Top Five Must-See Shows This Week in Phoenix

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For every up there's a down. It's like reading the awesome news that Elton John plays on the new Queens of the Stone Age record the same day you read Christina Applegate is leaving NBC's Up All Night.. Bummer! So here's the bad news: It's Monday, which is the worst. But some good, too: There's some great shows this week in Phoenix.

So here you are: the top five must-see shows in Phoenix this week.

Monday, February 11: Wooden Indian, Tobie Milford, and North Brother Island @ Crescent Ballroom

Local boys Ross Andrews and Wally Boudway are very open about the love-hate relationship they have with Phoenix.

"The only thing we love as much as we hate Phoenix is Phoenix," the two quip on their Facebook page. The tug-of-war between love and hate seems to drive the duo's music. With a backing band comprised of Valley musical veterans, the duo form the dance-party blues band known as Wooden Indian. Influenced by such disparate sounds as Afropop, sunny '60s rock, and modern bands like Wilco and Animal Collective, Wooden Indian pits erratic psychedelic riffs against twangy folk melodies while keeping a pop sensibility that's easy to shuffle to.

It's kind of like a groovy contradiction in motion, fit for bringing joy and happiness to a city that's still discovering its musical identity (much like the band). -- Anthony Sandoval

Tuesday, February 12: Me Vale Madre @ Yucca Tap Room

If you need to brush up on your Español, the phrase "me vale madre" is slang for "I don't give a fuck." When guitarist Tony Patiño was 6 years old, he was gifted a t-shirt featuring four pissing dudes wearing sombreros with the Spanish phrase written on it. It was, of course, the perfect name for a band.

"Spanish, being the romantic and beautiful language that it is, takes this aggressive, lackadaisical, and indifferent attitude, and makes it beautiful," PJ Waxman, Madre's guitarist and lead singer explains via e-mail.

Waxman, who is in Yellow Minute, also used to play in Valley buzz band Dear and the Headlights, says he doesn't "want to ride on the coat tails of past successes."

That's fine, because I sort of sense Me Vale Madre is going to be something big this year, making something truly unique that grabs the genre by its teeth, shakes it like a chew toy, and tears it apart. -- Troy Farah

Read more about Me Vale Madre.

Wednesday, February 13: Pink @ US Airways Center

Alecia Beth Moore -- better known by her pop culture handle Pink -- has got a real mouth on her. In addition to being a powerhouse vocalist, Pink delights in saying exactly what's on her mind, portraying the quientissential "tough broad" role to a tee. She sings her songs like she's about to sock you for being out of line and slam a beer before busting it over her six-pack.

Early on, industry goons probably considered her rock 'n' roll attitude an impedement, but if the radio play of her latest, 2012's The Truth About Love, is any indication, Pink wisely told the suits to stuff it. Her brash confidence drips off every track, like the Cars-gone-Clarkson anthem, "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," which effortlessly seizes on her hell-hath-no-fury appeal, cheekily blending her wounded sensiability a muscular club-beat, while Pink rages about whiskey dick, drinking too much, and how full of shit her (former) man is.

She's got a restrained side, too, but while "Just Give Me a Reason," her duet with Nate Ruess of fun. is plenty pretty, she sounds best when she's raging, like when she apes Blur and David Bowie on the dance floor freakout "Slut Like You." Younger starlets like Rhianna and Ke$ha have appropriated Pink's steez, but it's hard to buy them quite the way we buy Pink. Wham bam thank you ma'am. -- Jason P. Woodbury

Wednesday, February 13: Psychemagik @ Bar Smith

When Rebel Disco czar Jake Goldsmith got the call, he practically lost his shit. Psychemagik would, indeed, be coming to Phoenix to pull a guest gig at the local hepcat DJ collective's Wednesday night party Push Push at Bar Smith, 130 East Washington Street. The 30-year-old's enthusiasm was to be expected, considering the esteemed status that the UK-born producer duo of Danny McLewin and Tom Coveney have among dance music gourmandizers like Goldsmith and the other members of Rebel Disco.

"It's big -- real big," he says, "These stops are part of their first-ever U.S. tour, so, yeah, it's big for us, it's big for them, and it's big for Phoenix." Big-name guests are something that Push Push has been featuring the past few weeks, as it recently hosted DFA cohorts as Jacques Renault and Daniel Avery, and Psychemagik are most definitely big.

McLewin and Coveney have earned a legion of loyal followers and thousands of plays on SoundCloud over the past few years with their cosmic-sounding disco-infused remixes of artists ranging from Fleetwood Mac to Justin Velor, as well as their own original dreamy dance tracks.

Goldsmith isn't sure what sort of sounds will make up Psychemagik's Push Push set on Wednesday, February 13, but is certain that it will be worth catching. "When it comes to obscure psychedelic disco gems, these two are tops," Goldsmith says.

Rebel Disco residents like Goldsmith, Aaron Francisco, Edward Navarro, and others will also perform. --Benjamin Leatherman

Thursday, February 14: John Pizzarelli Quartet @ Virginia G. Piper Theater at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

For all the derivative tendencies in pop music today, you'd think the kids would have picked up on the most important trait of the old school: to be entertaining!

Those interested in a primer on how to give a gin-sipping audience every penny's worth of their cover charge have two nights to get schooled. John Pizzarelli's quartet exists to give the audience -- not the artist's ego -- what it wants, and that's fresh interpretations of familiar tunes. Backed by his brother Martin on bass, pianist Larry Fuller, and drummer Tony Tedesco, the guitarist and crooner has made pop-jazz mashups the subject of his latest album,

Yet, in pairings like The Beatles' "I Feel Fine" and Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder," or Tom Waits' "Drunk on the Moon" and Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," Pizzarelli renders these old standards with a swing that's entirely his own. -- Chris Kornelis

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