You see that gracious and introspective streak in the disarming exuberance Bonnette directs at everyone he chats with, from the waitress bringing a plate of chicken wings to the table ("Oh, wow, thanks!" he says, as though he's never been served such grand vittles in his life) to a sound engineer running the boards inside a flophouse studio where AJJ is performing live on a weekly punk show broadcast over the airwaves of a low-power FM station ("Oh, cool!" he says in response to an invitation to do a benefit show, as though he was just offered a headlining slot at Coachella). Watching that relentless positivity, it's easy to believe Bonnette has successfully talked a few people off bridges in his day job.

On that radio show, Bonnette and Gallaty play a few songs from their as-yet-untitled new record. It's great stuff — even if Gallaty hasn't yet learned one of the songs Bonnette is singing. The most amazing part? The way a song tentatively called "American Tune" is received by the show's co-host, a black guy named Tyrone who knows the main host, a punk dude named Wes, from the bar where Wes works. The song is about the advantages of whiteness in our country, with a refrain of "I'm a straight, white male in America / I've got all the luck I need" and Tyrone loves it, giving it the best compliment he can, calling it "the truth."

Bonnette hopes everything on the record is received as warmly.

Andrew Jackson Jihad: Downtown's proudest denizens.
Stephanie Carrico
Andrew Jackson Jihad: Downtown's proudest denizens.

Location Info

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Trunk Space

1506 Grand Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Category: Art Galleries

Region: Central Phoenix

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Andrew Jackson Jihad is scheduled to perform on Thursday, January 27, at the Trunk Space.

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"In the hindsight, after the songs are all written, there are four different themes: loneliness, social justice, personal integrity, and freedom," he says.

"And luck," says Gallaty, something Bonnette agrees with.

"Our band is different from other bands in that it's kind of magic. We've been really lucky. We haven't needed to work real jobs if we didn't want to for three years. We're making money on tour," says Gallaty. "I didn't have to take out student loans for my last semester of college."

That's an old cliche in these pages — seemingly every local band New Times talks to tells us their big dream is to give up their day jobs and make their living off music. Very few manage to do it. I tell Gallaty and Bonnette this.

"See, that's stupid. I want to work another job. I like working," Gallaty says.

You get the strong feeling he means it, too. Meaningful work seems to be a badge of honor for Bonnette and Gallaty. Perhaps that's one more giant difference between the people who scrabble up a life in "DPT" and the freelance consultant types trying to scam up some dough for designer cocktails in "CenPho."

Like he says, they live in very different worlds. Geographic neighbors, cultural strangers.

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5 comments
David Jackman
David Jackman

Nice article boyz, I couldn't agree more with the two downtown/central phx dimensions. If only we could be more like "other cities" and bring them together instead of this cliquiness. Perfect example: 2nd st/washington area where Bar Smith is. You have the white electro-hipster scene and then the Latin club/hip hop scene literally right next door. Neither party would dare even nodding their head's at one another, and no one wants to mix and match cuz everyone's so damn comfortable with their own scene. That, to me, is part of why this city does not have a "central" mentality and real cultural "core". It's the high school "cliquiness" that still permeates... Why? Maybe it's cuz most Phoenicians are from somewhere else, or just that we have caught the infectious california syndrome somewhere along the way of building our city. it's like this "beverly-hills-rollin-in-my-expedition-that-i-didnt-buy-now-let's-go-only-where-we-know-and-kick-it-with-out-clique-and-make-fun-of-other-groups" isolated attitude... I'm not trash talking my city. I love my city, I just want to point out what I think are some challenges that we need to overcome to make it even greater. I actually have been seeing things get much better... people are really branching out and 2011 is the year for us, no doubt! Now I just want to start seeing college kids feeling accepted at Conspire or Trunkspace and anarchist-punks chillin' at Casey Moores or Martini Ranch (i know that's scotts/tempe, but whatever) with no issues... long way to go (:

by the way, great set the other night at Rhythm Room!

-Jackman

dave mcullough
dave mcullough

VIVE LE AJJ!

In my book, Ben & Sean are solid folks.

Thedrunkenscoundrel
Thedrunkenscoundrel

I watched the local music scene die here 10 years ago-at least the venue part anyway-the bands are still around. Hopefully a diverse downtown culture will promote a more long-lasting scene in the future. There will always be clique-ish behavior, but if the two Phoenixes can co-exist it will help draw more attention and more support. I often bash the Valley, but it is the fact that the growth in sprawl has watered down our culture, self-identifying is the first step in building a community that can survive and thrive and enrich everyone's quality of life.

chris
chris

"freelance consultant types trying to scam up some dough for designer cocktails in "CenPho." -- 2nd best quote ever

Johnstooks
Johnstooks

"Fixed-gears are stupid, and their riders are elitists," Best quote ever...

 
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