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 July 16-20.

Now Open: Jivemind Community Music Workshop in Glendale

Musicians, producers and do-it-yourself novices rejoice: the community workshop known as Jivemind Cooperative Music Labs officially opened her doors last week.

Founders Jeff Rose and Dustin Chaffin have transformed the old Bead Museum in downtown Glendale into a lean mean recording and rehearsal space machine. Jivemind officially opened for business on Monday, July 11, with an open house tour.

The pair had initially hoped for a March opening, but renovations to the building proved to be a daunting task once they got under way.

"When you're working on a project like this, stuff just takes time," Chaffin says. "After the construction crews left, it was just Jeff and I that had to do all the rest of the work. So we worked over 12 hours a day trying to get everything built and up and running. But a lot of work went into it."

--Anthony Sandoval

R.I.P. Punk Rocker Danny American of West End Crooks

Danny Abromovitz, 32, of Phoenix punk band West End Crooks died in his sleep on the morning of Tuesday, July 17.

Abromovitz, best known as Danny American, was West End Crooks' bassist and an active member of the local punk community.

"The official cause of death is yet to be determined," says Micah Elliot, Abromovitz's bandmate. "The family is still waiting for autopsy reports, but Danny went to sleep Monday night and didn't wake up on Tuesday. It's all pretty sudden and shocking to everyone."

West End Crooks were working on new material before Abromovtiz's death. "We are about four new songs shy of a new album. At this point, however, I can't say where our future lies. Danny was truly the heart and soul of the band. Anyone who hears our music can pick that out pretty quickly. Danny's tremendous bass talent made the music stand out beyond anything else," Elliot says.

--Melissa Fossum

While We're Up's Steven Rouk and Trever McCoy Discharged From Hospital; Memorial Services Set for Zach Booher

See also: Zach Booher of Pop-Punk Band While We're Up Killed in Car Accident

Steven Rouk of Tempe acoustic pop-punk outfit While We're Up, and Trevor McCoy have been released from the Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, following the fatal accident that claimed the life of Mesa-native Zach Booher on Sunday, July 8.

Booher and Rouk founded WWU after meeting during their sophomore year at Arizona State University in 2010.

Services for Booher were set for Saturday, July 21, at Central Christian Church in Mesa, while his family is in the process of setting up a music scholarship in his name at his alma mater.

--Anthony Sandoval

Frank Ocean and Michael Kiwanuka Craft Two Different "Traditional" Soul Records

His major label debut, channel ORANGE, was only released digitally a week ago and physically on Tuesday, July 17, but I'm going to wager a guess: You're sick of hearing about Frank Ocean.

The singer/songwriter has been the subject of hundreds of insightful think-pieces, a talking point in the (necessary) discussion about hip-hop and R&B's institutionalized homophobia, and Frank Ocean even crowned by the insightful Dan Weiss at SF Weekly's All Shook Down as "the only band that matters." Weiss writes: "[Ocean] the first purveyor of R&B album-making since Prince (if he even counts) to have an audience of all stripes ready to treat him like a legend."

But he isn't the only 24-year-old who released a stunning, powerfully affecting soul record last week. Enter North Londoner Michael Kiwanuka and his stellar record, Home Again. Chances are you haven't been overloaded with press about Kiwanuka's record, but it's no less deserving of praise.

--Jason P. Woodbury

S.S. Coachella Cruise Lineup Announced Featuring Pulp, Girl Talk, Z-Trip, and More

Get ready for the S.S. Coachella cruise, which takes a unique Coachella lineup and puts it on a boat over the course of a week. Check out the full lineup and find out how to get tickets.

--Jason P. Woodbury

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi