Yes, as you can see by the poster for the event, that "fellow" is a didgeridooist. It sure does take balls, in this day and age, to put yourself out there and to play that instrument in the hopes of entertaining people. Hell, booking music and comedy is a slippery slope, but that hardly seems to bother Doggass Productions. They have quite a night of music, comedy, art and aboriginal tree pipes lined up for the willing patrons of Tempe's Sail Inn.
Didgeridoos aside, Doggass Productions is out to promote the local scene in The Valley, and I couldn't be more proud. They have a list of reasons why the local scene in AZ is often lacking, and while I don't fully agree with all the points on the list (i.e. gas prices too high and lack of media coverage), I do agree with the sentiment as a whole. It's a bitch in the Valley for local bands to emerge and make a national name for themselves, and Doggass' point about there not being a venue in the Valley, such as LA's Whiskey A Go-Go, that draws fans no matter who is playing, is spot-on, unfortunately. It really is a slippery slope trying to pin down just why the 'Nix doesn't have an awesome local scene like Portland, Seattle, or Austin.
Now, I know that's a lofty goal to try and measure up to those cities, but I'm from Portland and I know that the burgeoning music scene today in Portland wasn't always like how it is. There was a time when Everclear and the Dandy Warhols were the only bands of note coming out of Portland, and that was just the way things were. Now there is an indie rock and flannel/beard explosion coming out of Portland, and roughly a million bands call the Rose City home (maybe I'm fudging that number a little bit, but still, there's a lot of bands). Indie rock became popular, and bands like The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie and The Helio Sequence started becoming marketable. Other musicians noticed what was happening, bought an umbrella and moved their asses to Portland in the hopes of making something of their music.
Phoenix doesn't really have a bunch of bands that cater to a style that is going to become hugely marketable in the foreseeable future. What new genres can really emerge that haven't already, anyway? The Maine are out there doing their thing, Lydia is touring across the country, and Dear and the Headlights just played Coachella. These are steps -- baby steps -- in the right direction. The venue question, however lingers. The Valley has the potential -- not to mention the population -- to emerge on the national scene, and I have faith that it can one day become a fertile proving grounds for legions of new, hip bands.
For now, however, we have the kickass people at Doggass Productions
doing their thing, putting on local showcases at local venues like Last Exit and Sail Inn -- both venues capable of becoming that one, go-to spot. This Friday's showcase is at the Sail Inn
and features Jenny Lynn Rock Band, Geoffrey J.
, Goodbye To Pretty
and Darkness Dear Boy
. In addition to that, comedians Ben Vitoff
and Sean McCarthy will perform. Oh, and there's that didgeridooist Brian Purdy
Things are slated to get underway at the Sail Inn at 8:00 PM.
Check out Doggass Productions' MySpace page here