Top Five-Must See Shows in Phoenix This Week
Holy crap! What a weekend. We had the soggy but stellar Carnaval Eléctrico with Cold War Kids, Hanni El Khatib, Mergence, and more at Crescent Ballroom, the raucous Rampage Fest with Nü Sensae, White Lung, Allah-Las, and more at Sail Inn, and a thoroughly enjoyable but exhausting performance by Matt & Kim at Marquee Theatre.
Peach Kelli Pop is scheduled to perform Monday, March 11, at Trunk Space.
But such is the glory of SxSW runoff here in the 480/602. There's more this week, believe it or not: Kool A.D. of Das Racist's new hardcore band, Party Animal, future pop act Ruby Suns, psychedelic Tucson-based road warriors Saint Maybe, and more. Read 'em and weep, babies: Top Five Must-See Shows This Week. -- Jason P. Woodbury
When writing about Things As They Are, the debut LP by Tucson psychedelic outfit Saint Maybe, for my 10 Best Things I Heard in 2012 column, I noted the album's sprawling, wide-open desert quality: "[It] sounds like the space between Phoenix and the Old Pueblo. It feels like a late-night drive, the radio tuned to some far off AM station playing a psychedelic Van Morrison B-side you've never heard."
Songwriter Oliver Ray says that about sums up the record's windswept ambiance. "It seems to stretch across a lot of distance," he says, taking a quick break from roasting beans at his coffee shop in Tucson, Café Aqui. Not long after our conversation, the band announced a West Coast tour, outlining dates with Patti Smith (Ray is a veteran of Smith's band), Don't, Blind Divine, Gabe Mintz, The Low Hums, and others.
"I like it," Ray says of balancing the life of a coffee roaster with playing music. He says the dual disciplines "somehow inform each other." Opening the shop while recording the LP also helped -- or in some ways forced -- Ray to subdue some of his nitpicking tendencies.
"I'm kind of a perfectionist when it comes to things," he says. "I'll have projects that I don't think of as perfect, so I'll never let them go."
Luckily, he let Things As They Are go. Opening with "Everything at Once (And More)," an out-there garage rock barnburner Anton Newcombe would kill to have written, the record explores Dylan-esque folk on tracks like "Houses for Ghosts" and "She's Alright" (no coincidence -- drummer Winston Watson played in Dylan's backing band), blue-eyed reggae/fuzz rock on "Delicate Prey," and desolate country noir on "Everything That Rises." -- Jason P. Woodbury