6 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week, 6/23 - 6/26
As always, check out our comprehensive concert listings if you don't see anything that strikes your fancy. What are you> seeing this week?
Lee Bains III is a white, Christian Southerner, and yes, he knows exactly how that reads. Over the course of the 10 tracks on Dereconstructed, his sophomore album with his band the Glory Fires, he chews on and wrestles with the idea of Southern identity, reflecting on a place where segregation festered while Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals musically broke down the barriers between black and white. "We were raised on ancient truths, and ugly old lies," Bains sings on the title track, twang thick in his voice. Cut live in a friend's basement by punk iconoclast Tim Kerr and pressed to wax by venerable indie label Sub Pop, it's a greasy and amplified record, Southern rock by geographical definitions and sound. Tangled in kudzu and conflicted, Bains attempts to explore a complicated South, trying to make sense of culture, religion, justice, and race in America. Bains doesn't pretend to speak for anyone other than himself, but he forcefully challenges the idea that the American South is any one thing. "[Any time] a culture establishes a sort of singular identity or narrative, or takes on one, it can be really destructive and very misleading," Bains says. With Deconstructed, Bains attempts to reconcile faith, history, and tradition the best way he knows how: he cranks up the guitars and howls. -Jason P. Woodbury
Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale were veteran songwriters before they got began collaborating on what would become the duo's first album, Prologue. Fourteen solo albums between them, to be exact. But when they started writing songs, they stripped the sound from their previous projects and began writing melancholy, earnest songs on just a pair of 1950s Martin acoustic guitars. The result was The Milk Carton Kids, and since Prologue, the duo has released another album, The Ash & Clay, toured across the country, including primo official sets at South By Southwest, and gained a fiercely loyal following. Their live show is unexpectedly great, as well. Ryan and Pattengale perform in their Sunday best and break the somber tone of their songs with playful - nay, delightful - stage banter. The duo's silky, effortless harmonies recall Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Pattengale shreds the occasional solo like an acoustic Hendrix. The overall package is irresistible. --David Accomazzo