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.
Odesza - Tuesday, April 1 - Rhythm Room
The origin of this Seattle electronic music duo's name is haunting. It was the name of a ship owned by band member Harrison Mills' uncle. The boat saw a tragic end by sinking, drowning everyone aboard except for Mills' uncle and one other crew member. A bit of that enigmatic history weaves through the ephemeral melodies created by Mills and the other half of team Odesza, Clayton Knight. The two producers met early on in college, eventually teaming up during their senior year.
Songs like "Today" from their 2012 debut LP, Summer's Gone, highlight how the pair uses dreamy, dulcet melodies as foundations throughout its tunes. Atop that base of sweetness are synths, crunchy drum beats that sound like raining glass, and expansive waves of groove-inviting bass -- whether it's a hopped-up energetic track or a slower, hypnotic tune. Frenzied, pitch-y, soulful vocal samples and snippets also are often present in Odesza tunes. The vocals intensify the depth, but the music never feels dependent on them. Currently, the duo is touring in support of their latest EP, My Friends Never Die, five tracks also available separately on a remixed version of the recording. -- Amy Young
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Tuesday, April 1 - Crescent Ballroom
Ever since the late 1980s, when he led the seriously influential alt-rock band Pavement, the guitar has always been the thing for Stephen Malkmus. On his latest album with The Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags, Malkmus and his trio do indeed wig out with songs such as "Planetary Motion," whose clipped chords and poppy bounce give way to '70s guitar heroics, and the aptly titled "Surreal Teenagers," where the singer stares out into a teenage wasteland before shrouding himself in surging waves of fuzz.
With its sunny horns and yacht-rock delivery, "Chartjunk" sounds like a cross between Chicago and Steely Dan, although Malkmus contrasts its AM-radio euphoria with sarcastic lyrics like "You're just connected bones." During "The Janitor Revealed," he inverts the weary resignation of Ray Davies' old song "Get Back in the Line" with a more assertive response: "Pardon me while I jump the queue/I've got much better things to do." -- Falling James
Aaron Lewis - Wednesday, April 2 - WestWorld
Staind's frontman/lyrical mastermind Aaron Lewis has veered away from his post-grunge past with new single "Country Boy" -- sort of. On his new EP crafted in Nashville, Town Line, expect to hear "country" songs that really sound like a clash of Bon Jovi and Alice in Chains, sung in that "imitation of Scott Stapp imitating Scott Weiland imitating Eddie Vedder" style that Staind has perfected.
"Country Boy" features Charlie "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" Daniels and another legend of the classic country era in George Jones. Jones plays the role of the devil in the song, offering Lewis millions of record sales and his name on the marquee in exchange for his soul and the condition that he whiten his teeth. If you're into this kind of thing, you might not read into the lyrics and just accept the truth: Los Angeles and rock 'n' roll are the devil. We're betting that some Staind classics like "It's Been Awhile" and "Right Here" figure in too. -- Jose Flores
Petty Things - Wednesday, April 2 - Last Exit Live
When the Big One finally smacks Southern California and tosses Orange County and surrounding blemishes into the ocean, Arizona will get some brand-new beachfront property. This is great news for surf rock bands like Petty Things (no relation to the Wisconsin Tom Petty cover band), four dudes with an ear for lo-fi garage dirges. It makes sense the band came of age on cassette-loving local label Rubber Brother Records. Think your hangovers are bad? Then you never "Woke Up a Skeleton," a track that gleefully courts death, while "Bored" describes being so uninterested that you start murdering strangers on the street.
Petty Things expertly channel insecurity and apathy on "My Mind" and "Feel," where guitarist Jordan Owens croons about not knowing what's real anymore. But much of Petty Things' appeal comes across in their jangly, oceanside jams, such as the titular track of their album, Chasing the Sun, and "Sleep All Day," which borrows the ambience from King Missile's "Detachable Penis." For a band that's been around less than a year, Petty Things have a tight-knit sound and a solid grip on the direction they want. We can't wait to grab a board and catch some waves with them. Surf's up. -- Troy Farah
Mustard Plug - Thursday, April 3 - Crescent Ballroom
Ah, ska: the genre that won't quit. From the original Jamaican ska born in the late '50s to the "2 Tone" of the '70s and, yes, even the oft-ridiculed "third wave" ska-punk of the '90s, the infectious upstrokes and "pick it ups" central to the ska sound always seem to come back around -- sometimes to the chagrin of purists. Yes, Reel Big Fish got really annoying really fast, but it was far from the standout of the genre. Bands like Skankin' Pickle, the Blue Meanies, the Pietasters and even St. Louis' own MU330 proved that third-wave ska can be played in such a way that it doesn't make one want to shove a fork in one's own ear. Mustard Plug is another of these bands -- formed in 1991, it has been expertly balancing the punk and ska elements that have defined the genre for more than twenty years. -- Daniel Hill
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