Things to Do

The Eight Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

LANY is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 11, at The Van Buren during ALT AZ's Ugly Sweater Holiday Party.
LANY is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, December 11, at The Van Buren during ALT AZ's Ugly Sweater Holiday Party. Chuffmedia
The Valley’s concert scene is the gift that keeps on giving. This week, for instance, it will offer up gigs by such artists and acts as Bernhoft, Skating Polly, the Robert Cray Band, and Koo Koo Kanga Roo.

Meanwhile, local radio station ALT AZ will serve up its annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party, which will feature sets by performers like Young the Giant, Barns Courtney, LANY, Flora Cash, and Morgxn across two nights.

Curious about what other “can’t miss” concerts are happening around town this week? Check out our list of the best shows in the Valley. And for even more live music happening around the Valley, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

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No words. Just Moonlight Magic.
Joseph Cultice Photography
Moonlight Magic
Monday, December 10
Valley Bar

This ensemble of seasoned local musicians is a great band to get woozy to. Or maybe, they’re the ones causing those woozy sways with breezy original tunes. Their sounds keep you moving; their infectious blend of exotica, lounge, and surf-y sounds are breezy and hypnotic. The band consists of Ruth Wilson on bass, Eddy Detroit on drums and percussion, Andrew Jemsek on organ and accordion, and Jamie Paul Lamb on guitar. Each has a lengthy resume of musical projects.

With a collective wardrobe any respectable lounge lizard would envy, this band doesn’t stick to playing in traditional venues. They’ll cram into the packed downtown tiki bar Bikini Lounge to play right in the middle of the party crowd. Another awesome way to catch them is atop the Clarendon Hotel, performing at the venue’s rooftop bar with the wind carrying their sounds into the infinite view. Or you could swing by their gig at Valley Bar on Monday night, which starts at 7 p.m. and is completely free. Amy Young

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Young the Giant
Wesley Yen
ALT AZ 93.3's Ugly Sweater Holiday Party
Monday, December 10, and Tuesday, December 11
The Van Buren

Many of the concertgoers that will flock to The Van Buren during this annual two-night event put on by radio station Alt AZ 93.3 are certain to be clad in ugly sweaters of some sort, considering it’s the theme and all. You might even catch many of the musicians onstage sporting an awful-looking pullover during their performances. Speaking of which, this year’s lineup will include sets by Young the Giant and Barns Courtney on Monday, December 10; and from LANY, Flora Cash, and Morgxn on Tuesday, December 11. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 to $32 each night. Benjamin Leatherman

Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Tuesday, December 11
The Rebel Lounge

Koo Koo Kanga Roo are two guys named Neil and Bryan (first names only, please), who together are the epitome of the "love-'em-or-hate-'em" kind of music act. Hailing from Minneapolis, Neil and Bryan first began fusing their twisted hip-hop and dance music with kindergarten memories about four years ago. Since then, they've done major tours with the likes of Reel Big Fish and have garnered an audience that ranges in age from 4 to 24.

With these guys, it's just iPods and costumes as they lead crowds in sing-a-longs concerning the best sounding letters in the alphabet and the joys of eating sandwiches without the crusts. Kind of like a really demented and even more nerdy version of They Might Be Giants, Koo Koo Kanga Roo want everything to be as dance-minded and light-hearted as possible. Darryl Smyers

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Paradigm Talent Agency
Tuesday, December 11
Crescent Ballroom

Norway's Bernhoft must have a whole record store in his brain – and one of those retro-expert vintage-instrument dealers, too. On albums like 2011’s Solidarity Breaks or 2014’s Islander, the bespectacled Norwegian artist ably delivers the kind of maximalist, everything-new-is-old-again pop/soul that guys like Mayer Hawthorne and Nino Moschella make with bits and pixels and painstakingly restored original synthesizers, which just can't be duplicated any other way. A song like "C'mon Talk" is a perfect example of the way Bernhoft turns concepts like "retro" and "futuristic" inside out: Every decade since the advent of electrically powered instruments is represented here, wrapped up so tight you can't tell where one stops and another begins. So yeah, you can dance to it. But you can also wander through it for hours, discovering new little twists and turns and trap doors you missed the first 40 times. Chris Ziegler
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers