You remember that infamous clip of Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman? The one where he announced to the world he was retiring from acting to pursue a career as a rap artist? Well, thank Baby Jesus, that turned out to be a hoax. But you know what isn't? Snoop Lion.
"I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion," Snoop told a group of journalists at Miss Lily's, a Caribbean restaurant in New York, in July. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.' From that moment on, it's like I had started to understand why I was there."
His Rhasta-inspired plunge from a hugely successful rap career into Mad Decent-assisted reggae is nothing short of bizarre. Of course, we'd be lying if we said we weren't curious to see him when he hits the Valley with Ice Cube and Too Short on Friday, September 14, at Comerica Theatre. Despite any misgivings about Snoop's reinvention, there's no doubt Cube is going to be awesome, even if the headliner becomes a slow-motion, third-eye-wide-open train wreck.
Speaking of old stars doing new things: The 6 Rounds of Punk show, featuring The Misfits, The Vandals, Strung Out, and Not For You on Friday November 9th at Celebrity Theatre is an absolute must for any true punk fan. Although this latest incarnation of The Misfits bears little resemblance to the original, it'll be worth it to check out The Vandals and Strung Out on that tiny revolving stage.
Speaking of huge power in a small venue: Bluesman Jimmie Vaughn, older brother of the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn, is hitting The Rhythm Room Wednesday September 26. We can't think of a better way to break up the monotony of a work week. His Freddy King-inspired blues rock may be too much for the venue to handle, as my ears are still ringing from a show there last week, but Rhythm Room owner and fellow journeyman Bob Corritore is certainly obligated to try. So put down those TPS Reports, duck out of work early, and check this one out. We're sure it'll be worth the following morning's catch up.
2 Chainz: Sunday, Sep. 23, 8 p.m., $28-$150. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 602-267-1600.
6 Rounds of Punk: With The Misfits, The Vandals, Strung Out, & Not For You, Friday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m., $30. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 602-267-1600.
Pepe Aguilar: Friday, Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m., $55-$105. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 602-267-1600.
David Bazan: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m., $13/$15. Rhythm Room: 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-265-4842.
Blue October: Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m., $25-$55. Showroom at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, 480-850-7777.
Busdriver: Wednesday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m., $25. Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-265-4842.
Channel 3: With Scorpion vs. Tarantula, Dirty Hairy, & more, Friday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m., $5. Rips Ales & Cocktails, 3045 N. 16th St., Phoenix, 602-266-0015.
Death Angel: With Threat Signal, Bonded Blood, Wretched, Motive, & Dirt Over Lime, Thursday, Oct. 18, 6 p.m., $17. Rocky Point Cantina, 1001 E. Eighth St., Tempe, 480-968-7879.
Grouplove: Thursday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m., $20/$23. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, 602-716-2222.
Robyn Hitchcock: Sunday, Oct. 14, 7 p.m., Price TBA. Musical Instrument Museum Music Theatre, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480-478-6000.
The Hives: Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m., $22. Marquee Theatre, 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 480-829-0707.
Nas: Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., free with fair admission, TBA for reserved seating. Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fair, 1826 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix, 602-252-6771.
Punch Brothers: The Milk Carton Kids, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 8:30 p.m., $22/$25. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, 602-716-2222.
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: With The Haymarket Squares, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 8 p.m., $13/$15. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, 602-716-2222.
Mindy Smith: Wednesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 p.m., $15. Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-265-4842. Snoop Lion: With Ice Cube, & Too Short, Friday, Sep. 14, 8 p.m., $45-$125. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-379-2800.
Styx: Sunday, Nov. 18, 8 p.m., $25-$100. Salt River Ballroom at Talking Stick Resort, 9800 E. Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, 480-850-7777.
Tilly and the Wall: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 8 p.m., $15/$17. Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, 602-716-2222.
Unwritten Law: Tuesday, October 16, Time TBA, Price TBA. Pub Rock (formerly Chasers): 8005 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale, 480-945-4985.
Jimmie Vaughan: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m., $26. Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, 602-265-4842.
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The Weeknd: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 8 p.m., $39.50. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, 602-267-1600.
Saul Williams: Sunday, Nov. 4, 8:30 p.m., $15. Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905 N. 5th St., Phoenix, 602-753-8920.
Zero Zero: Friday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m., $10. Roxy Lounge, 7443 E. 6th Ave., Scottsdale, 480-970-1222.