Band Together

Quick, who's got the best selection of local music in the Valley?

Zia? Hardly. Eastside Records? Possibly. Leslie Barton? Definitely.

With hundreds of CDs bursting from two gigantic Caselogic CD wallets, it's an understatement that the 35-year-old promoter of Modified Arts is plugged in to the local music scene.

She's adding one more disc to her collection, a home-brewed CD-R compilation of Valley artists who just happen to be playing at Modified's Holiday Benefit on Saturday, December 18. The profits from the sale of the lo-fi comp, assembled and burned by the boys in the country-core group Dear Boss (pictured), will help Barton pay for general upkeep of the club, as well as some additional improvements.

In addition to its compilation-wrangling duties, Dear Boss joins a packed lineup that includes melodic rockers Asleep in the Sea ("Must Sea"), the all-girl punk threesome the Green Lady Killers, the moody men of Goodnight From Twilight, and the "psycho-edgy and super-duper" quartet Awesome.

Also on the bill is Barton's own project, Shellylong, in which she plays drums and provides vocals along with singer and guitarist Travis Grant, turning out a cappella-style "pseudo-intellectual love songs" and "cassette-core." The duo formed in September, long before the former Cheers star was in the news after a near-fatal overdose of painkillers.

"Poor Shelley Long, maybe I can send her one of the CDs from the benefit to make her feel better," says Barton. "That wouldn't seem cruel, would it?"

Probably not, but consider slipping in an invite to a future show at Modified. Given the place's tight-knit feel, the former Diane Chambers might enjoy a place where everybody knows your name.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.