By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
If DIY gets you off the couch, great. But who couldn't use a little help promoting their snotty bands? Seven years ago, Micah Allan and Chris Lawson, with help from Bryan Sandell, started up azpunk.com to be the community forum punk has pretended it never needs. And not just to locals. For touring bands, AZPunk has been a valuable tool for linking up like-minded folks with its directories for bands, zines, record labels, venues, punk stores, and free classified ads.
Now AZPunk could use some help. "Our main huge expense is the dedicated server we need that can hold the amount of traffic the site gets on a daily basis," Allan says. We've got 31,000 registered members and 2,000 members that are active on the site all the time."
Allan thought about offering premium membership and raised the idea on azpunk.com's message board. "It wouldn't fly. You can't ask people to pay for what they've gotten for free," he says.
They've been staging two benefit concerts a month for the past three months, but Allan felt they needed something more novel than six bands at J-Heads on a Saturday night. That's when Tom Reardon of Pinky Tuscadero WKAF came up with this phenomenal idea for a local band fundraiser: Six bands, four members each, no two from the same band, assembled with less thought than that of the last eight lineups of Menudo, given a name that people on a message board suggested, and given two months to come up with a 30-minute set of original material and one cover.
"It's positive for the local community to kick everybody in the ass," Allan says. "Right now, the scene is stagnant, boring. There's too much cynicism. A lot of bands, my band (Family Secret) included, have been playing the same shows over and over. And the shrinking of available venues hasn't helped. Tempe and Scottsdale are not places you want to open a punk rock club now." Case in point — a recently scheduled punk expo at Shayna's was canceled by the city of Scottsdale on the night of the show because, well, just because. Damn punks!
Well, come December 8, punk's gonna have a new face — six new dirty ones, in fact. And while it's got punks of different stripes and tribes working together, it wouldn't be punk without a little animosity spread around. There'll be three judges on hand, à la American Idol, determining the winner at an upcoming show called "Thrash of the Titans," but for now, everyone seems to want to assume the Simon Cowell role.
Talking about the diligent work habits of his temporary band, Gunfuck, Allan smiles as he recounts the emerging squabbles with the other bands. "Everybody's nervous but keeping a poker face about it. Some people are talking shit. Bro-Loaf has been all over MySpace and AZPunk, talking smack."
So far, on the AZPunk message board, Bro-Loaf is leading the charge (or ballot stuffing) with 38 percent of the popular vote. In last place is Arizona Joe and the Methadone 3 with 2 percent, which translates to only two votes. That means even the Methadone 3 couldn't be jazzed enough to vote for themselves.
How about you? Here are six band profiles, taken from our specially prepared Thrash of the Titans questionnaire, to help you to make a determination:
Kenyatta (NunZilla), Jay (Greenhaven), Josh (13 Black), Micah (Family Secret)
Advantages: Micah Allan of AZPunk is in the band and stands to lose the most face if Gunfuck chokes.
Disadvantages: They cite beer as their major influence and chief songwriter, but can't agree on Tecate or Stella.
Their sound: Allan says they're going for that punkametalbillyfunkthrashdoom-core sound.
Titan band that troubles them the least: "The Fuckin Rabbits should be quite the shit-fest."
Sample song lyric: "We Gunfuck you up."
Biggest internal drama: Allan's real band told him, "Either bring home the championship or don't bother coming back."
Ben (Casket Life), Kevin (The Earps), John (Mystery Pissers), Berenice (Pop Gestapo)
Advantages: They have this sickening brand of positivism that involves using "bro" and "awesome" a lot.
Disadvantages: The recent San Diego fires forced Kevin to leave Phoenix to help evacuate his family, and he was on tour with the Earps for the entire month of November. So he's missed a ton of practices, including the one where he would've drunk the Bro-Loaf Kool-Aid. When told this was a charity event, he countered, "Aw, fuck man. This keeps getting worse."
Their sound: Ben: "The same sound yer mammy's vag makes when it's getting bonered by Bro-Loaf!"
Titan band that troubles them the least: "That Arizona Joe blow band and that boner-back Sunday are doomed from their stupid names alone," Kevin says. "A band with 'Fuck' in their name has never historically done well, either . . . Oh, how their mothers must be proud."