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click to enlarge Bellows

Bellows

Bellows (Oliver Kalb) writes gentle musical meditations, sometimes silly, often profound. Enlisting saxophones, organic and sequenced drums and guitar to underscore his humble lilt, he crafts low-key builds beneath his yearnings to be a better human. Like an upbeat Mark Kozelek, Kalb searches for reasons and ways to love himself, never losing perspective on his tiny place in the greater universe of Brooklyn, New York. Like a mindful Stephen Malkmus, he calls himself out on human folly, "Sucking orange juice, from the tonic water bottle/You turn to me and ask me if I'm through/And I laugh at you and throw away the bottle ... with every bottle, I consume." Bellows is still touring its fourth album, 2016's Fist & Palm, before re-entering the studio to record an even more mindful and self-reflective collection of Housekeeping songs. Bedroom rock at its apex, and Kalb is cleaning out his closet for the whole world to see. With Lowlife. Tuesday, July 10, Owls Club, 236 S. Scott. Doors at 8 p.m. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

click to enlarge MRCH
  • MRCH

MRCH. Phoenix's MRCH might make ultimate summer jams. Breathy pop hooks arch across electro beats and melodies, nodding to at once to Blondie, Mazzy Star and Broken Social Scene, while spicing the genre with up-to-the-minute recording and production. The dynamic, married duo plays live guitar, drums and synth while singer Mickey Pangburn vamps, eggs on and powers her way through one dreamy hook-fest after another. "Highway drivin' in the city streets/Gonna get my baby up to speed." Repetitive and hypnotic, like an aural Warhol, MRCH lures the listener in and drives him on a cross-town, top-down cruise through fifty years of pop music. There is a deceptive simplicity to the melodic ramblings, and a loyal adherence to groove which makes every song on their most recent album, Reactions, compelling. And at the band's core is an unquestionable lover's interlanguage, with palpable and sustaining chemistry. With Fringe Class, Infinite Souls and Sur Block. Club Congress, 311 East Congress St. Sunday, July 8. Doors at 8 p.m. 21+. Free. —B.S. Eliot

click to enlarge Jesika von Rabbit with the Spindrifts
  • Jesika von Rabbit with the Spindrifts

Jesika von Rabbit with Spindrift. To dismiss Jesika von Rabbit's psych rambles as kitsch would be criminal. Part Gaga, part Crystal Method and all John Waters, she has long been hailed as the "queen of the high desert." With songs like "Gaydar" and "Glamorous Misery," von Rabbit's solo career is danceable, witty electropop which highlights her brains and her moxy at once. She garnered acclaim as the front woman of Gram Rabbit, which aurally represented all things Joshua Tree; country and western heritage, psych drugs and a vibrant LGBTQ culture. On this tour, she's joined by a Tucson native, bassist Lee Joseph, who was part of Tucson's punk rock first wave (The Suspects, White Pages, etc.) and who now runs Dionysus Records and pens the soon-to-return Vintage Vinyl column in Tucson Weekly. Also on the bill: Filmic, spaghetti western band Spindrift, founded by composer/producer Kirpatrick Thomas almost a quarter century ago, as well as the mighty Crystal Radio with Gabriel Sullivan. The show promises to be visually, topically and aurally engaging and inventive. Tuesday, July 10, Club Congress, 311 East Congress Street. Doors at 7 p.m. $10. 21+.—B.S. Eliot

Anarbor. It's hard to hate a band based on real teen angst. And this Phoenix foursome have been at it since high school, churning out pop punk and then alternative pop (think 311 meets Green Day post "I Walk Alone") for nearly a decade. Whether "18 and Crazy" and pissing off her rich girlfriend's parents or chasing down "Dopamine," Anarbor pump each song with heart. It's easy to see why they are longtime soundtrack faves, having appeared widely across television networks and in the movies—they are the snot-nosed sound of awkward, rebellious but ultimately remorseful suburban-raised pups. And yes, one of them really did off himself during the struggle of adolescent self-discovery. Although myriad bands have come up with a similar sound before them, Anarbor has never made the mistake of playing what others want to hear—so they remain, forever young and self-deprecating and painfully true to themselves. With Silent Rival and The Sometimes. Friday, July 6. 191 Toole. Doors at 7 p.m. $10. 16+. —B.S. Eliot

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