Things to Do

The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Weekend

Paul Oakenfold is scheduled to perform on Friday, January 11, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale.
Paul Oakenfold is scheduled to perform on Friday, January 11, at Maya Day & Nightclub in Scottsdale. Scott Ramsay

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click to enlarge Americana/blues/gospel musician Paul Thorn. - COURTESY OF THE MIM
Americana/blues/gospel musician Paul Thorn.
Courtesy of the MIM
Paul Thorn
Saturday, January 12
Musical Instrument Museum
Sunday, January 13
Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts in Wickenburg

That Mississippi roots-rocker Paul Thorn is a painter comes as no surprise. His music, and certainly his latest album, Don't Let the Devil Ride, is filled with realistic portraits of Southern characters in all their mixed-up religious dogma and dark-end-of-the-street sin. So are his paintings.

Thorn's artistic style is a mix of Americana and comedy. As with his songs, the veneer of humor never quite glosses over the darkness lying underneath. And, like his previous 10 albums, Don't Let the Devil Ride is constructed from Thorn's life. Raised in Mississippi as the son of a Pentecostal preacher, Thorn’s work seems to constantly delve into the struggle between good and evil, between the teachings of the church versus the foibles each of us encounters in everyday life. Such is the case with Don't Let the Devil Ride, which offers 14 covers of famed southern gospel songs – including "Soon I Will Be Done," "One More River to Cross, "Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed” – which grapple with spiritual issues and how wicked souls will fare in the hereafter.

You’re guaranteed to hear many of these tracks during Thorn’s performance at the Musical Instrument Museum on Saturday night or at the Del E. Webb Center in Wickenburg on Sunday. Blues-influenced indie band Alice Drinks the Kool Aid will open the former show. William Michael Smith

click to enlarge Betty Blackheart (left) and DJ Self.Destrukt. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Betty Blackheart (left) and DJ Self.Destrukt.
Benjamin Leatherman
Cupcake! Sideshow! A Circus Themed Dance Party
Saturday, January 12
The Rogue Bar in Scottsdale

Local DJ power couple Self.Destrukt and Betty Blackheart have been unleashing fetishistic fun practically every month for the past seven years via their ongoing Cupcake! dance night. This week, they’ll up the ante with even more debaucherous delights during the event’s seven-year anniversary party at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, which has hosted the affair since its inception. Much like other Cupcake! parties, it will offer a sinister and seductive mix of costumed characters, go-go girls, eye-catching performances, guest DJs like //she//, DJ Beautiful John, $&M, and The Rev. Razorslave, and even baked goods, which we’re guessing will be adorned with candles. The event will also boast a circus theme, so expect a big-top bacchanal of clowns, strongman, and other characters. The party starts at 8 p.m. with a $6 cover. Benjamin Leatherman

click to enlarge Canadian rock/pop band Mother Mother. - COURTESY OF WATCHDOG MANAGEMENT
Canadian rock/pop band Mother Mother.
Courtesy of Watchdog Management
Mother Mother
Saturday, January 12
Crescent Ballroom

It's not often one hears a musician proclaim he wants to start a "vocal-driven pop band," but such was the case with Mother Mother guitarist/frontman Ryan Guldemond. But why aim for such commonplace pop fare? Because this is the kind of music the generally unaware music populace loves — it doesn't require any thought to subconsciously tap one's foot or nod one's head — and they buy a lot of it. The Canadian band, which also includes vocalists/keyboardists Molly Guldemond and Jasmin Parkin, drummer Ali Siadat, and bassist Jeremy Page, received a jump start to success when New Pornographers producer Howard Redekopp signed on to work his pop magic. So for Mother Mother, the concept has worked well enough, signified by the release of seven albums, nominations for assorted awards (mostly Canadian), and a song, "Bright Ideas," being featured in a series of Kraft food commercials. Might not be the path to legendary status, but it's good work if you can get it. Glenn BurnSilver

click to enlarge D is for dubstep and that's good enough for him. - CIRCLE TALENT AGENCY
D is for dubstep and that's good enough for him.
Circle Talent Agency
Cookie Monsta
Saturday, January 12
Aura Nightclub in Tempe

Dubstep lovers will want to hit up Aura Nightclub in Tempe on Saturday night for Cookie Monsta's ridiculously sick (really: ridiculous) beats. The subwoofers at the Mill Avenue nightspot will be pounding quite heavily over the course of the evening – which will also feature sets from Jinco, NastyHumanz, Voodreau, and 2Soon – but particularly during Cookie Monsta’s gig behind the mixers. The 29-year-old has been unleashing dubstep upon the world for more than a decade, dating back to the mid-aughts in his native England. Over the past several years, Cookie Monsta (born James Hazell) has released several hit tracks, including "Yow Mamma," "Ginger Pubes," "and "Me Want Cookie," all of which might find their way into his mix on Saturday night at Aura. Ru Johnson and Amber Taufen

Go Bach in time this weekend. - ZOLTÁN VÖRÖS/CC BY 2.0/VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS
Go Bach in time this weekend.
Arizona Bach Festival: Marion Baroque
Sunday, January 13
Christ Church of the Ascension in Paradise Valley

If four-part harmonies and modulations get you all sorts of excited, then we've got good news for you. The annual Arizona Bach Festival is returning this year for its 10th anniversary season, and will offers four different opportunities to hear some of the composer's greatest hits over the next several weeks. The 2019 version of the festival kicks off on Sunday afternoon at Christ Church of the Ascension with a variety of Bach chamber works performed by harpsichord soloist Christa Rakich, renowned traverse flutist Wendy Rolfe, and viola da gamba player Alice Robbins. The concert will include a pair of Bach’s G Major Trio Sonatas, two Organ Trio Sonatas, and the French Suite in E-flat. The concert starts at 3 p.m. Tickets are $21 in advance, $25 at the door, and $10 for students with ID. Sara Weber
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers