Next Fest, McDowell Mountain Music Festival, Edward Sharpe, Dirty Beaches, and Stick Fingers Over the Weekend

Crusher Sound System and Mr. Meeble Last Night at The Sail Inn You know, the old substance over style debate can get a little old. Isn't it possible to have both? It sure seemed like it watching Mr. Meeble on the outdoor stage at Next Fest at Sail Inn last night. The band was premiering its new laser system, and, combined with the smoke machine and synchronized video, the visual element was impressive. But the sights never overshadowed the sounds of heavy electronica and pedal steel-lead post-rock...full story

Sticky Fingers One Year Anniversary at Bar Smith Things got sticky at Bar Smith on Friday during the dance night known as Sticky Fingers. Don't think it was just a regular party though. Oh no. Friday's Sticky Fingers celebrated a year of shaking what your momma gave ya'. On the turn tables were William Reed, Austin Head, Parallels, and Deathface...see photos

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Hooves, and Gospel Claws Last Night At McDowell Mountain Music Fest Last night, I stood at The Compound Grill bar watching the president deliver a speech about the death of Osama Bin Laden, as the sounds of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros wafted in from the open doors. The band was nearing the finish of their erratic and occasionally phenomenal set as President Obama praised 10 years of hard work of the U.S. counterintelligence agencies and recalled what many would argue was the last time our nation felt truly unified, the tragic days following the September 11 attacks...full story

Saturday at McDowell Mountain Music Festival 2011 McDowell Mountain Music Festival takes place in The Compound Grill parking lot, where it's been hosted for the past two years. What's normally a slab of asphalt is transformed into a sod-covered lawn, with tables, beers for sale and a large shaded area. It's safe to say attendees enjoy more creature comforts than the average festival-goer at MMMV, including indoor bathrooms and the ability to bring in two liters of water. The festival coordinators extend the generosity to the community, too: 100% of profits will be donated to Phoenix Day Family & Learning Center and Ear Candy...full story

Dirty Beaches, Outro Mundo & Where Dead Voices Gather Last Night at The Trunk Space When I interviewed Dirty Beaches, I asked him about playing with a band vs playing solo. Watching him last night, I understood the theatrical approach he takes to playing by himself. Slicking his hair back and cradling a mic and a white Fender Stratocaster, he howled, yelped and screamed over minimal backing tracks, using the guitar to occasionally create snippets of melody, but more often to coax reverberating swaths of noise from his amplifier...full story

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Jonathan McNamara