Weezer - Thursday, October 16 - Arizona State Fair
Every nerdy, indie, glasses-wearing music snob has something to say about Weezer, good and bad. The band's sound hasn't so much changed since its first two releases as much as its fans' tastes have. Drummer Patrick Wilson explains this, one of the great musical mysteries of all time. "I wonder sometimes about it," he says of the phenomenon. "Sometimes if you go online, five people saying something can feel like the entire world. I really don't know what to think about it."
Wilson muses, "Let's say you're a fan of the first couple of records; I think it'd be weird to remain a fan and not like any of the other records, and that's kind of what they've done. They'll find songs on the later records that they like. I think just being around this long, any band is going to have people saying lots of different things about them." And they've definitely been around a long time.
Oddly, for all of the shit talking on the web, Weezer has, if anything, regained and retained steam over the past decade. After the immense success of 1994's Weezer, also known as The Blue Album -- which Wilson says is his favorite -- and the release of Pinkerton soon after, the band fell off for a period. If memory serves (and it may not), we remember reading that frontman Rivers Cuomo hated Pinkerton. "I think he sort of intended it to be looked at a certain way, and then when it didn't do as well as The Blue Album initially, I think he probably felt like it was a failure," Wilson says. "But ironically, our most fervent fans think of that as our best album." -- Liz Tracy
Of Montreal - Friday, October 17 - Crescent Ballroom
More of a ringleader than a frontman, singer Kevin Barness directs the Athens, Ga., psych-pop band in a larger-than-life, psychedelic explosion of fantastical costumes, creepy sideshow characters and bizarre props that feels like Alice in Wonderland on (even more) acid. Expect more costume changes in mere minutes than you thought humanly possible in an entire week for this postmodern theatrical spectacle. Also, half-naked bodies -- including Barness' -- covered in glitter and shimmery paint, and various manifestations of Barness' obsession with human-beast hybrids. -- Lainna Fader
Arizona Hip Hop Festival - Saturday, October 18 - Comerica Theatre
On October 18, more than 80 Arizona MCs, DJs, and performers will get together for what must be the largest local hip-hop show ever thrown, the Arizona Hip Hop Festival. This staggering undertaking is the brainchild of JustUs Samuel, the rapper and founder of Respect the Underground, which hosts hip-hop nights a couple of times a month at Joe's Grotto.
The festival will take place on three different stages. Set times have not yet been finalized, but the music will begin sometime around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. and run through midnight. And, like we said, the lineup is enormous and includes such names as Trap House, Hannibal Leq, J Montoya, G Moe, Young Phee, Freeze TV, ZonaFide Ent., BoogeyMan, Da Beast and Da Deciplez, J-Slugg, Rillo, Deebo Lotti Maserati E.S.C., Judge the Boss, Eazy Music, J Rob, PHXLTS, Kaliq, OG Music, Worst Case Scenario, Rahmun, Yaymee K, Nov The Zoner, Pokafase, New Breedz, Pattiack, and dozens more. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or via any of the artists directly. -- David Accomazzo
John Fogerty - Saturday, October 18 - Arizona State Fair
Though the legend of Creedence Clearwater Revival as one of America's greatest rock bands had been cemented for decades, CCR leader-gone-solo John Fogerty hadn't played classics such as "Up Around the Bend" or "Born on the Bayou" for many years by the time the late '90s rolled around. Thanks to a long-running record label dispute, Fogerty had been performing only tunes from his solo catalog, most notably the summertime anthem "Centerfield."
It took a Robert Johnson-inspired epiphany for him to loosen the self-employed musical shackles and celebrate the legendary body of work he had built, which effectively ushered in a new phase to his storied journey. Indeed, more recently released works have been respectably solid and show the now 69-year-old guitar slinger in fine form. Even more impressive, however, is the conviction with which Fogerty can still belt out the opening notes to "Fortunate Son," perhaps his most epochal anthem in a long line of them. -- Kelly Dearmore