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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Open Mike Eagle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 13, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
Open Mike Eagle is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, November 13, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Ticketmaster
Up for seeing a show this week? If so, we’ve got a few suggestions to offer – 10 of 'em, in fact, all of which are worthy of your time and a modest amount of disposable income.

They run the gamut from hip-hop (Open Mike Eagle) and indie rock (Mac DeMarco, MewithoutYou) to blues (Billy F. Gibbons), jazz (Lewis Nash), and Americana/country (Phosphorescent, Rodney Crowell).

Details about each of these shows can be found below in our list of the best concerts happening in the Valley this weekend. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

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Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent.
Daniel Arnold
Monday, November 12
Crescent Ballroom

Phosphorescent, the outfit based around singer-songwriter Matthew Houck, puts a shaggy spin on the old simple-folk-song/elaborate-pop-arrangement duality. Already rootsy, Houck doubled down on 2009's To Willie, a lovingly wrought collection of Willie Nelson covers like "Too Sick to Pray" and "Pick Up the Tempo," and kept right on cruising in that country-rock direction on 2010's Here's to Taking It Easy. Last month, Phosphorescent returned to the music scene after a five-year absence with the release of C’est La Vie, his first album in a half-decade. The nine-track effort features Houck singing with his golden voice about his new role as a father, dealing with life’s many demands, and other contemplative subject matter, all while backed with plenty of pedal steel and twang. Chris Gray

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Mac's back.
Coley Brown
Mac DeMarco
Monday, November 12
Valley Bar

Smooth, casual, goofy, breezy — these are just a few of the words that could describe Mac DeMarco. Since the release of his breakthrough album, 2, in 2012, the Canadian singer-songwriter has become an indie icon thanks to his amiable persona and signature jangly, lo-fi guitar tone. "Ode to Viceroy," "Blue Boy," "On the Level," "Mirror of Reflection" — the guy's put out more soft-rock classics in under a decade than many artists managed to do when the genre was huge back in the '70s.

Now, Mac's making some moves. He just announced that he'll be leaving his longtime label Captured Tracks and starting his own, distributed by Caroline Records. The name? Mac's Record Label. A class act as always. He's also announced his first ever solo tour, the Purple Bobcat Next to the River Tour. He's starting things off right here in Phoenix at Valley Bar on Monday, November 12. Douglas Markowitz

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Stray Jazzcat Strut: Running From Bears cookin' onstage.
Bill Goodman
Running From Bears
Monday, November 12
The Lost Leaf

Imagine a ferocious Kodiak bear is running after you. How would you soundtrack this terrifying (and possibly final) moment in your life? A giant furry engine of death slavering at your heels, looking at you like you’re salmon on legs. Heavy metal seems like it would be the go-to score, but for the sextet of dudes in Running From Bears, jazz is the preferred form of chase music.

Coming together in 2009, Running From Bears has been an active player in the downtown jazz scene. Composed of Eric Rasmussen (alto sax), Adam Roberts (tenor/soprano sax), Keith Kelly (tenor/baritone sax), Jeff Libman (guitar), Ben Hedquist (bass), and Ryan Anthony (drums), the Bears have been playing monthly shows at spots like The Lost Leaf and The Nash for years. They integrate elements of rock and funk into their jazz, creating a sound that’s playful and driving. They also have a wry sense of humor, as exhibited by the title and artwork of their 2017 Edgetone Records album Maul of America. Sure, Branford Marsalis can play his ass off, but we bet his pun game isn’t on Running From Bears’ level. Ashley Naftule

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The members of post-hardcore band MewithoutYou.
Ground Control Touring

Tuesday, November 13
Crescent Ballroom

MewithoutYou, the Philadelphia post-hardcore band (a nice way to say emo, but these guys are far from overwrought) channels Cursive-style riffs dominated by singer Aaron Weiss' deeply introspective lyrics. His lyrics, sung in a warbling vocal style and punctuated by labyrinthine fables, are rife with religious and literary references, drawn from everything from the Bhagavad Gita to Kurt Vonnegut. The group's sophomore release, 2004's Catch for Us the Foxes, climbed to number 20 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and amassed a considerably cultish fanbase. The band has toured with Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory, and Brand New and collaborated with Forgive Durden, Norma Jean, Hayley Williams of Paramore, and Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate. This week, they visit the Crescent Ballroom on their current tour in support of their recently released seventh album, [Untitled]. Smidley and Davey and the Chains open. Troy Farah

Billy F. Gibbons
Tuesday, November 13
Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Billy Gibbons’ legacy is secure. Within the rock ‘n’ roll community at large, his role lies between mystic shaman and beloved uncle, an avuncular old dude with mojo in his fingers who can always be counted on for a dirty joke. If ZZ Top never releases another album or plays another concert, much as us fans hate to imagine such a scenario, he’s got nothing left to prove. But as an artist with an itch he just has to keep scratching, the 68-year-old singer and guitarist continues to release new solo albums and tour the world. Gibbons’ latest LP, The Big Bad Blues, dropped in September on Concord Records and, as its title portends, features him performing down-home songs of the original and cover variety (including renditions of tunes from blues greats like Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters). Chris Gray
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers

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