Gotta Have the Phunk

Valley rap-rock pioneers return with a new record

Organizers expect the total amount of proceeds from the concert and CD to approach nearly $20,000 -- money which will significantly help dent Moore's sizable medical bill. New Times will keep you posted on any developments with the record and video releases.

Über Crooner Bids Adieu: Stephen Ashbrook, front man for Satellite and his own eponymously titled combo, has announced that he will be leaving the Valley permanently for the greener pastures of Portland, Oregon. Ashbrook says the decision is motivated in part by his connection to the region -- both his and his wife's families reside in the Pacific Northwest -- as well as a desire to explore musical opportunities there. Ashbrook recently signed on with a new Los Angeles-based management firm and plans to begin work on a follow-up to his 1998 solo effort Navigator.

The singer-songwriter adds that he hopes to continue making regular visits to the Valley, playing both solo and full-band gigs, even after moving in the spring.

The Phunk Junkeez are back with their first album in nearly three years.
The Phunk Junkeez are back with their first album in nearly three years.
Ramona the Pest rolls into the Valley.
Ramona the Pest rolls into the Valley.

Ashbrook's local "farewell" will take place during his popular weekly happy-hour slot at Long Wong's on Mill. The singer will run through his normal acoustic set before being joined onstage by mates from Satellite and a handful of guests for a Last Waltz-type showcase. The Ash-travaganza will take place on Thursday, March 29, starting at 6 p.m.

Pest Control: Over the course of five years and six albums, Berkeley, California's Ramona the Pest has quietly become one of the more intriguing developments in the Bay Area. Led by indie chanteuse Valerie Esway, and frequently accompanied by a collective of musicians including guitarist Lucio Menegon, the group has been earning raves for its dark and atmospheric pop. Ramona the Pest's latest effort, the self-released Little Knives, combines the best elements of its more obvious influences -- Cowboy Junkies, Lisa Germano, Geraldine Fibbers -- into an intriguing 12-song platter.

The group will be hitting the Valley for a pair of performances this week, first on Thursday, January 25 at the Willow House, and then a January 27 bill at Modified with local fem-punkers Über Alice. Showtime for both is 9 p.m.

Mojo Risin': Country star Dwight Yoakam's longtime bassist Taras Prodaniuk brings his fine eclectic roots combo, Mojo Monkeys, into town to open a Saturday, January 27 show at the Bash on Ash in Tempe for Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. The Mojo Monkeys features Prodaniuk and a cast of estimable career sidemen, including drummer/vocalist David Raven (Carlene Carter, Paula Cole, T. Bone Burnett) and guitarist/vocalist Billy Watts (Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne). The group frequently appears with other L.A. music-scene notables, including blues harpist Hurricane Jake.

The band is represented by one long player, 1999's self-released effort Hang, a fetching mix of swamp, bayou blues, country and boogie-woogie stylings, featuring guests like fellow Yoakam alums Pete Anderson and Skip Edwards and blues-rock legend Delaney Bramlett. The Mojo Monkeys' opening set at the Bash is set to start around 9:30 p.m.

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