Top Five Must-See Shows This Weekend
Curious about what's going on around town this weekend? Need some suggestions as to how to rock, dance, or krump in the Valley of the Sun?
Don't fret: These are our Five Shows to See This Weekend.
See also: Reubens Accomplice Returns With Sons of Men (Download)
See also: Does Reubens Accomplice's I Blame the Scenery Hold Up More Than a Decade Later?
You know you're in trouble when bloggers start resorting to cryptozoological terms to describe your long-awaited third record.
It's the boat Reubens Accomplice has found itself in regarding the fabled, 8-years-in-the making Sons of Men. Kevin Murphy at So Much Silence (one of Phoenix's most senior music blogs) referred to the record the way a late-night caller on Coast to Coast AM might, calling it "our very own sasquatch - often discussed but never seen."
Songwriter Jeff Bufano knows that such ribbing is to be expected.
Add to the mix a national lineup (Bufano, Chris Corak are based in Phoenix, John O'Reilly in Philadelphia, Ryan Kennedy in St. Louis), a couple marriages, and some births, and it's easier to get a grasp on the 8-year gap between 2004's The Bull, the Balloon, and The Family and the newly-minted Sons of Men. But the delay wasn't just due to assuming domesticated lives.
"The more I think about it, one of the main things is that everybody in the band's always felt like a band shouldn't release a record knowing that it's really not as good as the record before it," Bufano says. "We've had this conversation: 'Do you think when a band puts out a shitty record, do they think it's awesome?' Or do they know, if you put out a record, even if it's shitty, you're going to make money? Like, 'We're going to put this out, and hopefully write a better record next year.' [Laughs]"
Sons of Men doesn't aim to top the former record's expansive grandeur, but it's by no means a restrained record: the orchestral sweeps of "I'm Leaving" and "The Losing Curse" are epic, and pedal steel swells and classic pop of closer "Less Pain Forever" (named for the Valley band of the same name) is perfectly suited for wide-screen viewing, but there's a certain rangy quality to the proceedings. "This Desert" isn't quite as scrappy as the band's debut, Blame it on the Scenery, but it's close, and the apocalyptic honky-tonk of "No Motion" trembles and quakes with gritty soul.
And unlike previous records, which featured David Bazan of Pedro the Lion, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World, and members of Calexico, there's no massive guest roster. Friends Jon Rauhouse, Davey von Bohlen of The Promise Ring/Maritime, and songwriter Matt Maher stop by, but the band pared down with Sons of Men.
"The first two records we wanted to have as many guests as possible because that's what was fun for us," Bufano says. "It was so fun to have people we're fans of come play. This time around, we kind of got it into our heads that maybe we should try and do as much as we can on our own. Not that there's not guests - because there definitely is - [but] instead of [saying] 'Let's have so-and-so play piano on this,' it was like, I'll just stumble through it. The take will be a little bit more raw, but [we were fine with that.]" -- Jason P. Woodbury
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