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  • Article

    French Quarter - S/T (Gilgongo Records)

    One problem with the popular singer-songwriter genre is an egocentric focus on storytelling elements that feel a bit too sophisticated. Unfortunately, this lack of connection with the listener normally equals a disposable product rather than a timele...

    by Steve Jansen on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Various Local Artists - Thoughts Become Things (www.staticmanagementonline.com)

    This compilation easily could serve as a "Greatest Hits" of the Phoenix indie-rock scene. The CD opens with "Various Kitchen Utensils" by Skybox, a band that relocated to Chicago a couple years ago but whom we still claim as our own because their bra...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    USSA - The Spoils (Fuzz Artists)

    With song titles such as "Dead Voices," "Cruel Beauty," and "Forget Yourself," it's a sure bet the USSA debut disc isn't going to be tagged power-pop or Americana. With members including Paul Barker of Ministry and Duane Denison of Jesus Lizard (and ...

    by Mark Keresman on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Joni Mitchell - Shine (Hear Music)

    There's gotta be something in the coffee at Hear Music. Not only did they snatch Paul McCartney away from a 40-plus-year relationship with EMI, but they also got the elusive (and often reclusive) Joni Mitchell to go back into the recording studio nin...

    by Ernest Barteldes on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Gojira

    The main difference between all the "Earth-friendly" artists that jumped on the Live Earth bandwagon (or flew to the concerts on fuel-guzzling private jets, in the case of the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers) and French death-metal band Gojira...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Guitar Shorty

    He played with some of the best when he was just 17: Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Otis Rush, B.B. King and T-Bone Walker. Guitar Shorty (born David Kearney) credits the flamboyant Guitar Slim with inspiring him to incorporate somersaults and flips into hi...

    by Chris Parker on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Phosphorescent

    Hold a Will Oldham look-alike contest, and Alabama native Matthew Houck might just win it (not that you could tell from his severely backlit Pride album cover). And like Oldham's former Palace Music collective, Phosphorescent is pretty much Houck and...

    by Rob Trucks on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Georgie James

    For an indie-pop group, Georgie James has had a rapid ascent, and they deserve it. Former Q and Not U drummer John Davis put his head together with the band's other primary member, fellow Washington, D.C., songwriter Laura Burhenn, in 2005. Before lo...

    by Ben Westhoff on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Halloween 2007 - So much beat it's scary

    Ghouls and goblins aren't the only things that are gonna go bump in the night during the next seven days, as countless DJs, turntablists, and spin doctors will blasting phat beats all across P-town in celebration of the annual frightfest known as Hal...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Seven Nights of DJs and Dancing - Who's spinning what, where and when

    Thursday 25 Andersons Fifth Estate: MODE Thursdays with Sol Martinez, Sonique des Fleurs, & guests (deep house) Baja Tillys: DJ Adrian (old school, R&B, cumbia, reggaeton) Big Fish Pub: Chronik Frequency Thursdays with the Hazardous Crew fea...

    on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Some R&R

    I still have a headache from visiting R&R Stix in East Mesa. I usually wait a couple of days after I hit a bar to review it (mostly to rid myself of the hangover), but I can't wait to get this place down on paper. I'm feeling like hell, my stomach ac...

    by C.M. Redding on October 25, 2007
  • Article

    Furious George

    What seems like a million years ago -- but was really just half-a-lifetime, when I was 15 or 16, I was a faithful/fanatical reader of Maximum Rock N Roll. If you don't know, it was the bible of punk rock, a newsprint compilation of all the obscuritie...

    @ Up on the Sun on March 6, 2007 @ 12:23 pm
  • Article

    Marketing Lessons

    The band SiOP's press release begins, "SiOP was formed in the summer of 1998 and has been on the rise ever since." Truth is, SiOP never left 1998 and its plethora of shit bands: Static-X, Papa Roach, Linkin Park, the Bizkit, etcetera. Here's the go...

    @ Up on the Sun on March 5, 2007 @ 11:42 am
  • Article

    Still the Circle K of record stores

    Sadly, things haven't changed much. Except for the fact that indie bastions Eastside Records and Stinkweeds have had to downsize -- Eastside cutting its store size in half, and Stinkweeds closing up its Tempe location. And Zia, it appears, has stayed...

    @ Up on the Sun on March 1, 2007 @ 11:17 am
  • Article

    Maverick Mavis - This Staples Singer still wants to change the world

    Mavis Staples may be 68 years old, but the righteous fire that distinguished so many of her rich, bottomless vocals during an extraordinary 50-plus-year career continues to burn brightly. When asked why the songs of struggle that make up We'll Never ...

    by Michael Roberts on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Pit Stop - You can mosh, potato

    There was a time, in the early '90s, when there was no mosh pit I wouldn't brave. I loved the sweat-drenched chaos, the primordial release of pent-up aggression, the feeling of being one with a motley mass of metalheads. I even took pride in my post-...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Make It Merc - Friday night gets fancy

    After taking a week off, we wanted to return to the scene with some class. So instead of slumming it with plastic cups and scummy restrooms, we decided to check out the Phoenix dig that's known for a hot mess of $30K millionaires, the Merc Bar. On Fr...

    by Lilia Menconi on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    The Diva in Mr. John - New bio has a fresh take

    Until now, Elton John, Philip Norman's 1992 unauthorized biography of the piano man, has stood as the definitive word (also updated in 2000 as Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography, for those who missed the point). That's the tome where we first learne...

    by Serene Dominic on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Peel It Up - Memoir of a radio hero

    Were you one of the thousands of hopefuls who submitted demo tapes to BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel? Perhaps he didn't play it, let alone include it on his annual Festive 50 list. But consider this: Did you describe your music as "jazz"? Boast about your ...

    by Mike Appelstein on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Witchcraft - The Alchemist (Rise Above)

    This CD sounds like sitting in the back of a 1976 Dodge van, surrounded by blacklight posters, clouds of incense smoke, and stacks of 8-tracks. Musically, it's like some time-warped orgy of Cream, Black Sabbath, and Electric Light Orchestra; lyricall...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 18, 2007
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