Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week
I guess it's harder not to hold it against the other four when it's framed that way. But if you find yourself at any of these shows -- or anything else on our concert calendar -- and suddenly feel guilty about that, remember that you can donate to Feeding America after non-benefit shows, too. Remember, also, that if you only went to benefit shows, Kid Rock would eventually be homeless himself.
California Wives - Rhythm Room - Tuesday, July 22
One of my favorite fake rock genres I just made up is "Generally Happy Guys Who Like The Strokes Rock." It's characterized by clean, interlocking guitar riffs; complex, precise drumming; and not being nearly as depressed or cryptic about youth and decay as the guy who wrote "But kids are always honest / 'cause they don't think they're ever gonna die" is.
California Wives probably owe more to a super-relaxed, alternate-universe version of U2 than they do the Strokes -- there's some "chillwave" in songs like "Photolights," though it's there precisely because that term has rapidly become so vague that we have to quarantine it in scare-quotes -- but it's the combination of that strangely pleasant loneliness and instrumental care that sets them apart from similar bands.
They'll be joined at Rhythm Room by fellow Chicagoans My Gold Mask, whose latest album, Leave Me Midnight, manages to make its new wave revival ingredients sound a little like the backdrop to a movie-cultist's arcane rituals.