Inside the easeful Emerald Lounge you won't find any big-screen TVs for beer-gutted armchair athletes, or barmaids whose hopped-up attitudes are in direct proportion to their surgically augmented breasts. What you will find is a bohemian atmosphere straight out of 1966, a place where cheap booze is served up by genial drink-slingers in an ambiance of unaffected warmth. On any given night, a gnarly live rock band or DJ booms music that runs the gamut from hickabilly to glitter rock for an unusual mix of off-duty strippers, hot-rodders, professional drunks, working-class stiffs, and the usual cadre of artists, posers, writers and musicians.

With its dark, sapphire-hued interior, local artist motifs and juke, this dingy den is a glorious old-man bar to some and a killer rock 'n' roll club (where the shows are free!) to others. But no matter how it's perceived, Phoenix's sole bastion of the avant-garde can never be accused of taking itself too seriously.

Inside the easeful Emerald Lounge you won't find any big-screen TVs for beer-gutted armchair athletes, or barmaids whose hopped-up attitudes are in direct proportion to their surgically augmented breasts. What you will find is a bohemian atmosphere straight out of 1966, a place where cheap booze is served up by genial drink-slingers in an ambiance of unaffected warmth. On any given night, a gnarly live rock band or DJ booms music that runs the gamut from hickabilly to glitter rock for an unusual mix of off-duty strippers, hot-rodders, professional drunks, working-class stiffs, and the usual cadre of artists, posers, writers and musicians.

With its dark, sapphire-hued interior, local artist motifs and juke, this dingy den is a glorious old-man bar to some and a killer rock 'n' roll club (where the shows are free!) to others. But no matter how it's perceived, Phoenix's sole bastion of the avant-garde can never be accused of taking itself too seriously.

This now legendary incident happened on September 23, 2000, at Long Wong's on Mill. Big Blue Couch's show ended abruptly just a few minutes into its set because of equipment troubles. But the barflies at the longtime Tempe watering hole got their money's worth when a minor argument between bassist Jon Demrick and drummer Jayson Gilbert got nasty, turning into a full-blown fistfight, and ending with about a thousand dollars' worth of damage to the bar's famed streetside glass window. Although the band kissed and made up shortly afterward, the BBC battle easily goes down as the year's top tussle.

This now legendary incident happened on September 23, 2000, at Long Wong's on Mill. Big Blue Couch's show ended abruptly just a few minutes into its set because of equipment troubles. But the barflies at the longtime Tempe watering hole got their money's worth when a minor argument between bassist Jon Demrick and drummer Jayson Gilbert got nasty, turning into a full-blown fistfight, and ending with about a thousand dollars' worth of damage to the bar's famed streetside glass window. Although the band kissed and made up shortly afterward, the BBC battle easily goes down as the year's top tussle.

Someday, sometime, somewhere, somebody is going to sell his copy of that album you've always wanted, but could never afford at full price. When he does, he's gonna sell it to Zia, and Zia's gonna sell it to you, at a big fat discount.

This venerable Valley institution has better than a quarter-century of history under its belt, starting with its hole-in-the-wall beginnings on the old, funky Mill Avenue (back when Starbucks and the Gap were delightfully absent from the entire world). In addition to delivering the area's best cash-or-trade offers for those CDs cluttering up your own collection, Zia on University does a brisk business with the local college crowd, providing excellent turnover even on newer pop releases. But a deeper rooting through the stacks reveals a stock of rich diversity: Looking for that hard-to-find collaboration between Bongwater's Kramer and Penn Jillette? That'll be seven bucks. Also, Zia's topnotch jazz and blues sections make this location much smarter than your average college rekkid store.

Zia Record Exchange
Someday, sometime, somewhere, somebody is going to sell his copy of that album you've always wanted, but could never afford at full price. When he does, he's gonna sell it to Zia, and Zia's gonna sell it to you, at a big fat discount.

This venerable Valley institution has better than a quarter-century of history under its belt, starting with its hole-in-the-wall beginnings on the old, funky Mill Avenue (back when Starbucks and the Gap were delightfully absent from the entire world). In addition to delivering the area's best cash-or-trade offers for those CDs cluttering up your own collection, Zia on University does a brisk business with the local college crowd, providing excellent turnover even on newer pop releases. But a deeper rooting through the stacks reveals a stock of rich diversity: Looking for that hard-to-find collaboration between Bongwater's Kramer and Penn Jillette? That'll be seven bucks. Also, Zia's topnotch jazz and blues sections make this location much smarter than your average college rekkid store.

Don't ask the salespeople for help in the jazz section at these longtime Valley record emporiums; they're likely to scratch their heads and walk away in confusion. But if you know what you're looking for, or just love the notion of exploring a well-stocked record store by yourself (and don't want to spend a fortune), you're bound to have a bebopping good time at Zia. For example, take the letter "D." We found a ton of Miles Davis, Djavan, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Barbara Dennerlein, Eric Dolphy and many others, all for under $12 a pop. Now, if only the help knew that Thelonious Monk was a piano player.
Zia Record Exchange
Don't ask the salespeople for help in the jazz section at these longtime Valley record emporiums; they're likely to scratch their heads and walk away in confusion. But if you know what you're looking for, or just love the notion of exploring a well-stocked record store by yourself (and don't want to spend a fortune), you're bound to have a bebopping good time at Zia. For example, take the letter "D." We found a ton of Miles Davis, Djavan, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Barbara Dennerlein, Eric Dolphy and many others, all for under $12 a pop. Now, if only the help knew that Thelonious Monk was a piano player.
Lurking beneath the façade of an NPR affiliate is a substantial blues and jazz format helmed by two of the brightest jewels in Phoenix's musical crown.

Music coordinator and classically trained performer Blaise Lantana hosts the 7-to-11 block, bringing her discerning ear to an acoustic jazz playlist that regularly features a generous stock of the greats as well as the often overlooked (a Cannonball Adderley two-fer, anyone?). The erudite Lantana can teach even the most hardened jazz police a new tune or two. The acoustic jazz format continues straight through 'til 3 a.m.

Sunday evenings from 6 to 11 are helmed by Rhythm Room impresario Bob Corritore, with Those Lowdown Blues, a sampler of roots and blues music so informed that Corritore ought to charge classroom lab fees. "Smilin' Bob" sets authenticity above commerciality for this gravy-rich slice of Americana, doing for Valley airwaves what the Rhythm Room's been doing for Valley live music since the mid-'80s.

Lurking beneath the façade of an NPR affiliate is a substantial blues and jazz format helmed by two of the brightest jewels in Phoenix's musical crown.

Music coordinator and classically trained performer Blaise Lantana hosts the 7-to-11 block, bringing her discerning ear to an acoustic jazz playlist that regularly features a generous stock of the greats as well as the often overlooked (a Cannonball Adderley two-fer, anyone?). The erudite Lantana can teach even the most hardened jazz police a new tune or two. The acoustic jazz format continues straight through 'til 3 a.m.

Sunday evenings from 6 to 11 are helmed by Rhythm Room impresario Bob Corritore, with Those Lowdown Blues, a sampler of roots and blues music so informed that Corritore ought to charge classroom lab fees. "Smilin' Bob" sets authenticity above commerciality for this gravy-rich slice of Americana, doing for Valley airwaves what the Rhythm Room's been doing for Valley live music since the mid-'80s.

Best Of Phoenix®

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