Top Five Shows to See This Weekend

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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.

Unable to get out of town and head to the massive Apache Lake Music Festival this weekend? Don't worry, there' still plenty happening here in town.

Friday, October 12: Shelby Lynne @ Musical Instrument Museum

Although she now lives and records in the California desert, Shelby Lynne's soul and her extraordinary, soulful music are inextricably tied to the Deep South of her childhood and the music--classic country, blues, gospel, but above all Memphis R&B--she absorbed there. Freed from the Nashville commercial aspirations that entwined her early career, Lynne issued a string of albums remarkable for the raw intimacy of her lyrics and a gorgeous voice that can drip with sultry insouciance or draw taut with sinewy anguish.

The latter surfaces with howling angst on "Woebegone," a gospel-rock stomper (that alone should warrant an invitation from Garrison Keillor) at the center of her new album, Revelation Road. Lynne calls the new record her most personal and private.

It's about her family, whose history is steeped in tragedy, and the songs attempt to purge her residual devastation. So it's little wonder she did it all herself, producing and playing every instrument. Stylistically she ranges from the bluegrass-tinged title track to Dusty-in-Memphis pop-soul laments like "I Don't Need a Reason to Cry." Like the album, her performance will be a solo tour de force. -- Rick Mason

Friday, October 12, and Saturday, October 13: Bob Corritore and Tail Dragger at Rhythm Room

Local blues impressario Bob Corritore couldn't have picked a better partner on the new Longtime Friends in the Blues record. James Yancy Jones -- better known as Tail Dragger originally hails from Altheimer, Arkansas, but relocated to Chicago in the 1960s. It was there he met the legendary Howlin' Wolf, who gave him his signature moniker, but it was the Windy City where he met Corritore too, in 1976, when the two performed a tribute to the late Wolf at the 1815 Club on Chicago's West Side.

The two share a clear rapport on Longtime Friends in the Blues. Featuring Tail Dragger's grizzled voice and Corritore's amplified harmonica, the record finds the duo joined by pianist Henry Gray, guitarists Kirk Fletcher & Chris James, and the rhythm section of bassist Patrick Rynn, and drummer Brian Fahey. It's a languid, smoky affair: "Sugar Mama" grooves, "So Ezee" invokes the fiery passion of Tail Dragger's mentor Howlin' Wolf, while "Boogie Woogie Ball" let's Gray off the lease for a rolickin' stroll.

Corritore and Tail Dragger may be separated geographically (Corritore's owns the Rhythm Room here in Phoenix, and hosts a weekly blues program, Those Lowdown Blues, on local NPR-affiliate KJZZ), but their connection should be as clear during their two-night stand at Corritore's club as it is on the new record. -- Jason P. Woodbury

Saturday, October 13: President Gator Records Launch Party With Gospel Claws, Bogan Via, Charlie Brand of Miniature Tigers, and ROAR

Downtown Phoenix regulars know Jeremiah Gratza -- he's that dapper guy with white-rimmed glasses and usually a snazzy hat -- as Director of Operations of local promotion house Stateside Presents. But Gratza is looking to expand his resume by launching a brand new vinyl imprint.

Gratza is celebrating the birth of his new Arizona-based independent music label, President Gator Records, with a launch party on Saturday, October 13, at the Crescent Ballroom. The show will feature locals Gospel Claws, ROAR, Bogan Via, and an acoustic set from Charlie Brand of Miniature Tigers.

"The first two releases will be for my personal favorite local bands right now, Bogan Via (with a remix by Minature Tigers) , and [a split release of] Gospel Claws and ROAR on baby pink and blue vinyl," Gratza says via email. "To celebrate, we are throwing a party at Crescent Ballroom with all the bands."

The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $10. The ticket price includes one of the 7" record of your choosing (don't worry, you can buy the other on site).--Anthony Sandoval

Saturday, October 13: Graveyard Shift @ Monsterland

We're in the midst of Halloween season, which means those in the business of scaring the crap outta people are busier than a masked psychopath slaughtering teenyboppers in an '80s slasher film. That includes the frightening freaks over at Monsterland, 18 West Main Street in Mesa, who are dishing out terror almost every night inside the two-story haunted attraction.

Monsterland's in-house bar and nightclub also will boast some thrills and chills of the industrial and goth variety on Saturday, October 13, during Graveyard Shift. Doomy and gloomy sounds will be dropped by a quirky quartet of selectors during the latest version of the monthly dance event, including Dark Mark, Beautiful John, and Self.Destrukt. The sinister-yet-sexy DJ Defense.Mekanizm (a.k.a. Suzy Homewrecker) also will make an appearance at the event and told us she plans on spinning a spooky selection of mainly electro-industrial and aggrotech, including tracks by Alien Vampires, Terrorfakt, and Angelspit. Local body-mod practitioners Life Suspended will also perform. The dead man's party starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 480-461-3300.--Benjamin Leatherman

Sunday, October 14: Weezer @ Veteran's Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fair

While discerning listeners live and die by the phrase "Blue and Pinkerton only," California power-pop combo Weezer maintains a stranglehold on the pop airways. 2010's Hurley showed signs of improvement, with a couple of pleasing pop jams, like "Ruling Me," co-written by under-appreciated pop genius Dan Wilson (of Semisonic).

Live, the Weez can still thrill: The strength of "Say It Ain't So" is enough to outweigh the stank of a couple dozen "Beverly Hills." The show is free with fair admission, $20 reserved seating -- Jason P. Woodbury

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