Wednesday, April 11
Sophie Allison's vocals are sweet-sounding and dreamlike. In contrast, the lyrics she sings while performing with Soccer Mommy, her indie rock project, are stark, snarky, and uncompromising. “I don’t want to be your fucking dog/That you drag around/A collar on my neck tied to a pole/Leave me in the freezing cold,” the Nashville-born musician sings on the track “Your Dog,” the lead single from Soccer Mommy's new album, Clean.
Many of the other songs on the album are just as confrontational – including “Blossom (Wasting All My Time)” and “Last Girl” – as Allison lays bare her psyche and comes face-to-face with other who have wronged her, all while the distortion-heavy guitars thrum away. Not every Soccer Mommy track is fuzz-filled psychodrama ridden with tumult and regret, however, as several songs (like “Skin” and “Scorpio Rising”) are joyful celebrations of emotion and new love.
If ever there was an example of the cathartic power of music, it's Soccer Mommy. Benjamin Leatherman
Wednesday, April 11
Arizona Bike Week at WestWorld in Scottsdale
Ed Roland’s dedication to music has been the sole driving force behind Collective Soul’s continued relevance in the music industry. Formed in the early '90s as an outlet for work that he had created during his years as a sound engineer in his native Georgia, Collective Soul released its first product, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, on the indie label Rising Storm Records, and lived quietly until it caught the attention of Central Florida college radio. The song “Shine” became a sleeper hit.
Based entirely on the popularity of that song and the interest generated for the band, Collective Soul (featuring Ed’s younger brother Dean on guitars) signed with Atlantic Records, and their hard-rock balladry got lumped with the postgrunge phenomenon of the mid-'90s. After years of relative obscurity, Ed’s musicianship was finally recognized. Of the many bands that took flight in that epoch, Collective Soul has been one of few to endure and grow through the changing tides of taste. Always keeping true to its guitar-driven sound, it's experimented throughout its albums, with varying degrees of success.
This week, Collective Soul will have the honor of kicking off Arizona Bike Week's concert series with their show on Wednesday, April 11. Abel Folgar
Wednesday, April 11
Club Red in Mesa
Over the years, metal has spawned such subgenres as grindcore, metalcore, doom metal, black metal, and thrash metal, but it doesn't get much heavier and darker than death metal. Hailing from sunny Southern California, Carnifex plays the type of aggressive and visceral death metal that has been redefining the genre over the past decade.
Named after a Roman public executioner, Carnifex employs the characteristic breakdowns, growls, and dissonance of the genre with an angrier and more relentless approach than its predecessors. Currently working on its fourth album, the band is determined to make an even more desolate and tumultuous follow-up to the 2009 release, Hell Chose Me. In 2005, they played their first show at an Arizona loading dock to a crowd of 20. Numerous albums later, they're stopping by Club Red for a night of hard rock. Oceano, Spite, Buried Above Ground, and Arboroth will open. Melissa Fossum
The Doobie Brothers
Thursday, April 12
When drummer John Hartmann and guitarist Tom Johnston originally convened in Northern California as the final embers of the '60s were slowly fading away, they formed a band whose modest intents would eventually make it one of the most popular bands ever.
Joined by guitarist Patrick Simmons, multi-instrumentalist John McFee, second drummer Michael Hossack, and bassist Tiran Porter, they established themselves as a go-to party band, taking the name the Doobie Brothers as an unabashed acknowledgment of their celebratory tool. They quickly yielded an arsenal of radio-ready hits, including ever-ready anthems like "Listen to the Music," "China Grove," and Black Water," as well as several best-selling albums that propelled them to the forefront of '70s music.
Theirs was an unlikely dichotomy, a group that could be counted on to scale the Top 40 while also maintaining the interest of the highbrow FM crowd. And once they recruited two ex-Steely Dan compatriots, singer/pianist Michael McDonald and guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, that crossover was complete.
These days, the Doobie Brothers are still alive and kicking. Understandably, the band has undergone a wealth of lineup changes over the decades. The core ensemble of Johnston, Simmons, McFee remains, however, and powers the band as it performs upwards of 100 shows per year. Their current tour comes through the Valley this week for a show at Comerica Theatre. Simmons' kid, singer-songwriter Pat Jr., will open. Lee Zimmerman
Thursday, April 12
The Rebel Lounge
Dynamic glam-rock/industrial act Psychotica made it big back in the '90s. They signed a recording contract – with Rick Rubin's American Records, no less – before even playing their first public gig. They toured extensively – on the bill of Lollapalooza, no less – before the actual release of their debut album. And Psychotica's lead singer was featured in a future-of-rock exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland – fastened to a cross, no less, with Saran Wrap.
Psychotica is (and always has been) the brainchild of singer-songwriter Patrick Briggs, a flamboyant, androgynous performer who once claimed his aim was to bring "fabulousness" back to rock. Both his alien-like appearance and dramatic vocals over the past few decades harken back to the Ziggy Stardust era of David Bowie, and the band's theatrical sound borrows heavily from the songbooks of strange bedfellows including Led Zeppelin, Bauhaus, and A Flock of Seagulls.
Over the last 24 years, Psychotica has released eight albums (with 2010's Black Dahlia EP being their most recent) and have evolved their sound into more of an industrial bent. Briggs is still as theatrical as ever and unleashes all manner of antics during Psychotica's performances. You can witness this for yourself when the ban visits The Rebel Lounge on Thursday. Georgina Cardenas