Yeah, yeah, yeah...we get it Mondays suck (we've read Garfield). But it means the start of a new week, which means a bunch of killer shows in and around Phoenix. And here are a few of the coolest, our top five must-see shows this week.
After our burnt and decimated post-apocalyptic planet is discovered by alien robots thousands of years in the future, they will sift through the rubble of Tempe and likely find, among the ash of unopened textbooks and maroon and gold bongs, hundreds of copies of a round shiny disc with the words Bob, Marley, and Legend emblazoned across the front. And while almost every college kid gets handed a copy of that iconic comp upon matriculation, few delve into the deeper history of Marley's pals The Wailers.
The group started as the trio of Marley, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh, offering up Christian tunes, ska numbers, and proto-reggae songs before expanding the lineup and becoming the hugely successful international sensations every hostel worldwide knows and loves. Aston "Family Man" Barrett is the only original member of that backing band currently touring as part of The Wailers Band. Don't be confused, but in 2008, former Wailers Al Anderson and Junior Marvin started touring as The Original Wailers. Maybe it's just legal wrangling, maybe it's just trying to cash in on Bob's band name and songs; either way, the tunes are good. -- Chris HassiotisTuesday, September 4: Twin Shadow @ Crescent Ballroom
George Lewis Jr., who records and performs as Twin Shadow, sounds distant over the phone. His voices sounds weary, which we're willing to attribute to his constant touring schedule. He's worn-out but sharp, his mind seemingly on a constant rush. It's a fascinating world, the life of a musician, especially one whose perceived eccentricities have played a huge role in his rising star.
Lewis Jr. draws inspiration from personal stories about relationships, both present and past, and experiences on the road. Sometimes, it's difficult to separate the man in the music from the man who creates it.
His full-length debut, Forget, sounds accomplished, a confident highlight from a musician who seems well versed in his creative process. With his forthcoming release Confess, Lewis Jr. appears to be on a constantly evolving quest to expand and explore his creative palette.
Up On The Sun caught up with Lewis Jr. for a quick glimpse into his fascinating mind. We spoke about the spontaneity and commitment to making honest music. (Read the full Twin Shadow interview.) --Ade Kassim
Vektor bassist Frank Chin has experienced first hand the extent of Philadelphia's "Brotherly Love" motto while skateboarding the city he now calls home.
When talking about the reactions he and the guys have gotten from the locals once they find out they're a thrash metal band from the Grand Canyon State, he recalls a funny story about a run-in at what he thinks is a late-night Mexican food spot.
Frank Chin: There's actually a really random story about that. I was out partying one night -- drinking with a couple people I worked with. We went to some bars in South Philly but I left because I had to get food; I hadn't eaten all day. I was on my way to meet up with (drummer) Blake (Anderson) near Center, and I was just skateboarding when I pass by this Mexican food joint. And being from Arizona, I'm pretty critical in that, I want good shit you know. And by good shit I mean Rita's and Filiberto's. So I found this place -- I forgot the name of it -- but I walk in since the doors were unlocked, but the lights are all off. This lady comes in and says, "Oh, we're closed." So I'm like alright, it's all good.
It turned out they were having some family barbecue and it was literally like 1:30 in the morning. It was really weird. There were kids playing basketball in the streets and it's this like, really tight, I guess Mexican family. They were like, "Well are you hungry?" And I'm like, "Yeah I'm hungry, I came in here to get food."
So they sat me down, gave me a plate full of tacos and a Corona and I was like, "Whoa." I tried giving them money, but they wouldn't take it. And it was so weird because they were celebrating a grandfather's move from Mexico City to Philly. And I was like, how did you guys all end up out here. And then they asked me where I was from and they were like, "Oh." And it got kind of weird and standoffish. I could tell these teenage kids started looking at me like, "You're from Arizona huh, what do you think of us?" Shit like that, you know. But I told them there's some bullshit there (in Arizona), but there's also good people. I started speaking Spanish to them and they got really stoked, so then they started warming up and it was cool after that. But there was that split moment where they were like, "Did we make a mistake by inviting this guy to hang out with the family." -- Anthony SandovalWednesday, September 5: The Ataris @ Nile Theatre
Kris Roe's relationship with Arizona has been a tumultuous one. His band, The Ataris, started touring 15 years ago, and Roe's stops in Arizona have always been marked by some seriously bad luck. After a couple near-death experiences, he got a tattoo of the Arizona state flag as a good luck charm of sorts. Believe it or not, in spite of multiple car accidents and broken bones, Roe loves Arizona. He's been spending a lot of time with former bandmate Bob Hoag at Flying Blanket Studios working on The Ataris' sixth album, The Graveyard of the Atlantic.
We recently caught up with Kris Roe to discuss the experiences that inspired the Copper star tattoo, his favorite old venues in Phoenix, and how much Warped Tour has changed.
Up on the Sun: So, you're in Mesa right now? Kris Roe: Yeah, I've been in the area recording. My friend Bob Hoag runs a studio called Flying Blanket Recording in Mesa. The way The Ataris works is I record everything and show the parts to Bob, who runs the studio. He plays drums and I play the other instruments. That's been off and on. I'm trying to finish our album. We've got, like, 20 songs recorded and I'm just trying my best to finish my vocals for the last bunch of songs and put about 12 on the record. The rest will be remaining tracks for split 7 inches and random b-sides and things. Looking to get the album out at the start of the new year. -- Melissa Fossum
According to the number crunchers at Nielsen SoundScan, the sales of vinyl records have slowly but steadily increased over the past six years.
That probably comes as no surprise to the cadre of wax-loving DJs behind Classic Album Thursdays, since they've arguably helped beef up those numbers by scooping up new reissues of old platters to add to their expansive collection and to spin up at the event. A rotating lineup of a half-dozen local selectors -- including Mr. P-Body, Al Page, DJ Dana, and Kate Scratch Fever -- staff the weekly record-listening party that takes place every Thursday inside Old Town Whiskey at The Saguaro, 4000 North Drinkwater Boulevard in Scottsdale.
"Its really about playing cool records and bringing out people who like listening to vinyl," says Page. Heck, there's even a mini-record swap meet that takes place during the weekly event, which starts at 8:30 p.m. -- Benjamin Leatherman
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