As we barrel toward the impending Arizona Centennial, we find ourselves contemplating a lot of things. Why would someone settle in this hot-as-bejeebus desert? Who serves the best burrito in the state? Most importantly -- where are the faces in the Grand Canyon? The Presidents?
We've been thinking a lot of about Arizona's storied musical history. The soul bands of funky Broadway, the metal of the '80s, jangling Mill Ave. It's easy for people dismiss AZ's music scene because not every band went on to be The Gin Blossoms or Jimmy Eat Word, but anyone who lives here, or has lived here, knows that there's serious stuff in our backpages: dudes like Lee Hazlewood and Duane Eddy in Coolidge; Tucson's Rondstadt Family; Floyd Ramsey's Audio Recorders; the Placebo Records scene of the '80s. Not to mention all of the happening stuff going on right now in Valley clubs, bars, and all-ages venues.
No matter how exhaustive a list we make, we know we're going to be leaving something deserving out. So we're opening the floodgates. We're going to start publishing our list of Arizona's 100 Greatest Songs in February of 2012, but not before you have a say.
It's simple, e-mail your selections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to focus on actual Arizona music, but we're being open-minded. Take, for example, one of our musical icons, Alice Cooper. When he recorded "Schools Out," he was an L.A. guy and a national sensation. Hard to claim as strictly AZ. But his older band, The Spiders? Yeah, that's Arizona music there, straight out of Cortez High School.
So the goal with this e-mail address is simply to start conversation. E-mail us as much information as you have, the "who, what, when, where, and whys" of it all. We don't need MP3 or YouTube videos, but we're happy to have them. We don't need contact info, but we're happy to have that, too. Wonder if a song "counts" as an Arizona song? Send it anyway and explain why it should or shouldn't.
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When we publish our list in February, people will complain that we left their favorite song off the list. No doubt. But this e-mail address is our best attempt to really try and listen to what you all have to say. So, please, send your lists, long or short, detailed or sketchy. We're excited to read them, and excited to hear Arizona music spanning the decades.
Get on it!