Music News

Future Shock: Apocalyptica, Etta James, and more

By Niki D’Andrea

Here are some upcoming shows that were just announced this week.

Apocalyptica Sunday, November 2, 6:30 p.m. Marquee Theatre in Tempe $15

If heavy metal cello group Apocalyptica is any indication, whatever’s in the water in Finland makes for a pretty heavy tonic. The band takes classical music instruments and sets them to epic renditions of metal songs, or melds them into their own booming, bottom-heavy compositions. While the group (consisting of four cellists and a drummer) initially started as a Metallica cover band, they expanded their repertoire to include classical takes on songs by bands like Pantera and Faith No More. But since 2000, Apocalyptica’s been releasing albums of original material, like Cult (which saw the band using more effects and distortion), and Reflections (which was the band’s first album to feature drums). The group’s latest album, Worlds Collide, includes a cover of the German version of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” with Till Lendeman of Rammstein on guest vocals.

Random band fact: Guest musicians on Apocalyptica’s albums have included Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, Dave Lombardo of Slayer, Ville Valo of HIM, and Nina Hagen.

Below: The video for Apocalyptica’s “The Path.”

The Bakerton Group With Voodoo Organist, Sourvein, and Zoroaster Saturday, October 11, 7 p.m. The Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe $13-$15

The members of lauded stoner rock outfit Clutch have launched a “side project” called The Bakerton Group, to indulge the members’ bluesier sides that are prone to jams. Like Clutch, TBG merges elements of psychedelic rock, blues, and sludge rock, but unlike Clutch, TBG is completely instrumental and thrives on improv. Scott Wexton, a.k.a. the Voodoo Organist, will help open the show with his brand of dark blues-punk.

Random band fact: The Bakerton Group has a four-song EP available for free download at the Clutch Web site [].

Below: The Bakerton Group performs “Funky Navajo.”

The Cheetah Girls Friday, December 19, 7 p.m. Arena in Glendale $29.80-$39.80

Say what you will about the whole “tweener” set and its pop impact on Top 40 music, but the bottom line is, groups like The Cheetah Girls (created by the Walt Disney Company in the wake of two eponymous films) are cash cows. Even though the trio’s biggest single so far has been “Fuego,” which stalled at #122 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, they’ve made a killing on merchandise, plastering their faces and name on everything from clothing lines and perfumes to dolls and video games, effectively making them the entrepreneurial KISS of the modern pop world. And since there’s a new movie, The Cheetah Girls: One World premiering on the Disney Channel this month, it’s the perfect time to tour.

Random band fact: The Cheetah Girls movies are based on a series of young adult books (of the same name) by Deborah Gregory.

Below: The video for The Cheetah Girls’ “Cheetah Love.”

Etta James and the Roots Band Thursday, March 19, 2009, 7:30 p.m. Celebrity Theatre $50-$58

Etta James is one of the last classic blues/jazz vocalists still standing. The 70 year-old singer, perhaps best known for her 1961 hit “At Last,” has done damn near everything one would expect from a music legend (winning four Grammy Awards, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Blues Hall of Fames, battling heroin addition) and several things one wouldn’t expect (performing with the Grateful Dead, recording with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, undergoing gastric bypass surgery at age 65). After more than 48 years in the music business, James’ longevity and legend is assured, but she continues to tour here and there, providing younger audiences with a rare chance to see a music legend in action.

Random band fact: Etta James was discovered by legendary band leader Johnny Otis in San Francisco in the early ‘50s.

Below: Etta James performs “At Last.”

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea