Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Quinn XCII is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 9, at Comerica Theatre.
Quinn XCII is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, April 9, at Comerica Theatre. Shervin Lainez

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Toubab Krewe

Wednesday, April 10
Last Exit Live

Toubab Krewe are neo-griot-funk from Southern freak zone Asheville, North Carolina. Their name admits they're tourists ("Toubab" = white dude) and their sound can be described as "Jampire Weekend."

Blending Mali soul and Afrobeat with bluesy desert surf-twang, Caribbean scratch, and zydeco bounce, Toubab Krewe surround it all with occasional floating ambiance. And sometimes they do it all in one song, like "NTB." On others, like "Fire," they play a dubby-lover's rock. Their hometown-recorded Live at the Orange Peel (2009) is a fan favorite; for street cred, they recorded "Moose," a fervent spoken-word ode to Hendrix, with the Last Poets' Umar Ben Hassan. They've dominated Bonnaroo (of course) and many other festivals.

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

click to enlarge Lincoln Durham is a one-man musical dynamo. - J. TREVINO
Lincoln Durham is a one-man musical dynamo.
J. Trevino
Lincoln Durham
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 confuses, frightens, intrigues and enlightens him, he says. Add to that a little Son House, Fred McDowell, and of course, rooting around in attics for $50 one-stringed abominations (the cheaper the better), and the Durham sound was born. Sonya Harvey

click to enlarge Kero Kero Bonito bring their sick beats to the Nile. - TRACEY NG
Kero Kero Bonito bring their sick beats to the Nile.
Tracey Ng
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

click to enlarge Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern of Sofi Tukker. - SHERVIN LAINEZ
Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern of Sofi Tukker.
Shervin Lainez
Sofi Tukker
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. There's a performance art and interactive element that also really matters to us: It's bringing the music to life, trying to embody the music through movement, and really focusing on connecting with the people who showed up." In other words, they care more about shared experiences than wowing with their motor-function skills. Howard Hardee

click to enlarge Brett Eldredge will help kick off the first day of Country Thunder 2019. - COURTESY OF ATLANTIC RECORDS
Brett Eldredge will help kick off the first day of Country Thunder 2019.
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
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-scootin’ lineup on Thursday with performances by Trace Adkins, Brett Eldredge, The Cole Trains, Williams and Ree, Ryan and the Renegades, A Boy Named Sioux, Harry Luge, and others. Lauren Cusimano
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers