Want to get in a show this week? There are plenty of concerts over the next five days around Metro Phoenix to choose from, as you can see for yourself by viewing our extensive online concert listings.
And we're fairly certain that there's something for everyone, regardless of your particular tastes. For instance, if you're in the mood for some Celtic rock and rowdiness, Flogging Molly will be putting on another one of their "can't miss" St. Patrick's Day concerts tonight in Tempe.
The fact that it's St. Patrick's Day should probably be reason enough to head to Tempe Beach Park to partake in an evening of Flogging Molly's rip-roaring pastiche of Celtic-infused punk, folk, and rock. Make no mistake about it -- the renowned band's annual "Green 17 Tour" stop in Tempe has been one of the main highlights of every St. Pat's here in the Valley over the last several years and well worth attending.
And you'll definitely want to be in attendance tonight, since this year's tour has been dubbed the "10th and final round," meaning it's likely to be your last chance to hear "If I Ever Leave This World Alive," "Drunken Lullabies," and "The Likes of You Again" on St. Paddy's Day in the great outdoors. The Latin funk-rockers of Ozomatli and local faves Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, as well as Jared and the Mill, will provide support. Gates open at 4 p.m. Tickets are $45.
When childhood friends Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. formed THUMPERS, they were in need of a musical escape. One dumped, the other fired from his band, the London-based duo put together songs in pieces, working toward layered indie-pop that fits somewhere between the Polyphonic Spree and Animal Collective, with reviewers leaning to descriptions like exuberant, majestic, and candy-colored. "When I was away playing with other bands, Marcus had tried moving abroad with his girlfriend, and that fell apart, and he found himself back in our hometown. He was stuck amiss, where we felt like we were stuck as teenagers. And then I was fired by a band," Hamson says. "The initial thing was escaping being in a bad place. We went through the process of licking our wounds and it was a way to use music to escape these situations we found ourselves in suddenly."
Led by the singles "Sound of Screams" and "Unkinders," Galore is a joyous rush, a brash and full-blooded album about growing up and the euphoria of new things. "That's what it's about, using nostalgia, talking about the first times you do stuff, going out and causing trouble as a teenager, remembering those moments that are so overwhelming," Hamson says. "We wanted to have this sort of naivety to the record that fits in with the lyrical content. I'm a real fan of when bands do that, when the lyrics and the sound are so linked up. Radiohead does that constantly, that marriage of the lyric and how the music sounds." -- Eric Swedlund
Some bands are, by virtue of incendiary name alone, born to play punk. The Sex Pistols, Fucked Up, and Bikini Kill qualify as members of this esteemed club, which recently has admitted Syracuse, New York, five-piece Perfect Pussy. The group, whose name is a tongue-in-cheek form of self-empowerment for vocalist Meredith Graves, actually came to life through fiction. Indie filmmaker Scott Coffey approached vocalist Graves, otherwise known for defunct rock outfit Shoppers, about her performing in his recently released feature Adult World.
Graves recruited a new group just to make it into the movie, but Perfect Pussy has quickly gained life -- and a hell of a lot of hype -- of its own, as evidenced by the group signing to well-regarded underground rock label Captured Tracks and receiving ink from major outlets like Elle and the New York Times (the latter quaintly called the band's name "unprintable"). Perfect Pussy's chief product is gloriously disorienting noise-punk, with Graves reflecting through shouts and rants as the instrumentalists never take their feet off the gas. There's positivity and light at play in the work, too, but ultimately, it's all about high-adrenaline clamor that's brash and proud of it. Say Yes to Love, the group's debut full-length, lands the day after its show in Phoenix. -- Reyan Ali
Why does brilliance so often offer a dichotomy of two contradicting personas? You won't likely get an answer from Annie Clark, better known as the gentle fierceness behind St. Vincent. She's keen to keep you at arm's length, but whether it's shyness or mania that compels her to shroud her identity, you'll have to decide for yourself. She raises the adage "the meek will inherit the earth" to another standard, being a delicate singer with savage tendencies for distortion and anxiety.
Even after collaborating with Clark on an album, Love This Giant, and its subsequent tour, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne said he doesn't feel he knows her very well.
"We're more relaxed and comfortable around each other, for sure. You could call it privacy, or mystery or whatever . . . but it's nice that there are always surprises, too," Byrne said, speaking to the Village Voice. "Mystery is not a bad thing for a beautiful, talented young woman [or man] to embrace. And she does it without seeming to be standoffish or distant." -- Troy Farah
Lydia Loveless is a 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Coshocton, Ohio, who could be the bastard child of Lucinda Williams, P.J. Harvey, and Exene Cervenka -- a pretty neat trick, since she doesn't sound much like any of them.
Like Williams, Loveless is clearly influenced by country music but has more to do with the emotional force of Nashville's glory days than the clichés that clog contemporary "country" radio. Like Harvey, she's at once artful and blunt, singing about the twists and turns of her life and relationships in a way that's bold, witty, and sometimes unnerving. Like Cervenka, Loveless is a natural-born rock 'n' roll spitfire who sounds right at home when she sings with the potency of a hurricane. And like all three, Loveless is utterly fearless, a force of nature who has been knocking out audiences since she was in her early teens. (Just how fearless? Well, she was singing her songs "Head" and "Lover's Spat" on stage with her band when her dad was still drumming with the group.)
And truth to tell, Loveless is a more gifted vocalist than any of them. While her 2011 album, Indestructible Machine, made clear she was an artist to watch, the one-two punch of the rollicking late-2013 EP Boy Crazy and her brilliant new album, Somewhere Else, confirms Lydia Loveless is the most interesting and rewarding female talent to emerge in roots rock in ages. See her in a small venue while you still can -- Lydia Loveless is too good to stay small-time for long. -- Mark Deming
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