Curious about what's going on around town this weekend? Need some suggestions where to rock, dance, or krump in the Valley of the Sun?
Don't fret: These are our Five Shows to See This Weekend.
Call it an occupational hazard: Almost every DJ or producer in the world has a tendency toward swagger and bragging. In fact, self-aggrandizement is as much a part of the job as remixing and learning how use Ableton Live or ProTools. So we didn't bat an eyelash when Jakarta-born beatsmith Angger Dimas declared in a 2010 interview, "I sure will take over the world."
Thing is, he's already taken big steps toward making his prophecy reality. Dimas already has conquered the club scene in his native Indonesia (having been declared the Southeast Asian nation's top DJ), played sold-out gigs across Australia, and staged a few invasions on American soil while assaulting crowd with his spastic club bangers filled with screaming bleeps and intense electro rhythms.
He's also earned plenty of praise from chart-toppers and tastemakers around the world, including Hardwell (who called him an idol) and Tiësto (who worked with Dimas on the EDM side project Boys Will Be Boys). And Steve Aoki has brought him along on U.S. tours, collaborated on the Dim Mak track "Beat Down," and dubbed the 24-year-old "a wunderkind." Dimas, whose name means "love" in Indonesian, continues his quest to be the world's best by making his first-ever appearance in the Valley this weekend.--Benjamin LeathermanFriday, November 30: Off With Their Heads @ Pub Rock
Minneapolis breeds a certain kind of musician, one that's tough and able to thrive through biting, bitter winters. Fiery five-piece Off with Their Heads hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but don't expect them to recall the band's alt-punk heritage like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü. "I never really got into Hüsker Dü or Replacements. It really never struck too much of a chord with me," says songwriter Ryan Young. Instead, Young was attracted to another Minneapolis punk legend.
"Dillinger Four was one of the first local bands I had seen. I went to every show and sang every word for years." But like all three bands, Off with Their Heads masters a tricky bit of alchemy, combining catchy, upbeat power chords and stacked choruses with dark, literate lyrics about depression, heartbreaks, and being broke after spending too much money on drugs.
"It started as a joke," Young says of combining pop-packed music with bummer lyrics. "Then I realized that that pretty much sums up who I am and would be the truest form of music for me to play. If you ask some of my closest friends, they will say I'm a pretty upbeat and happy guy."--Melissa Fossum
John Reis' musical résumé includes at least four defunct bands that people would pay lots of money to see today. One is Hot Snakes, a San Diego-based quartet that blends the simplicity of three-chord garage rock (à la the Wipers) with the downstrummed aural assault championed by Johnny Ramone. But just because the 42-year-old guitarist reunited Hot Snakes in 2011 doesn't mean he feels the same about his other broken-up groups, which is a shame when you consider they are math-rock pioneers Drive Like Jehu, criminally neglected pop band the Sultans, and Rocket from the Crypt, a six-piece outfit also known as the best group of all time.
Hot Snakes singer/guitarist Rick Froberg, bassist Gar Wood, and Reis released two albums with drummer Jason Kourkounis before he left the band. Needing a new drummer, the threesome enlisted the help of Mario Rubalcaba (who at the time was playing with Reis in Rocket) for 2004's Audit in Progress. When Hot Snakes were offered the opportunity last year to play at All Tomorrow's Parties festival in England and Texas' Fun Fun Fun Fest, it made sense to Reis and company that both drummers should participate.
The inclusion of Kourkounis and Rubalcaba playing their respective material makes this Hot Snakes reunion authentic, but Reis says having all the former members is not the sole reason the group sounds better than ever. For that, the guitarist thanks Froberg's time in Brooklyn-based Obits.
"I really like the way his playing has evolved because of his time playing with Obits," Reis says. "I can see the effect on the way he approaches Hot Snakes songs, and it's really great."--Ryan RitchieSaturday, December 1: Streetlight Manifesto @ Marquee Theatre
Third-wave ska peaked sometime in the late 1990s, when bands like The Toasters, Save Ferris, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones achieved mainstream recognition. Times change and people move on, and now we're left with Rihanna searching for a rude boy.
Thankfully, Streetlight Manifesto has been providing a fresh take on the genre since the band's inception in the early 2000s, following the dissolution of songwriter Tomas Kalnoky's previous group, Catch 22. Streetlight follows the genre's conventions, combining a brass section with punchy upstroked guitars, but mixes in eclectic nods toward mariachi and jazz. As upbeat as the hooks may be, Kalnoky's lyrics convey a dark edge, covering topics like death, religion, and classic literature.
The band expands the ska-punk tradition of covering classic songs, too, with careful selections by varied artists like Paul Simon, Mason Jennings, The Postal Service, and The Dead Milkmen, all featured on the band's collaborative covers album, 99 Songs of Revolution, and with side project Bandits of Acoustic Revolution. As a fad, third-wave ska may be as dead as the protagonist of Streetlight's "Point/Counterpoint," but the band's distinctive sound doesn't need a trend to endure.--Melissa Fossum
Karl Wallinger has been conspicuously absent from the music scene the over the past decade -- but with good reason. The former Waterboy and World Party founder suffered a debilitating brain aneurysm in 2001 that left him unable to walk and talk, let alone sing or play any of the many instruments he's mastered. Wallinger endured five years of extensive rehab so that he could lead a normal life again -- which for this prolific songwriter of such Britpop hits as "Ship of Fools," "Put the Message in the Box," "Give It All Away," "Way Down No," "Is It Like Today?" and "She's the One" (a mega-hit for Robbie Williams), means writing songs, playing music, and touring.
His initial return to the stage came in 2006, but concert tours have been limited and new material almost nonexistent. That changes now as Wallinger takes World Party on the road supporting the recent release of Arkeology, a career-spanning five-CD set full of rarities and unreleased material.
Wallinger is said to have also composed 70 new songs, many of which will be showcased on this tour.-- Glenn BurnSilver
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