by Dan Gibson
This week is a little strange as far as live music goes, since there's something happening on Thursday that seems to have pre-empted any concerts in town (possibly the 7:30 p.m. performance of Cirque du Soleil's Alegria?), but there's at least one highlight tonight.
If you value your sanity, skip wildly misogynist rap/dance act 3OH3! at the Rialto and outdated rap/rock act HedPE at the Rock. Instead, go see Black Carl and What Laura Says at Club Congress.
Indie-rock takes on soul music are often troubling exercises, devoid of actual funkiness, but Black Carl pull the blend off well, especially live. They might just be Phoenix's best live band, and while they play in Tucson quite a bit, you never know when they might bolt Arizona for a bigger pond.
Black Carl, "The Wolf":
What Laura Says are an interesting Phoenix-area band as well, although not quite as dynamic as Black Carl. The upside is that their melodic "hey, let's blend classic rock and Phish-like jammy stuff!" sound makes for a compelling live show. You're never quite sure where they're going with their songs, but they're always pleasing to the ear.
What Laura Says, "Training":
Black Carl and What Laura Says play at Club Congress at 10 p.m. for $5.