Music News

Future Shock: Burt Bacharach, Melvins, Todd Rundgren, and more

By Niki D’Andrea

Here’s a handful of shows that were just announced this week.

Burt Bacharach Sunday, September 28, 7:30 p.m. Orpheum Theatre $49-$79 (

As a composer, Burt Bacharach has few rivals. Since 1957, he’s written music for more than 70 Top 40 hits in the U.S., and his songs have been recorded by innumerable stars including Dionne Warwick, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, The Beatles, The Carpenters, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, The Stranglers, Gene Pitney, and Luther Vandross. Among his fans are luminaries like Elvis Costello, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, Jimmy Webb, and Oasis.

Random band fact: Bacharach has had cameo roles in all three Austin Powers movies.

Below: Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello perform “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” in Austin Powers 2


Joshua James With Corey Chisel Sunday, August 10, 8 p.m. Rhythm Room $8-$10 (

Lincoln, Nebraska folkie Joshua James has been touring with Steve Earle offspring Justin Townes Earle this summer, and James has an alt. country/Americana vibe similar to JTE’s in his songs. But James injects plenty of pop into his tunes, as well. His latest album, The Sun Is Always Brighter, puts spring into its step by incorporating upbeat ba-ba-ba ditties like “The New Love Song” and the tinkling waltz ivories-driven “Abbie Martin.”

Random band fact: James was a member of the local skater scene during his teens in Nebraska.

Below: Joshua James performs “The New Love Song” live

Melvins With Big Business Wednesday, August 27, 8 p.m. The Brickhouse Theatre $15-$17 (

Possibly the most significant sludge metal band ever, the Melvins made the influence lists of Kurt Cobain, Mike Patton, John Zorn, Tool, Mastodon, Eyehategod, and Jello Biafra. It’s impossible to argue with great tastes like that, and equally impossible to ignore the amazingly dexterous rhythm section of Melvins drummer Dale Crover and bassist Jared Warren (whose other band, Big Business, opens this show).

Random band fact: The Melvins have released a variety of off-the-wall merchandise, included two-headed dolls and canned meat.

Below: The Melvins’ “Honey Bucket”


Todd Rundgren Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m. Marquee Theatre in Tempe $28-$30 (

A Todd Rundgren performance could include just about anything from the multi-instrumentalist’s 41-year career: the ‘60s garage rock of his old band Nazz, his early ‘70s power pop solo work, his mid-‘70s Zappa-esque experimental stage, his ‘80s New Wave dabbling, his ‘90s phase of bossa nova, concept albums, and interpretive song snippets, or the “rock” sounds of his latest album, Arena. Of course, he could just “Bang the Drum All Day” and we’d be happy.

Random band fact: On the day he killed John Lennon, Mark David Chapman left an 8-track copy of The Ballad of Todd Rundgren in his hotel room.

Below: Todd Rundgren performs “Hello It’s Me” (with scary, Klingon-looking eyebrow makeup)on a 1973 television special


Thrash & Burn Tour With Kottonmouth Kings, Tech N9ne, (hed) pe, Sen Dog, and X-Clan Wednesday, July 30, 6 p.m. $35 (

Bros and brews and blunts aplenty! Hip-hop rockers Kottonmouth Kings return to the Valley to spread their message of smokin’ and tokin’, along with MO rapper Tech N9ne, funky punks (hed) pe, Sen Dog (of Cypress Hill), and Afrocentric hip-hop collective X-Clan.

Random band fact: The Kottonmouth Kings have been two-time guest judges at the annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.

Below: Kottonmouth Kings’ “Bump”

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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