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  • Blogs

    October 9, 2014

    Is the World of Music Better Now or Better Then?

    Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. He shares stories of great music and wacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always zany music biz. I'm closing in on a half century of existence -- an existence immersed in the world of entertainmen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2014

    Heavy Metal Television Seeks Crowdfunding Help

    What if you could donate to your favorite aspect of heavy metal, and receive a private drum lesson with Sacred Reich drummer Greg Hall? Or 25-year-old Metallica shirts that were never even for sale, just given to the crew? Or lunch with Veronica from Benedictum; a recording package at a top-notch st ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2014

    ASU Students Hate Nickelback, Coldplay, and Miles Davis, Spotify Says

    Back in December, music streaming service Spotify offered students a discount on its premium service, offering college kids a rate ($5/month) half of what us older rubes pay. The company has crunched the numbers of the students who took advantage of that offer, and the results have Arizona State U ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2014

    How Deep is Your Love: The Levels of Music Fandom

    Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. Biweekly, he shares stories of great music and wacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always-zany music biz. I was hanging out at Revolver Records the other day, and Andy (friend, former hoodlum, an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2014

    5 Reasons I Don't Review New Music

    Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. Biweekly, he shares stories of great music and whacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always-zany music biz. Generally when I tell people that I write about music, they assume I write reviews for ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Mindless Self Indulgence's Jimmy Urine: "We're Not Gonna Break Up Unless Somebody Dies."

    If ever there were a band to completely play by its own rules, it is Mindless Self Indulgence. Their DIY mentality has allowed them to develop a following and a musical style that singer Jimmy Urine describes as a, "really cool, crazy art project." The electro punk quartet-- featuring vocalist Urin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2013

    Top 5 Must-See Phoenix Shows This Week

    Easy mode is making a Boris Yeltsin joke when Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin comes to town. Hard mode is not making a Boris Yeltsin joke. Really hard mode is not making a Boris Yeltsin joke even though you think you've got a great one. Because it's probably not that great, is what I keep tryi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2013

    11 Albums to Help You Explore The Blues

    I've spent the past few weeks debating the merits of Vinyl (seven reasons) versus CD (five reasons) for those of us that still collect music (my final verdict is that both have great qualities, but CD is still better). It's been a fun little debate, but it doesn't really matter how you listen. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2013

    Seven Reasons Vinyl Really Is Better Than CDs

    Last week, I riled up the Mumfords with Five Reasons CDs are Better Than Vinyl. This week I'll try to get back in their good graces and give vinyl its due. I know what you're saying. "Pick a side, Geek" It might seem a little wishy-washy on the surface, but stay with me and I'll explain my logic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    David Lowery's Pandora Fight Continues: "Does Silicon Valley Need A Bailout?"

    Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker front man David Lowery is royally pissed. Make that royalty pissed for the lack of compensation he's received for the use of his songs on online webcasts, most notably Pandora.' On June 23, 2013, The Trichordist, a website for artists for an ethical and sustainable ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2013

    Music Parenting 101: The "Two Albums Before Bed" Rule

    As far as I'm concerned, people who don't ever listen to albums are music lightweights. By "albums", I don't mean actual vinyl records. I couldn't care less which configuration or delivery method you chose. I mean a specific group of songs in a certain order. As it is, I don't really care how yo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2013

    iTunes Radio Is Really About Buying Music, Not Streaming It

    After an unpleasantly long stretch on the rumor mill--even by Apple standards--complicated by a hard-bargaining Sony Music, iTunes Radio finally exists. For the most part, the rumor mill got it right: It's a lot like Pandora, it has text and audio ads (which feel strange on an Apple product), and it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    Steve Wiley: How Much Money Is Music Worth To You?

    How much is music worth to people? This isn't a new question for me. For the past 25 years I've fed my family by selling the stuff. And even though I haven't operated a brick-and-mortar record store for almost a year now, I'm still as curious about it, and as relatively uncertain, as always. Aft ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2013

    11 Ways to Survive Music Festivals on a Budget

    Let's face it: Arizona isn't exactly prime real estate for music festivals. Yes, we have the party-hard atmosphere of Country Thunder and the locally beloved McDowell Mountain Music Fest, the EDM-drenched Soundwave and some killer jazz fests. But our fair desert doesn't yet have the appeal or pull o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2013

    Google Play Music All Access Is the Goofiest-Sounding Spotify Competitor Ever

    There's a new Spotify competitor in town, and its name is -- take a breath here, if you're reading out loud -- Google Play Music All Access. What separates it from Spotify, besides the increased time it will take to type (or speak into your Google Glass)? It always costs money -- $9.99 a month, afte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 8, 2013

    Will Pandora and Spotify and the Internet Ever Figure Out How to Pay Artists?

    Music-discovery apps like Spotify and Pandora are free, but they have social costs. Among them: Every six months or so, we get an open letter from an artist who is being cut comically tiny checks for thousands of plays on one service or another. This week, it's musician and label-owner Blake Morgan, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    John Williams Is Coming to Phoenix; Here Are His Five Most Iconic Scores

    Legendary film composer John Williams is scheduled to appear at a benefit performance by the Phoenix Symphony on September 28. It's not like he needs to tour to help raise money for his kids' college fund, and he's probably busy with the Jurassic Park IV and new Star Wars soundtracks. There's no rea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2013

    Twitter #Music Doesn't Get Why Friends Give Friends Music

    Twitter #Music -- the music-discovery service from the people who brought you #SomaliDirectionersLoveZayn-style declarations of collectivist fandom love -- rolled out this week, and people are . . . not especially happy with it. A blunt summary of the problems with it was passed around among tech-li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2013

    The Faint to Bring Dance-y Sing-Alongs to That Damn Show

    The roster of touring acts of That Damn Show gives the festival the appearance of something that happened a decade ago. I remember being stoked to see acts like Bad Religion, Face to Face, and Fenix Tx for the first time in the early Aughts -- and, in some cases, at Mesa Amphitheatre. Wasn't Bad Rel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2013

    Record Store Day's Hot Heavy Metal Vinyl Releases

    It looks like all these Record Store Days are paying off. In 2012, global sales for vinyl records hit $171 million, their highest point since 1997--the same year that Hanson's "MMMBop" topped the charts. This Saturday, April 20, marks the sixth annual Record Store Day, when artists and labels dish ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2013

    Amber Rae Harrold, What Are You Listening To?

    Amber Harrold Harrold is the owner of CamelBackpackers: A Phoenix Hostel. For more information, go here. When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? NPR or 106.7 KWSS-FM. What's the first album you bought? Salt-n-Pepa, Very Necessary. I remember ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    Holy Ship!! Wrap-Up: It Was the Best of Times....

    There were a lot of grim faces on Monday morning as the electro-loving masses emerged off the MSC Poesia -- a.k.a. the EDM party boat Holy Ship!! -- and did a slow zombie shuffle through U.S. customs and back into the real world (a.k.a. Fort Lauderdale). Here in the industrial port, the sky was over ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2012

    New Phoenix Mixtape Pairs T.I., Lil Wayne, and E40 with Phoenix Rappers

    Rapper T.I. must have seen something he liked when he stopped by Phoenix this past weekend. His Atlanta-based record label Grand Hustle is showing Arizona some love with a new mixtape, The Phoenix Edition Mixtape. The 17-track release showcases some of the Valley's up and coming hip-hop acts inclu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2012

    Jason Hildebrandt, What Are You Listening To?

    Jason Hildebrandt Hildebrandt is the executive sous chef for Ocotillo Golf Resort. Meet him Thursday, October 18 at San Tan Brewery for a beer dinner at 6 p.m. For more information, go here. When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? KUPD 97.9-F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2012

    Allah-Las: Analog Garage Rock With Actual Soul

    By now you've no doubt read, re-read, shared on Facebook and Twitter, and angrily commented on our friends at West Coast Sound's monster of a list, The 20 Worst Hipster Bands. Like it or hate it, it's hard to debate one key fact brought up by Ben Westhoff: "...most of today's 20 and 30-something b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2012

    Marnie Wong, What Are You Listening To?

    Marnie Wong Wong is the co-owner and trainer at Boot Camp Babes, a fitness program for women. Find out more information at When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? I'm totally digging Spotify right now. I'm all over ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2012

    ArizonaTunes: River Jones Launches a Hopeful "Local Alternative to iTunes"

    See also: River Jones, What Are You Listening To? See also: River Jones Music Featured in NPR's Wavelength MagazineChances are, you've heard the name River Jones thrown around, either surrounding the many artists his label represents (such as Courtney Marie Andrews, Sareena Dominguez or You Me and A ... More >>

  • Music

    July 26, 2012
  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    Does Baroness' Yellow and Green Sound Like Nickelback?

    Hell hath no fury like metal fans "scorned." On July, 17, Savannah, Georgia, Baroness released its anticipated double record, Yellow and Green. Embraced by the kind of people who often ignore metal and backhandedly complimented as a "thinking man's metal band," Baroness' string of recordings -- F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 26, 2012

    As The Black Keys Take on Pizza Hut, We Wonder What Selling Out Even Means Anymore

    See also: What Are the Ten Most "Spotified" Songs in Phoenix Last week, NPR blogger Emily White got a whole bunch of discussion started about how musical artists are and aren't getting paid. (We chimed in too, discussing music streaming service Spotify.) If White's thought, that my peers and I will ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2012

    Roll Acosta Teams With John Vanderslice For This Dreamt Existence

    Tucson indie poppers, Roll Acosta recruited John Vanderslice to produce its forthcoming debut full length album, This Dreamt Existence. Vanderslice's touch can be heard in the album's intricate instrumentation, which falls somewhere between fun.'s acrobatic melodies and Cold War Kids' strained funk, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2012

    What Are the Top 10 Most "Spotified" Songs in Phoenix?

    You have to look pretty hard for someone who doesn't have an opinion about Spotify, the Swedish music streaming service that launched in 2008 and hit the States in 2011. It's hard to deny its ease, selection, and um, free-ness, but it's also been a magnet for controversy. In both the controversial ... More >>

  • Music

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    June 4, 2012

    Chef Josh Hebert Dishes on Eric Ripert, Anthony Bourdain and the Cheat Ingredient

    Josh Hebert Posh Improvisational Cuisine 7167 E. Rancho Vista Drive, Scottsdale 480-663-7676 How long has Josh Hebert been obsessed with food? Let's put it this way: one of his first words was "breakfast." It's an elaborate family story his mother loves to tell, he says, addi ... More >>

  • Music

    May 24, 2012
  • Blogs

    April 11, 2012

    Squeeze's Chris Difford on England, John Cale, and the Paul McCartney-Produced Record That Never Came to Be

    Coachella is a weird beast: In addition to hotly tipped acts like Avicci and Justice, big name standard bearers like Radiohead and The Black Keys, and holy-hell-they're-reuniting bands like Refused and At the Drive In, there's always a few bands that have just kept soldiering on, whose break-ups and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2012

    Valentine's Playlist: We Select New Release Tracks To Soundtrack Your V-Day Night

    ​See also: Keep These Tunes Away from Your Valentine's Playlist You know, i's not just Valentine's Day and Arizona's Centennial Birthday: It's also New Release Day, a special day that happens once every week when the record labels sound out shiny discs to stores and let you start listening to ... More >>

  • Music

    December 29, 2011
  • Blogs

    December 26, 2011

    NOFX's Fat Mike on Cokie the Clown, Drinking, and Occupy Wall Street

    ​ NOFX has been a mainstay of punk rock for almost 30 years. The band has gained notoriety for its antics and activism, recently getting banned from Emo's in Austin because frontman "Fat Mike" Burkett tricked the audience into believing he served free tequila shots mixed with his own urine. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    David Bickford, What Are You Listening To?

    David Bickford​David Bickford Bickford writes two prominent local blogs, PHX Rail Food and PHX Trail Dude. When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play right now? I listen to KJZZ for news by day and jazz by night. I grew up listening to rock, and it still ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2011

    Top 15 Albums of 2011: Jason P. Woodbury

    Ty Segall​Welcome to another installment of Up on the Sun's 2011 Review. Over the next week, we'll be counting down our favorite songs, shows, national and local releases of 2011. Enjoy! Is it just me, or was 2011 weird? Like, really weird? Lou Reed and Metallica made an album together. It w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2011

    Light in the Attic Records and Rhino Handmade Team Up

    Even with rumors rumbling that the Big Four (soon to be three?) will cease producing CDs at the end of 2012, Seattle-based label Light in the Attic has teamed with Rhino Handmade to help distribute ultra-deluxe compact discs. Turns out, certain people (collectors) still want some physical, musical p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2011

    Spotify Finally Lands in the U.S.

    Spotify is now available in the U.S.​Do you like your music collection? Do you wish you had it on you at all times? Does it bug the shit out of you when you go to a friend's house for a small gathering and they play their special 2-hour mix of Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Michael Franti and Cou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 14, 2011

    July 14 In Blogs: Harry Potter, Spotify, La Tolteca, and Joe Arpaio

    ​​​In the 24-hour news cycle, it can be difficult to keep up. We have the solution. Check back on Valley Fever every evening for highlights from each of New Times' blogs. Today's entries:

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    The Raconteurs Are Back!

    Now that he's got all that hilarious and awesome palling around with Stephen Colbert, out of his system, Jack White is getting back to business. The Raconteurs, arguably the dude's main gig now that The White Stripes have called it quits, are back, according to Consequence of Sound.The Raconteurs ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2011

    Tom Hanks to Bring American Idiot to the Silver Screen

    ​Tom Hanks has big plans to move American Idiot into movie theaters, according to Consequence of Sound.Considering that Hanks and the guys of Green Day are involved in the film, there's little doubt that it'll bring a lot of people into theaters. Plus, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is ru ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Foursquare up, Pandora Down, MySpace Out: Grand Predictions About Digital Music Trends in 2011

    ​NME's deputy editor Luke Lewis published an interesting article about the future of digital music last week.Lewis made a list of 10 insightful music predictions regarding what the developments of digital music might entail in 2011, and I've got to hand it to him, he did a great job and taught me ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2010

    The 10 Stupidest Music Stories of 2010

    ​Every year a few ridiculous stories get squeezed in between the serious ones. In honor of the year coming to a close, it's time to poke some fun at those who entertained us by making the stupidest headlines in music news in 2010.In no particular order, here are some real winners... err, well, act ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Toni Braxton Up to Her Eyes in Unbelievable Debt

    ​R&B singer Toni Braxton has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy again, according to TMZ. She owes between $10 million and $50 million.The companies to which she is indebted include Tiffany & Co., AT&T, The Four Seasons Hotels, and Neiman Marcus. Maybe diamonds aren't a girl's best friend a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2010

    U2's Manager Fights Illegal Downloading

    ​Paul McGuinness, U2's manager, is blaming Internet service providers for not working harder to put an end to illegal music downloading, NME reports.However, McGuinness has faith in Spotify, a paid online music subscription service that actually distributes royalties properly.While McGuinness's ar ... More >>

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