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Friday, February 6 The Dollyrots Slidebar The Dollyrots have taken musical elements many OC fans might remember about the 1990s (snotty punk vocals, ska rhythms) and made them more palatable to a new generation of ears. Piling record scratches on top of lead singer Kelly Ogden's sleek and highly-produced voice, the uber-melodic arrangements also feature anthemic choruses. Signed to Joan Jett's Blackheart label, rock n roll never sounded so clean. See them for free this Friday at Slidebar (Brandon Ferguson)
PartyNextDoor The Observatory Yes, Canada continues to corner the market on AutoTune R&B sexiness. Thank Drake's OVO Sound label for that. And these days you can also thank Drizzy for his first signee, 21 year-old Jahron Anthony Brathwaite, a.k.a. PartyNextDoor. His first mixtape hit the Billboard Heat Seeker charts in 2013 and the young singer hasn't looked back since. With one foot in the club and one n the bedroom, PND is like an edgier version of the Weeknd, creating memorable anthems like "Recognize,"and Wus Good/Curious" that are poised to make him a household name with ladies, just like his label boss. See him in OC this weekend at the Observatory (Nate Jackson)
Saturday, February 7 Behemoth The Observatory Hailing from Poland, Behemoth formed in 1991 and earned a local following as a traditional black metal band, with early themes of Nordic Paganism and the occult and is led by singer and guitarist Nergal. Merging the mysticism and image of black metal with the force, precision and brutality of death metal, the band kept true to its lyrical content which explored ancient anti-Christian themes, as well as other Satanic philosophies. Key albums to check out include Satanica (1999) Thelma6 (2000) and The Apostasy (2007). The band almost dissolved when Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. After a long recovery however the band are back in full effect and the music isn't getting any less evil in sound. Lookout for songs from the band's new album, The Satanist, this weekend as the share the stage with metal legends Cannibal Corpse at the Observatory. (Alex Distefano) The Gin Blossoms The Coach House The Gin Blossoms first claim to fame? They were named Best Rock Band in a Phoenix New Times reader's poll back in the late '80s. And after a quick rise to almost-stardom, the Gin Blossoms fumbled, stumbled, found their footing and soldiered on, becoming one very successful band throughout the following decade. With songs like "Hey Jealousy," "Found Out About You" and "Until I Fall Away," the group's place in great '90s pop rock is undeniably cemented--if only for their spot on the Empire Records soundtrack. Their breakup in 1997 was quiet, and, thankfully, rather quick--they reunited in 2002 and have kept a steady pace of recording and touring since. Catch them at the Coach House this week and relive those glory years of '90s radio. (Erin DeWitt)
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Sunday, February 8
Zola Jesus Constellation Room Zola Jesus heads further into the woods on her fifth album, Taiga, which is named after the subarctic, boreal forests of Russia and North America. The Wisconsin native has drawn on the natural world before on albums such as Versions, but she's even deeper into the mystic with her new release. In the past, she's worked with sonic shape-shifters including J.G. Thirlwell, who broadened and darkened her songs even as she remained an ethereal presence floating above the icy soundscapes. Ms. Jesus' lovelorn vocals echo the human heart that beats underneath these layers of frosty synthesizers and muted beats, and at times her singing is so stirring, you can hear hints of spring approaching amid the haunted echoes of new tracks like "Go (Blank Sea)." (Falling James)