Top 5 Concerts in Phoenix This Week

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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

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