Manifesto: Words to Live By

• It's Phoenix. Keeping secret a store you've discovered and love may mean its demise. Tell your friends about it, and help your favorite shop stay open.

• If you are slow and patient, there is nirvana to be had on Seventh Avenue between Camelback and Indian School.

• Clerks who give you attitude should be reminded that they're the help. Loudly.

Subtle Takeover
Subtle Takeover

• Sometimes quantity is more important than quality. That's why we have dollar stores.

MUSIC: Jay Bennett

• The thinking that Phoenix isn't a good music town is bullshit. There are excellent touring acts playing almost every night of the week, and more than enough good local bands playing nearly as often.

• Don't be guilted into "supporting local." National or local, it's okay to like what you like.

• You haven't heard your favorite local band yet, even though you're absolutely sure you have.

• Stop talking about building a scene that will grab the nation's attention. It either happens or it doesn't — and it probably won't. But that's okay.

• And speaking of "scenes," the media's job isn't to build them up or even to promote or support bands. It's to report on, critique, analyze, and contextualize.

• A musician's technical proficiency is a beautiful thing, but it's overrated. To paraphrase Steve Earle's character on HBO's Treme: There's a surplus of players, but only a handful of artists.

• Originality, a honed performance, and a musical vision (and adherence to it) are never overrated.

• Three bands is — and has always been — the optimum number at any rock show.

• After 35 minutes on stage, the only sound coming from a non-headlining band should be the breaking down of their gear.

• Your band isn't nearly as good as you think it is. But that's okay, too. And by all means, keep working on it.

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My Voice Nation Help

Weak sauce at best. Quoting tv characters for insight? Insulting opening bands? I managed a venue in CA a few years ago, and the opening act was Taylor Swift. Every artist starts as an opening act. As for your shopping and food attitudes, it explains why so many people think Phoenix is filled with knuckleheads, all politics aside. If you choose a restaurant based on dead plants or peeling paint, that says more about you than it does the food. 


Above all, be open to the rantings of the most ignorant electorate in the nation and they've got the "sociopaths in charge" to prove it.