The year 2010 was a fairly big one for local acts. Just read music editor Martin Cizmar's lengthy piece from last week's issue, in which he details 10 great albums by some of the best bands in the Valley.
Two groups who also had a banner year were Mesa's Authority Zero and Phoenix's Digital Summer. While neither was included on Cizmar's list, both had the kind of success in 2010 that any local musician would be envious of.
For instance, the skate-punks of Authority Zero saw their album Stories of Survival sell well enough to place on Billboard's Heatseekers and Top Independent Album charts. Digital Summer's 2010 wasn't too shabby either. The melodic hard rock act finished their newest CD (Counting the Hours), got the track "Just Run" into heavy rotation on KUPD, and even played a few of the station's concert festivals.
What will 2011 have in store for either? Both will be kicking off the year by co-headlining the two-night New Times Soundcheck, which takes place during the first weekend of February at Club Red in Tempe.
The rest of the line-up is steeped in more than 35 other local bands from a wide variety of genres, including alt-rock (Hollestate), metal (Whiskey Six), punk (Green Lady Killers), and even a few scene veterans (Fred Green) and indie darlings (Dry River Yacht Club, Fayuca).
Digital Summer will headline the first night of the Soundcheck on Friday, February 4. Both the Club Red and Red Owl stages will feature performances, and the slate of support acts will include Hush, Bent Self, Whiskey Six, Hollestate, Selfless, The Dagg Nabbit Stubbs, and The Green Lady Killers.
Meanwhile, Authority Zero are scheduled to hold another of their special "Rhythm and Booze" sets on Saturday, February 5. As for the rest of the bill, you can expect to see gigs from Dry River Yacht Club, Room for El, Fayuca, Fred Green, Rook, and Fat Tree.