Music News

Top 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 our biggest stories from the week of August 6-10.

KISS and Motley Crue, Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion, 8/10/12

A few things are guaranteed at a KISS/Mötley Crüe concert-- girls, girls, girls, rocking 'n rolling all night, and lots of pyrotechnics. The goal seems to be sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, and both bands have done enough of all of those things to last the audience a lifetime.

Mötley Crüe made a grand entrance with some weird Druid ceremony, tearing right into "Saints of Los Angeles." Their set started out solid, serving up the loud, fast, and dangerous performance that all of our mothers warned us about.

At times, there was so much going on onstage that it was difficult to figure out where we were supposed to be watching, especially since the video cameras weren't working. The band rocked out in the thick of scantily clad singers/dancers (they did pitch in vocals for a few songs), a girl on stilts, Tommy Lee's circular rollercoaster drum mechanism, and a mess of pyrotechnics.

Check out the full review of KISS/Motley Crue and see the slideshow.

--Melissa Fossum

Reubens Accomplice Returns With Sons of Men (Download)

You know you're in trouble when bloggers start resorting to cryptozoological terms to describe your long-awaited third record.

It's the boat Reubens Accomplice has found itself in regarding the fabled, 8-years-in-the making Sons of Men. Kevin Murphy at So Much Silence (one of Phoenix's most senior music blogs) referred to the record the way a late-night caller on Coast to Coast AM might, calling it "our very own sasquatch - often discussed but never seen."

Songwriter Jeff Bufano knows that such ribbing is to be expected.

"It's funny. I'm actually at the moment trying to type up a letter to post to fans [to explain the long stretch between albums]," he explains via telephone. "There's a million little things that happened. We're all getting older and we've never really made any money at this, [so] life just got in the way."

Read the full story.

And ...

Check out the review of Reubens Accomplice at Crescent Ballroom, 8/10/12.

--Jason P. Woodbury

Kanye West's "Mercy" Explained By Phoenix Producer Lifted

Despite a release date of Tuesday, September 4, and recently unveiled cover art, it's hard to say exactly what to expect from Kanye West's upcoming G.O.O.D. Music compilation Cruel Summer (though "Perfect Bitch," his ode to Kim Kardashian is probably going to be on there).

Rumors indicate a massive guest list, potentially including Frank Ocean, Jay Electronica, Marsha Ambrosius , Q-Tip, Kid Cudi, John Legend, Common, Mr Hudson, Cyhi da Prince, Mos Def, Teyana Taylor, Malik Yusuf, members of Odd Future, Jay-Z, and who-knows-who-else. To be it softly, the record is highly anticipated.

Not even G.O.O.D. Music producer Lifted, who splits his time in Phoenix and Los Angeles, knows what to expect, aside from one concrete detail: It's going to include the mega-hit he produced, the thundering and ominous "Mercy," featuring West, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and Pusha T.

Read the full story on Kanye West's Cruel Summer here.

--Jason P. Woodbury

Weird Al Yankovic, Comerica Theatre, 8/5/12 (Video)

"He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life." -- Homer Simpson

If some massive holocaust does, in fact, bring about Armageddon at the end of December, there are a few things that are guaranteed to survive the ginormous conflagration: Cockroaches, Twinkies, Keith Richards, and "Weird Al" Yankovic.

We're absolutely certain about the latter only because it seems like the parody signer's lengthy career has survived and thrived for nearly three straight decades with absolutely no sign of slowing down. (In fact, he's kept on longer than many of the artists he's sent up over the years.) Yankovic himself appears to have weathered the passage of time himself, as he's about to turn 53 years old but can bounce around a stage with as much energy as a performer half his age.

And Weird Al did so with gusto at Comerica Theatre last week as he brought his latest tour through the Valley and kept a packed house in stitches with his amusing antics. Read the full review of Weird Al at Comerica Theatre.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Buckethead on His Time in Guns 'N' Roses: "No Answer."

In the world of eclectic guitarists, Buckethead stands out.

With his face hidden by a hockey mask and long dark hair cascading out of a KFC bucket perched on his head, and using guitars shaped like human torsos and other visages of the macabre, he is not easily missed. And, yes the man born Brian Carroll can actually play the guitar too, having spent time with assorted out-of-the-mainstream acts like Praxis, Cobra Strike, Giant Robot and El Stew, as well as enduring a short, but turbulent two-year stretch with Guns N' Roses (a topic he avoided in our interview). He's primarily recorded instrumental records, but with in 2005 (when this interview took place), he released Enter The Chicken, his first to feature vocals (not his).

Buckethead claims to have been raised by chickens and thus would only agree to an email interview--maybe the bucket makes his words unintelligible, maybe he only clucks--"communicated" via-email through his trusty hand puppet Herbie.

Read the full interview with Buckethead.

--Glenn BurnSilver

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi