Wednesday, April 10
Last Exit Live
Blending Mali soul and Afrobeat with bluesy desert surf-twang, Caribbean scratch, and zydeco bounce, Toubab Krewe
Does it all seem a bit like Caucasian exoticism? Here's my reason for enjoying the band: They remind me of when '80s Australian punks would try different rhythms and genres while bashing out raw party music. There aren't any songs quite like that in TK's set, but the band's willingness to rip it up with tasty new sounds reminds us that innovation should always keep you physically, as well as culturally, moving. Chris Estey
Wednesday, April 10
The Rebel Lounge
"Anything goes" should have been the catchphrase for Lincoln Durham, one of the most unpredictable one-man bands around. He might throw in occasional odes to girls named Clementine and shed a little ever-loving light, but it definitely isn't in an old-fashioned gospel kind of way. He prefers a more tortured brand of roots rock.
Sure, Durham bangs a bass drum like all the other one-man bands, but he does it while grinding out stomp-rock blues on everything from a tattered-up Gibson to a homemade cigar-box guitar with some empty suitcases, beat-up mandolins, and blown-out harmonicas thrown in.
Durham is the first to admit he's more than slightly obsessed with Tom Waits. Everything Waits does
Kero Kero Bonito
Wednesday, April 10
The Nile Theater in Mesa
It’s hard to believe that only five years ago, Kero Kero Bonito had yet to bless the world with their vibrant pop wonderland. In summer 2014, the Intro Bonito mixtape shook the blogosphere as Sarah Midori Perry rapped about wanting to be Tomb Raider and not needing to submit to any notion of identity beyond her own. Slaying one existential demon after another over top N64-style breakbeats from the production team of Gus Lobban (PC Music’s Kane West) and Jamie Bulled, Perry laid the groundwork for a future pop utopia where over-the-top color palettes and biting social commentary can throw a collaborative dance party.
Fast-forward a few years, and KKB make their proper LP debut with Bonito Generation, wherein Perry dons a graduation robe and ruminates about the challenges of the post-academia real world. Songs like “Graduation” and “Try Me” touch on the inherent hypocrisy of the educational system and capitalism, while singles like “Break” and “Trampoline” highlight the importance of self-care and optimism.
After years of touring, Kero Kero Bonito returned abruptly with “Only Acting,” a song and video that introduced a surprising new chapter for the band. Gone are the break-dance rhythms and cutesy animal noise samples. In their place are live drums and blaring, distorted guitars. The song decomposes into a harsh noise meta meltdown, extending the “Is it real?” metaphor all the further. “Only Acting” sets a great thesis statement for their second LP, Time ’n’ Place. Where Bonito Generation focused on new challenges and a wide-eyed look forward, Time ’n’ Place looks in the rearview at a suburban backdrop, where memories and childhood lessons take on more weighted meaning and truth in light of adult realities. Gerrit Feenstra
Thursday, April 11
The Van Buren
Last year, Sofi Tukker's insidiously catchy single "Best Friend" became a major hit after being featured in a commercial for the iPhone X, including hitting No. 1 on Billboard's dance charts. The duo behind the song — Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern — often blur the lines between live and recorded sounds during performances. They sing live and play bass and guitar onstage, but the rest of the sounds are programmed, and some sections of their sets are reserved for choreographed dance routines.
"At first, we tried to do everything," Hawley-Weld says, "trying to trigger every beat and play every part. But we realized that's not really the point.
Country Thunder 2019
Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14
Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence
The big names of contemporary and throwback country music are once again rounding up at Canyon Moon Ranch in Florence for the annual Country Thunder music festival. Over 100,000 country and western fans are expected to the festival grounds from Thursday, April 11, to Sunday, April 14, for performances by a slew of 10-gallon headliners and plenty of down-home fun. In addition to country stars taking the main stage, Country Thunder 2019 also offers retail vendors, partner activities, on-site bars, a food court, and additional entertainers and a side stage featuring local country bands.
Day one of this year’s edition of Country Thunder kicks off its boot-