Top Five Phoenix Music Stories of the Week
The news waits for no one -- at least that's what we read somewhere -- so it's perfectly understandable that you, the reader, might have missed out on a musical tidbit, breaking news about your favorite venue, or one of our rants.
So enjoy this digest-style sampling of some of our biggest stories from the week of August 27-September 2.
Shawn Wolf is a Juggalo -- one of countless fanatics of rap outfit Insane Clown Posse. But outside of his punk appearance, there isn't that much that's unusual about the 31-year-old. Sure, he sports a three-inch goatee and his hair is buzzed into a slicked-back mohawk, but he's a remarkably normal guy: He's currently enrolled in online classes at Full Sail University, he encourages his kids to participate in sports, he likes to grill with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, and he likes dogs (cat dander makes his tear ducts swell up).
Like any other Juggalo worth his salt, Wolf and his wife Esther made the trek from their home in Cottonwood to Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, two weeks ago for the annual Gathering of the Juggalos. The 1,545-mile drive proved to be extra-special as Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope unveiled "probably the biggest announcement of our career."
At the festival, the duo declared that they would be launching a lawsuit against the FBI for branding Juggalos a hybrid gang last year and aiding fans who have been adversely affected by the classification. Spin Magazine caught Wolf breaking down after the announcement, reporting, "He'd lost custody of his young son solely because of his ICP fandom." But that's not exactly accurate. "The magazine got it wrong," Wolf says. "They said I lost custody of my son. I did not lose custody of my son. Basically, I never had custody."
Read more about the story of this Arizona juggalo. --Anthony Sandoval
George Lewis Jr., who records and performs as Twin Shadow, sounds distant over the phone. His voices sounds weary, which we're willing to attribute to his constant touring schedule. He's worn-out but sharp, his mind seemingly on a constant rush. It's a fascinating world, the life of a musician, especially one whose perceived eccentricities have played a huge role in his rising star. Lewis Jr. draws inspiration from personal stories about relationships, both present and past, and experiences on the road. Sometimes, it's difficult to separate the man in the music from the man who creates it.
His full-length debut, Forget, sounds accomplished, a confident highlight from a musician who seems well versed in his creative process. With his forthcoming release Confess, Lewis Jr. appears to be on a constantly evolving quest to expand and explore his creative palette.
Up On The Sun caught up with Lewis Jr. for a quick glimpse into his fascinating mind. We spoke about the spontaneity and commitment to making honest music.
Up on the Sun: You've been to Arizona a few times. Tucson's the last show I remember, how was that? George Lewis: I don't remember much from that show, but it was cool. I actually got the guitar I play now from a store in Tucson.
Have you been to Arizona for something other than a show before? Yeah, actually one time I was playing bass for a band and we were in Tucson and hung out for a couple of days, and I did some hiking there. It was fun.
Read the entire Twin Shadow interview. -- Ade Kassim
Rapper Kendrick Lamar had some choice words about voting earlier this week. Namely, that it's pointless.
"My vote counts? I'm not voting, I don't do no voting. I will keep it straight up real with you," Lamar says in an interview with truthisscary.com. "You talk to me, and you'll be talking with me for hours because everything has a contradiction, everything has a higher ranking and is way beyond us, way beyond people. So basically, do what you do, do good with your people and live your life because what's going on is not really in our hands."
The sentiment is likely to be an unpopular one with most people, but local MC JustUs of hip-hop duo Cut Throat Logic knows where the Compton, California-native is coming from.
"Unfortunately, and this is the first time I'm going to say it, I feel the same way," JustUs says. "I'm going to vote, but I'm going to write myself in the ballot."
Cut Throat Logic is scheduled to share the stage with Lamar at the Celebrity Theatre on Thursday, October 11. We caught up with JustUs to talk about working with Kanye collaborator Lifted on CTL's new record, and why he thinks Lamar may have a point.
Read more views from MC JustUs. -- Anthony Sandoval
Editor's Note: It's with heavy hearts that Up on the Sun reports that Mark Erickson, local songwriter and musician known for his roles in Colorstore, Gospel Claws, and Roar, has passed away. Longtime Phoenix New Times music writer Serene Dominic brings us this note of remembrance. Our condolences are extended to Erickson's friends, family, and fans.
It was around midnight. I went to Lost Leaf expecting to see Make My Baby playing or at least setting up only to see a bare red stage. Manager Tato Caraveo informed me that the show had cancelled on account of Mark Erickson. "Is he playing a solo set?' I asked. Then I got the bad news.
It was only two Saturdays ago at the Los Dias de la Crescent celebration that I spoke to Mark at length, probably the only time we have ever spoken at length that wasn't in a New Times capacity. I'm not a close friend by any stretch but we had a mutual respect thing going, so that might count for something. When people describe you by using your first name as an adjective, you know you're on the outside looking in.
Recounting our conversation to friend who knew him a lot better, trying to make sense of the senseless, all he could say was "Mark was just being Mark."
Read more about Mark Erickson. -- Serene Dominic
Word has broken that an altercation took place early this morning at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale that resulted in two people being stabbed.
According to Scottsdale Police officials and a number of posts on Facebook, a dispute took place between patrons of the dive bar/music venue at approximately 1:30 a.m. during the weekly Rebel Yell dance night and escalated into violence.
Per Sergeant Mark Clark of Scottsdale P.D., two male patrons at the Rogue confronted the suspect in the alleged stabbing, claiming he was hitting on their girlfriends. The would-be lothario then allegedly pulled a knife and stabbed one of his accusers in the face and the other in the arm. It is unknown whether the incident took place inside the bar or in the parking lot outside.
Read more about the altercation at Rogue Bar. -- Benjamin Leatherman
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