Top Five Must-See Shows This Week

Yeah, yeah, yeah...we get it Mondays suck (we've read Garfield). But it means the start of a new week, which means a bunch of killer shows in and around Phoenix. And here are a few of the coolest, our top five must-see shows this week.

Monday, November 26: Atriarch @ Trunk Space

Self-described as "a living entity comprised of four parts, offering catharsis through sonic ritual," Portland, Oregon-based death rock band Atriarch will attempt to violate whatever might remain of your delicate sensibilities. I'm not entirely sure what they mean when they say their "aim is to tear a hole in the veil that blinds us from our true selves," as the only thing torn was my eardrums.

Their latest album Ritual of Passing released on Profound Lore Records, is full of heavy, from lyrics to rapid-fire bass, to an ever present synthesizer. These guys seem to have found a formula that works in the genre. One that can easily be tweaked to allow the band to experiment as needed. "Altar" exemplifies this with a 6-minute speech, that definitely dips into the punk rock pool.

They will be hitting Trunk Space on Monday, November 26th, and finishing up their latest tour with a stop in L.A. -- Richard Noel

Tuesday, November 27: Whitehorse @ Crescent Ballroom

It's a rare thing to be awestruck by a band. As those of us who write, or attempt to write, about bands know, there's a lot of crap floating around out there that's being passed off as the genuine article. But Whitehorse is a genuine as it gets. This two-piece combo of steel and acoustic guitar, is just plain awesomeness.

This real life husband-and-wife duo pick up where others such as The White Stripes left off. Their latest album The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss is savagely bluesy at times, while maintaining a certain depth lyrically, and an intimacy one would expect, given the dynamic.

They'll be making their way to the Crescent Ballroom on Tuesday, November 27, as they gear up for this latest tour. -- Richard Noel

Wednesday, November 28: Dethklok @ Marquee Theatre

It's one thing to make a cartoon that affectionately sends up the theatrics of death metal. It's another thing entirely for Brendon Small, co-producer and co-creator of the animated Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, to make three albums of astute extreme metal under the guise of his imaginary creation. Metalocalypse is premised on a dystopian future where the dim-witted metal band Dethklok not only is the world's biggest act but the seventh-largest world economy, such that the delay of their latest album results in a worldwide "Dethsession."

Small composes the show's music with drummer Gene Hoglan, who's sat in with acts such as Testament and Fear Factory. In concert, Small and his band perform Dethklok material behind video screens, sort of like a forsaken Gorillaz. Though most of the early songs were mere parodies plugged into the show's set pieces (a death metal coffee jingle, for instance), new record Dethalbum III has upped the ante. The blistering riffs and relentless double-bass of "I Ejaculate Fire" and "Impeach God" are too impressive to write off as novelty. Previous Dethklok albums have held impressive positions on the Billboard charts, bringing death metal to audiences that otherwise would have had no gateway to its heavy delights. It's the best possible result of a running joke that's actually started to sound brilliant.-- Chase Kamp

Wednesday, November 28: Lauryn Hill @ Celebrity Theatre

"It's funny how money changes situations" rapped former Fugees singer Lauryn Hill in the opening line of her multi-platinum solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It's a "no shit, Sherlock" moment, but its prominent placement seems indicative of the old showbiz saw that you can make anyone a success, but not everyone's made to be successful. Going from the stage mic to megaphone, as it were, requires something of an artist -- something Hill was unwilling or unable to give, and so she left the stage. In that moment, she made her career.

Turning down fame and fortune at the height of your powers is sort of incomprehensible. It creates tremendous mystique. We are stunned and fascinated to see Björn Borg quit tennis at 26 or Greta Garbo leave film at 36 and retreat into a more unassuming life. We cannot, perhaps, appreciate being passed through the machine, this Eli Whitney/Rube Goldberg contraption that smooths and standardizes a creative product for mass consumption, excreting it with a trumpeted flourish of marketing.

The experience seemingly was so unpleasant for Hill that after three successively albums (two Fugees albums and her solo debut) she walked away. She came back for a couple of years in 2002 with an unpolished, unplugged performance of new material, MTV Unplugged No. 2.0. It's fascinating but unfinished, like a work in progress. And she was gone again.-- Chris Parker

Read the entire article here Thursday, November 29: Fayuca @ Toby Keith's I Love this Bar and Grill

Not only did Fayuca return from their SxSW tour in one piece - they brought back High Times magazine's 2012 Doobie Award for Best New/Underground Artist. This year marked the publication's 10th anniversary of celebrating marijuana and music. The winners were announced during the official High Times party that went down on the rooftop of the Blind Pig Pub overlooking the famous Sixth Street strip in Austin, Texas.

Much to their surprise, the local boys beat out Canadian psychedelic rock sensations, The Sheepdogs for the award. The Sheepdogs became kind of a big deal last year when they became the first unsigned band to ever grace the cover of Rolling Stone.

The Sheepdogs beat out 15 other bands in the magazine's Choose the Cover Contest which resulted in a contract with Atlantic Records as well as the cover spread. The fact that over 1.5 million voters decided the winner last year had the Fayuca trio thinking that they would just be another side note in the High Times award ceremony.

"We've never really won an award," frontman Gabriel Solorzano says. "I don't want to say we're the hardest working band, because there are a lot of other hard-working bands out there, but we work hard. For the longest time it seemed like we were always finishing last in everything. Like some dark angel was hovering around us. After winning the TMI award for best reggae song and now this one, it's starting to feel like we're coming in first; like that dark angel's been lifted.

"We made it safely without blowing up the van or killing each other and we're back home with the award," Gabo says. "Now we just want to keep that good energy flowing."-- Anthony Sandoval

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