This Friday's Viva PHX Music Festival, which takes over downtown Phoenix for a night, won't just feature popular national bands tearing it up on 14 Valley stages. Included in the lineup of more than 70 musical acts are some of the most notable local bands to represent the Valley. As you navigate your way through the festival map, here are four standouts to put on your radar.
The side project of The Love Me Nots' husband-and-wife team Nicole Laurenne and Michael Johnny Walker, electro-pop band Zero Zero is growing along with their fan base, with the addition of bassist Lindsey Bair and drummer Scottie White of Crusher Sound System and The Drunken Immortals.
The group will debut a new track, "Suffer," during its 11 p.m. set at Last Exit Live, along with music from its new album, Plus One, on local label 80/20 Records.. The album contains live music from a 2013 Last Exit Live performance, along with a new studio track called "You Know What 2 Do," of which the video depicts creepy Nerf gun attacks set to a hypnotic melody.
Chances are good you've seen Treasurefruit frontwoman Anamieke Quinn if you've gone to a local show lately. The singer/guitarist also plays bass in Ruca and helms her own artist management company, Sidepony Music, putting on her own annual Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee. Her indie rock group, Treasurefruit, is unique in that the trio plays sans bass, solely with two electric guitars and a drummer. "I know it sounds odd, but we think it sounds pretty good," Quinn says. "I write all the songs on guitar, and the melody and lyrics are woven into it. I'm not saying we'll never have a bass player, but for now, it's this, and we are kind of digging it." The group is working on new material for summer single releases, which it will debut at its 7 p.m. Last Exit Live set.
"Dream pop" is a good way to describe Bogan Via, a local duo playing electronic folk melodies with lots of synths and harmonies. "We're dark at times, but still floaty," says vocalist/synth and percussion player Maddie Miller. Their unique sound must be working, since they've had some big recent shows in Los Angeles, including FOMO Fest 2014 and a spot opening for Deerhoof. At their 8 p.m. Crescent Ballroom show for Viva PHX, Miller and vocalist/synth and guitar player Bret Bender promise an enchanting new light show, plus new songs from their upcoming summer release album and sloth shirts for sale.
Dry River Yacht Club
Gypsy rock band Dry River Yacht Club is representing the local scene in a big way with three South By Southwest shows next week, one a night from Thursday, March 13 through Saturday, March 15. But first, at their 11 p.m. set at the historic Hotel San Carlos for Viva PHX, they'll debut two new unreleased tracks from their upcoming eight-song vinyl release, El Tigre, which will debut in April and which drummer Henri Benard insists sounds much better than any of their previous records.
"Our songs are tighter, our sound is fuller, and it represents how we sound live," Benard says. "We have never had that in an album before, and that's all due to our wonderful producer Craig Schumacher, who has also worked with KT Tunstall, Neko Case, Calexico and DeVotchKa," to name a few. The group's currently promoting its latest All Souls Procession-inspired music video for "The Legend of El Tigre," which you can hear live at the show, also featuring T-shirt and CD giveaways.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Viva PHX? Tell us in the comments.
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