Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week
We're just about three weeks into 2014 and it seems like the concert schedule has finally shaken off its post-holiday doldrums. Bands and musicians everywhere -- especially those of the touring variety -- have finally finished their month-long sabbaticals and returned to the grind of the road. And you, the die-hard music fan, ultimately will reap the benefits, as the calendar of upcoming shows in the days and weeks ahead is overflowing with must-see artists and fun shows.
Jacob Daneman Parquet Courts are scheduled to perform tonight at Crescent Ballroom.
To wit: This week's offerings include a couple of Brooklyn faves at the Crescent (such as scrappy post-punkers Parquet Court later tonight and eclectic art rockers Islands on Thursday), a few singer-songwriters (like onetime Lumineers instrumentalist Maxwell Hughes), and even a throwback to the heyday of third-wave ska (a.k.a. Reel Big Fish). Read on and rock on.
Even as a happy person, if a relationship ends and you happen to be a singer-songwriter, chances are good that your next album or batch of songs is going to be negative. Sad? Sure. Angry? Almost certainly. Confused? Quite likely. But self-assured? Happy? Relieved, even? These are not the emotions you expect to find in a post-breakup record, but they're exactly the sentiments that filled Josh Ritter's 2013 release, The Beast in Its Tracks.
The acoustic strummer "New Lover" actually sees Ritter congratulating his ex on finding a new lover. "Joy to You Baby," for its part, is the sort of ebullient acoustic pop track that should accompany Christmas ads, and it's hard not to do a double take on "A Certain Light" when Ritter sings "I'm happy for the first time in a long time." Sure, there are moments of darkness and discomfort on tracks like "Evil Eye" and "Nightmares," but Ritter's tone and the music's surprisingly upbeat nature offer unexpected juxtaposition. The Beast in Its Tracks -- and Ritter, by extension -- surprise with their uncanny ability to do the unexpected even in the face of great pain. -- Brian Palmer