BEST PLACE TO HEAR EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC (2004)
With apologies to those goodhearted kids who make up the local music scene, the real place to go for truly experimental tuneage isn't even in the Valley itself. Be warned, getting a mate or two to accompany you on the hourlong drive north to Paolo Soleri's hippie-dippy haven, perched on a windswept hillside, is almost as frustrating as trying to explain which particular genre the musicians who frequent the place fit into. For instance, the exotic percussion reverberations of Italian "musicologist" Andrea Centazzo were hard to describe to friends, other than "it kind of sounds like the score to American Beauty." But once we got them to tag along to the open-air, starry-skied amphitheater, they were taken by the atmosphere and the freeform, unconventional harmonies. We skipped the CDs for sale (how can you re-create transcendence in a Toyota?), because now that we've rinsed out our brainpans, we're ready to crank up some Authority Zero or New Romantics on our way back down to Phoenix.