Colson Miller of the Thin Bloods and Robbie Pfeffer of Playboy Manbaby both describe their bands as more of a live experience than something that oughta be listened to at home. That said, it hasn't stopped either band from releasing multiple cassettes this year through Rubber Brother Records.
While the releases may make it appear as though both bands value recorded music, when both admitted that they had yet to record anything with less than two weeks until their upcoming dual release party at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, August 23...well, that made things appear a little differently.
See also: Nine Phoenix Frontmen and Women Who Will Make You Love Them "We like to give ourselves a deadline because if we didn't have deadlines we would probably never record music, because our band, above and beyond everything else is a live band," says Pfeffer, with Miller expressing much of the same sentiment.
The reason why both musicians love playing live so much is pretty simple, according to Pfeffer.
"It's a party, it's a experience, it's the most fun you can have that I've so far discovered," Pfeffer says. "Although, I've never taken PCP."
Playboy Manbaby has earned their reputation as one of the best live bands in the Valley by consistently putting together some of the more raucous shows around. And while the Thin Bloods have only been around since April 2013, arising from the ashes of All My Friends, they are already being talked about as one of the most exciting young bands in Phoenix.
Naturally, much of the excitement can be attributed to the fact that the Thin Bloods are good. Really good. But another part of it, and even the band realizes this, has to do with the fact that they linked up with Rubber Brother Records. The label has been generating a ton of buzz with the underage crowds, and the Thin Bloods have been lucky enough to be right in the thick of it.
With so many great local bands working together on one label they also get the added advantage of being able to host huge dual release shows. Last time Rubber Brother did a show at the Crescent, a sell out crowd showed up to see Wooden Indian and Los Puchos, and Playboy Manbaby and Petty Things each released split cassettes.
"I get super competitive playing these shows if someone else good is playing and their killing it, it gets me all riled up and I have to go up there and show my cock off," says Miller. "That's what the live show can be about sometimes. I get kind of very competitive. It's like if some little league pitcher is throwing really fast over the plate. I want to get up there and swing."
It's not all about the competition for Miller, though as he will be having Jordan Owen of Petty Things join him and Jojo Caldwell perform on drums at Saturday's Crescent Ballroom gig, while Brendan Garrison will joint them onstage to play some added guitar parts.
"The cool thing about Rubber Brother is all the bands hang out, all the bands are friends so that's just kind of how we treat shows. It's just a meet up and celebration of all this weird art music," says Pfeffer about the collaboration between the bands on his label. "We've done a show with a lineup similar to this 50 times over the past 5 years it seems like. It just kinda makes sense like that. We're still developing a lot of stuff and its been making our little community tighter."
One of the things they are developing is their presence in the overall Phoenix music scene. Rubber Brother has definitely carved out a niche in the DIY punk scene, but they are now beginning to come out as some of not only the best punk bands in Phoenix, but also the best bands in Phoenix, and part of that is doing their release at the Crescent.
"It's the opposite of doing it at the Trunk Space. The Trunk Space is such a mom-and-pop awesome little tiny place, and the Crescent is, well, if you're Santana it's not a big place. But for us it's a fucking big place. It's a massive professional thing where you have monitors and the whole deal," says Pfeffer. "It's weird we are having a show that my dad is going to come to and not be weirded out."
While Pfeffer boasts one of the hottest stables of artists, the cassette tape magnate can still give credit where credit is due, answering "Andrew Jackson Jihad" almost immediately when asked who is the best band in Phoenix.
"It's the way they did it. Just how much they've respected their local scene, they always always give back. They go on tour they take dogbreth; they need to do album art and they're picking Phoenix-based artists. They played Treasure Mammal's ten-year, Trunk Space's ten-year, they reference Treasure Mammal lyrics on the album. They've earned everything they've got," says Pfeffer. "It's not like their dad is a South African music star [a not-so-sly reference to the lineage of KONGOS], they worked for their shit."
Playboy Manbaby and The Thin Bloods are scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 23, at Crescent Ballroom. Snake! Snake! Snakes! and Boss Frog open the show, which begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $10.
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