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Top Five Phoenix Music Stories of the Week

The news waits for no one -- at least that's what we read somewhere -- so it's perfectly understandable that you, the reader, might have missed out on a musical tidbit, breaking news about your favorite venue, or one of our rants. So enjoy this digest-style sampling of some of...
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The news waits for no one -- at least that's what we read somewhere -- so it's perfectly understandable that you, the reader, might have missed out on a musical tidbit, breaking news about your favorite venue, or one of our rants.

So enjoy this digest-style sampling of some of our biggest stories from the week of August 20-24.

Five Finger Death Punch's Jason Hook on Giving the Fans What They Want

Five Finger Death Punch has been called a lot of things: overzealous, angry, a sell-out, fake (guess that sort of thing can happen when you name your third record American Capitalist during a period of economic turmoil). But forget it. FFDP knows how to rock and truly cares about the causes it stands behind.

American Capitalist likely will be the Las Vegas-based band's third gold album, moving serious units since it came out last fall. This weekend, they are swinging through the Valley of the Sun as part of the Trespass America Festival, along with God Forbid, Pop Evil, Killswitch Engage, and Triviu.

Up on the Sun spoke with guitarist/backing vocalist Jason Hook about set list arguments, why the band (at least most of it) is staying sober, the band's next album, and its involvement in suicide prevention. Check out the full interview.

--Lauren Wise

Just Announced Shows: Snoop Lion, David Bazan, Jimmy Vaughan, Nas, and More

You remember that infamous clip of Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman? The one where he announced to the world he was retiring from acting to pursue a career as a rap artist? Well, thank Baby Jesus, that turned out to be a hoax. But you know what isn't? Snoop Lion.

"I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion," Snoop told a group of journalists at Miss Lily's, a Caribbean restaurant in New York, in July. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.' From that moment on, it's like I had started to understand why I was there."

His Rhasta-inspired plunge from a hugely successful rap career into Mad Decent-assisted reggae is nothing short of bizarre. Of course, we'd be lying if we said we weren't curious to see him when he hits the Valley with Ice Cube and Too Short on Friday, September 14, at Comerica Theatre.

See who else is coming to town.

--Richard Noel

Mark David Chapman, The Man Who Killed John Lennon, Inspires Internet Nastiness (Surprise!)

You might know Mark David Chapman as the subject of that Mindless Self-Indulgence song or as J.D. Salinger's biggest fan. Oh, and he killed John Lennon. Yeah, about that...

As Reuters reports, Chapman was up for parole again recently, marking the seventh time he appeared before New York state's Department of Corrections. Almost 32 years ago, Chapman asked the legendary Beatles singer for an autograph, then shot the musician in the back four times outside his apartment. Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced 20 years to life in prison.

The last six times Chapman was up for parole, he was bluntly denied. Yoko Ono wrote letters to the board, saying she feared for her life. (Honestly, that isn't likely, as Chapman's next target after Lennon was supposedly Ronald Reagan or Johnny Carson. You know, real celebrities.)

See what non-famous folks had to say about the possibility of Chapman getting released on the streets. You may be surprised at what your eyeballs read.

--Troy Farah

Chasers Sold to New Owners and Becomes Pub Rock, A Music Venue With an In-House Radio Broadcasting Studio

Some heavy-duty changes have been taking place behind the scenes at longtime local music venue Chasers over the past week. The dive-like Scottsdale rock bar, which has hosted big concerts and local shows for close to 20 years, has been sold to new owners, rechristened with a new name, and is in the midst of major makeover.

Now known as Pub Rock, it will continue to be an epicenter of live music, albeit with a whole new look and some interesting additions. Namely, its new owners are building a broadcasting booth in one corner of the venue booth for use by local radio stations, including KUKQ.

Read on to see how the Chasers transformation began.

--Benjamin Leatherman.

Identity Festival 2012: 15 Funky Fresh GIFs

Identity Festival brought a full day's worth of EDM talent to Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion on Sunday, August 19. As cool as it was to hear Eric Prydz to play an extended sample of M83's "Midnight City," it was even more fun to spend the day people watching. A picture says a thousand words, but it only gives you so much perspective. With that, Up on the Sun made 15 GIFs of some of the most interesting festival goers.

--Melissa Fossum

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