Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

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Jon Rauhouse - Tuesday, February 11 - PMA Local 586

Jon Rauhouse wasn't sitting around Grammy night waiting to find out whether Neko Case's The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, to which he contributed guitar, pedal steel, and trombone, won the award for Best Alternative Album. Ever the working musician, Rauhouse was on tour with the Case band. "No, we were playing in Houston and heard [that the album had lost to Vampire Weekend] right before we went on," Rauhouse says. "Silly me. I thought it was going to be Nine Inch Nails."

Rauhouse isn't sure exactly how Case's album, with its subtle blend of indie rock, gospel, and Americana, compares to Trent Reznor's moody electronic rock, but he's not worried about it, either. Four-plus decades into a career as a musical journeyman, he's too busy to spend much time thinking about accolades. In addition to contributing to Case's live show, he's working with his own Jon Rauhouse Orchestra in Phoenix, which is readying an album and scheduled to perform at the Professional Musicians of Arizona Local 586's union hall. He's a veteran of the Union, having paid his dues since the mid-'90s, and he's a vet of the Valley roots scene.

"I'm pretty old," Rauhouse says. "When I started playing in Tempe in the late '70s the drinking age was 19." But he's feeling good about Phoenix's scene in 2014: "It's funny, because a lot of people think they need to go to some other 'hipper' town, but trust me: A lot of those towns are closed to outsiders and are very competitive. The people here right now are very accepting of all types of things and genre, and there are a lot of places to play for all levels of musicians." -- Jason P. Woodbury

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.