Top Five Must-See Phoenix Shows This Weekend
You know what I like to do every year around this time? Go to the Back to School section at my nearest Target and buy some pens. (More selection than usual, and I can't pass up a deal on those Pilot Precise rollerballs.)
You might not be as boring as I am, though. If you aren't, or you've already finished your shopping, take a look at these five Phoenix shows that will make it worth your while to leave the backpack section. (View our complete concert calendar here.)
Lonnie Holley - Crescent Ballroom - Friday, August 23
Lonnie Holley's art begins with troubled times.
The 63-year-old's first artistic project was carving headstones for his sister's two children, who died in a house fire in Alabama in 1979. Since then, his found-object assemblages, paintings, and collages have endeared him to the fine art world -- they have even been displayed in the Smithsonian and the White House -- in part due to the patronage and care of Atlanta art collector and historian Bill Arnett.
He's always sung, too, recording crude cassettes full of impressionistic melodies. In recent years, Matt Arnett, Bill's son, has helped expose Holley's musical work. In 2012, Georgia folk label Dust-to-Digital released Just Before Music, featuring Holley's first professional recordings, and on September 3, the label will release Keeping a Record of It, a new album featuring contributions from Deerhunter's Bradford Cox and Cole Alexander of the Black Lips.
With its repetitive loops and free stretches of melody, Holley's music is often placed in "outsider" or "avant-garde" contexts. But at its core, Holley's music is folk music, and his chief concern is expressing the relationship of humans to their art.
"In a sense, the record has a lot of offerings being made toward the ways of life," Holley explains over the phone from Atlanta, having just finished a pastry and iced coffee at Octane Coffee/Little Tart Bakeshop with Arnett. "What I mean by that is our ways of life as humans; how that information gets to us." --Jason P. Woodbury