Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend

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The streets will be a graveyard during normal working and drinking hours this weekend. If you didn't stand in front of Best Buy at two in the morning to get an admittedly pretty good deal on plasma TVs -- better black levels, is the thing -- you can take advantage of this by seeing one of these really pretty good concerts around Phoenix. (Be sure to check out our extensive online concert calendar for more live music events in the Valley this weekend.)

Fairy Bones - Rogue Bar, Scottsdale - Friday, November 29

Fairy Bones has been building a well-deserved buzz across the Valley since their formation, but Friday night they'll tick off an important milestone on their way to converting that vague buzz to concrete fandom: Now they have

an EP

, something for potential converts who don't get out much and existing converts who need to go a-proseletyzing alike.

Wherever you fall on the conversion spectrum, you should give the album (and the release party) a shot--this is great, aggressive pop-rock, with a lot of hooks that stick in your head and the kind of tempo that pushes them quickly past the ones that don't stick.

X - Crescent Ballroom - Friday, November 29

Of all the stars of the '80s punk scene, only one band is still having impact some 35 years after forming: X. Mixing driving punk energy with rockabilly riffs, staccato rhythms, unexpected dual vocal drive, and socially conscious lyrics, X was a defining voice in the punk movement. Their uncompromising ability to defy perceptions and expectations keeps the band going today.

Founding vocalist and songwriter Exene Cervenka isn't surprised X--bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake--still commands a strong following.

"We're still the original band, but it's incredibly hard to keep three or four people together on the same wavelength. Your mood changes, your ideas change, your personality changes. You start out all happy and then it gets more miserable and bitter and you decide you can't stand someone any more and you split up," Cervenka says. "We're lucky, we just like doing it. And I'm grateful to be doing it because the last time could be next week." -- Glenn BurnSilver

Cherie Currie - MIM Music Theater - Saturday, November 30

The name Cherie Currie might as well be synonymous with a "raison d'etre" in rock 'n' roll. After all, The Runaways' song "Cherry Bomb" was created just for her audition at the tender age of 15, and still acts as an anthem for teenage rebellion to this day. An outsider that was inspired by the music and image of David Bowie, Currie's steep ascent into fame began when she was approached by legendary producer Ken Fowley and a young guitarist name Joan Jett at a North Hollywood club.30 years later, Currie's got a ton of projects under her iconic fishnets. She went on to record a solo album and two records with her twin sister Marie, and acted in an array of films.

In 1989 Currie wrote a memoir called Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story, and in 2010 she published an updated version entitled Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. Nowadays, Currie tours to play fan favorites from her days with The Runaways and solo albums, but she's somehow added one more razor sharp passion to her resume of rock destruction: She works as chainsaw-wielding wood carving artist, and displays at her own gallery in California. It all makes sense, as Currie's ventures are nothing short of being cutting edge. --Lauren Wise

The Meat Puppets - Crescent Ballroom - Saturday, November 30

The Meat Puppets are the namesake of this very blog, but that's hardly their most impressive accomplishment; formed in the Valley back in 1980, they're recognized nationally for their influence on the alt-rock bands that followed more than a decade later,along with a string of indie cult classics in the '80s and flirtations with commercial success of their own in the '90s.

In support of their latest album, Rat Farm, they're playing the last stop of the tour at Crescent Ballroom. AZ Natives Destruction Unit and The Father Figures will be opening up the show; the former providing loud psychedelic punk noise, while the Father Figures bring their post-punk rock to balance out the night. -- Yezmin Villarreal

B.B. King - Celebrity Theatre - Saturday, November 30

Years ago, I was scheduled to do a phone interview with this living legend, but Mr. 200-Plus-Shows-a-Year slept through my call. It left this fan with a lot of unasked questions:

Since most blues consists of I-IV-V progressions, how many chords would it take, and in what fucked-up order would they have to be, to make "Stormy Monday" into something Gentle Giant fans might enjoy?

Is your "Blues Ambassadorship to the World" being weakened by insurgents like "California's Blues Ambassador" drummer Chris Millar? And if blues guitarist Bobby Mack is "Texas' Musical Ambassador to the World," which one of you gets the better table at restaurants in San Antonio?

Does it piss you off that Rolling Stone named you Number 3 in its list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" behind Duane Allman, a guy who was alive for, like, three minutes, and Jimi Hendrix, who played all your Live at the Regal licks with his teeth?

If you can be rich, well-adjusted and chipper and still play the blues, what does it take for you to convey universal suffering now? A good memory or the cleaners ruining your tuxedo?

B.B. King, "King of the Blues," versus Sting, "King of Pain" -- who puts up with more?

If your assertion that "all music comes from blues" is true, do you feel at all responsible for "Laffy Taffy"? -- Serene Dominic

Find any show in the Valley via the Phoenix New Times online concert calendar

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