fighting shenanigans or Tyler Durden references. While the DJ collective and party crew has typically put on its annual Fight Club event around this time of the past three summers, they're planning a different sort of mayhem altogether for its Sadisco* [TANK] party on Friday, June 22.

Instead of body blows and bare-knuckle brawling, the military-themed affair will focus purely on a massive mix of industrial, darkwave, EBM, and noise. Described as "an end-of-days dance-a-thon for tank boys, girls, and queers," the event will be headlined by such industrial tastemakers as Canada's iVardensphere, SoCal's W.A.S.T.E. (self-described as "underground and raw as fuck!"), the UK's Electronic Substance Abuse, and San Diego's END: The DJ.

As always, the Sadisco* residents -- including //she//, VeX, 5arah, and Blonde NOize -- are scheduled to spin throughout the night, and Squalor's freaky-deaky DJ project Mess &* Phetamine will also perform. --Benjamin Leatherman

Saturday, June 23: Banana Gun @ Sail Inn

Just as fortunetellers have their little fishing expeditions to crack a sucker's psyche, so, too, rock writers have their shortcuts on deconstructing a band's sound without using the dreaded catch-all phrase "eclectic" (which, in truth, we've already exhausted in this article's headline). Here's the laziest methodology: Just ask the band members how they describe their sound to their prospective employers, club owners, and go from there. A fair question for Banana Gun, a quintet who's stopped for an afternoon drink at the Swizzle Inn before trucking to play an untried venue in Sedona, land of crystals, clairvoyants, clairsentients, and clairaudients. How did they sell Banana Gun to that club owner?

"I told them we're a zydeco/funk/ambient psychedelic jam band," laughs singer/guitarist Kevin Loyd. "Naw, I just tell them we're rock 'n' roll band -- that's probably the easiest explanation. That covers a lot of ground."

Yes, rock 'n' roll, that vague catch-all phrase bands shied away from for years, a phrase meaning anything from Slayer to Leo Sayer. Perhaps the much-abused term has fallen far enough into disuse to be operable again. If so, Banana Gun fits the bill. They cover enough musical terrain on their first full-length, The Elephant in the Room, to give a typical A&R man pause for concern. "Attic," the song that the band agrees upon as the signpost of where Banana Gun's sound is heading next, incorporates good-timey folk, Cookie Monster metal, and punk jumbled together in one headspace. At the same time, they are capable of "Blue Sky," an effortlessly laid-back R&B folk groove, the kind that John Mellencamp has been chasing since people stopped calling him "The Coog" and that could make Kid Rock untold millions if he sampled it and called it something else. -- Serene Dominic (Read more about Banana Gun's Elephant in the Room.)

Saturday, June 23: Foxy Shazam @ Crescent Ballroom

You one of those people who sits around bemoaning the fact that "rock 'n' roll has, like, totally lost its spark, man?" Well, allow us to introduce you to theatrical rockers Foxy Shazam. Entertaining barely scratches the surface; Eric Nally and his circus of musicians put on one hell of a concert.

Last time they were in town, they performed with fellow show-stoppers The Darkness and held their own. A band that puts on such a lively performance is not to be missed. -- Lenni Rosenblum

Sunday, June 24: Joe Krown Trio @ Rhythm Room

The evocative sound of the Hammond B3 organ is one of the defining tones of New Orleans. Joe Krown -- drawing inspiration of swampy groovesters like Allen Toussaint and Professor Longhair, knows what he's doing when he sits down at the thing.

His trio partners are no slouches either: Guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington has toured with the Roadmasters and played alongside Lee Dorsey, and drummer Russell Batiste has backed up members of the Allman Brothers, Phish, and Soulive, as well as performing with Harry Connick Jr., Champion Jack DuPree, Robbie Robertson, and Maceo Parker. -- Jason P. Woodbury

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