It's 2014 and high time you got some new music into your playlist -- seriously. And that's doubly true when it comes local music, of which there's an abundance in metro Phoenix. The Valley's music scene is gifted with burgeoning bands and emerging artists who will be making waves and getting attention this year.
Up on the Sun is highlighting more than a dozen such acts for our series 14 Bands You Need to Hear in 2014. Today, writer Jeff Moses gets down and dirty with folk-punker Andy Warpigs.
West Phoenix's Andy Warpigs is on a one-man folk-punk mission to infiltrate and influence every pocket of Arizona counterculture, and the out-of-control coffeehouse cowboy might just be succeeding.
In 2013, he popped up seemingly everywhere playing acoustic guitar and ukulele with a backing band of whoever happened to standing around.
His self-described "heavily improvised art punk music" has made its mark at benefit concerts, art shows, comic book conventions, comedy gigs, and any venue was willing to let him play. He became a mainstay at Lawn Gnome Publishing's Live Music Tuesday, as well as regular conspirator at Sister Lip's never-ending Monday night residency at Long Wong's in Tempe.
His inane originals and eclectic covers are meant to reach out and grab "freaks, geeks, punks, nerds, squatters, stoners, and thought criminals," according to the liner notes of his debut album, Folk Punk Yourself, which is set for a March 16 release at The Lost Leaf. "Smoke cigarettes on the patio, smoke weed on the sidewalks," says Warpigs of the event.
He also will be taking his act on a brief "tour" of the Valley, making sure every corner of the Phoenix metro area is blanketed by his brilliance. Warpig's biggest show of 2013 came when he opened for Pat the Bunny of Tucson folk-punk outfit Ramshackle Glory at a benefit concert at Aside of Heart in downtown Phoenix.
And after linking up with Michael Red's 56th Street Records, Warpigs hopes to step up his live show schedule and add headlining gigs to his calendar, as well as more songs to his repertoire.
Some of Warpigs' originals include songs like "Drown My Baby" (off his latest album) as well as "Love Is Like a Stabbing Pain in the Dick" and his ode to profanity, "N-Bombs and C- Bombs."
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At his live shows, Warpigs also adds colorful covers such as The Ramones classic "The KKK Took My Baby Away" and "Hybrid Moments" by The Misfits. But whether he is singing a cover or original, it is always in his amazingly soft yet punk voice.
Warpigs mixes the absurd lyrics and silly stage antics together with the look of a homeless meth-addict cowboy. All together it equals a great show, resulting in his crowds laughing their asses off at his ridiculous shenanigans.
His eccentricity even has gained the onetime solo artist a fairly respectable backing band, featuring Jelly Roll Jenkin (Jorge Garcia) formerly of Los Fukn Ramirez, Jackson Bollocks of Nerdzerkr, and Justin White formerly of Andrew Jackson Jihad.
When asked whether Andy Warpigs is the name of his solo act or the entire band, Warpigs says it's both. "It's the same crap that Alice Cooper has been pulling for decades," he says.
The musician is unapologetic either about his appearance or his music. "I'm not overly concerned about anyone who finds my music offensive," Warpigs says. "Fuck them."
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Andy Warpigs is scheduled to hold his CD release show on Sunday, March 16, at The Lost Leaf. Check out more bands and artists that you need to hear in 2014.