Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend

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Former Friends of Young Americans - Yucca Tap Room, Tempe - Saturday, December 7

Former Friends of Young Americans had the style--melodic but foreboding, a little too dense to be immediate but too catchy to be an acquired taste--and they had the songs. On Dives Like A Fool, Swims Like The Dead, the reason for their record release party, they've added the sound. Songs like "Before They Died," whose chiming, pretty guitars run headlong into a thrashing outro, have an airiness that last year's Estes Diluculo lacked; the instruments, spinning around like pinwheels or ersatz gears, have a space that makes the moments they grind together feel earned and inevitable.

The resulting sound is familiar from Former Friends past--the distant, fortune-cookie lyrics, the echoing dead space that feels like its own instrument--and if their debut didn't work for you this one might not either. But if Dives Like A Fool, Swims Like The Dead isn't an evolution, it's at least a cousin that won the genetic lottery. -- Dan Moore

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Dan Moore