Top Phoenix Music Stories of the Week | Up on the Sun | Phoenix | Phoenix New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Phoenix, Arizona

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...
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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 November 12-16.

The Game: Four Dead Rappers We Wish He Could Collaborate With

In hip-hop the past is a constant and idealization of one's forefathers-or mothers-is an uncrossable tradition.

The Game might be hip-hop's most eloquent eulogizer. His 2005 hit "Dreams" spoke poignantly to that point; Game all but admitted that he'll never mean as much to the culture as his lordliest deceased idols (Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Huey Newton, Eazy-E). "Dreams" was a sad, sweet, keening, wryly honest birdsong, rare in a genre full of self-styled messiahs. Those few minutes sized up what Game is all about.

Lots of people, critics and hip-hop forum trawlers alike, have taken umbrage with The Game for his near evangelical fixation on airbrushing a "golden age" that never was. He would likely never admit, for example, that Pac only had one good album or that Biggie's Life After Death was masturbatory and uneven. But preserving the dignity of the dead is important to Game, as it should be to anyone who loves hip-hop, a genre so episodic and expedient that it often eats itself. How many of us could name the signature production tics of DJ Screw or J Dilla?

Here are four rappers that never lived to record with The Game, but we believe he would've gelled nicely with any one of them.

--M.T. Richards

Phoenix DJ Austin Head Injured in Hate Crime Assault

Local DJ, activist, and former New Times Clubs Editor Austin Head was assaulted early on Friday, November 9, while walking down Central Avenue. Two men harassed and physically attacked Head and an unspecified friend, shouting homophobic slurs, attacking Head, and rendering him unconscious. He was transported to St. Joseph's hospital.

Head was released from the hospital around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning. "I'm recovering and improving slowly. I have some facial fractures and some swelling that's going down. I have lots of meds to help me along. I still remain strong," said Head via a Facebook conversation. His doctors have yet to determine the extent of his facial injuries and if he will require reconstructive surgery.

Read the full story and a news update on the hate crime classification made by Phoenix Police.

--Melissa Fossum

What Is "Seapunk," and What Did Rihanna and Azealia Banks Do To It?

I can't believe there's actually a Twitter war going on (when isn't there a war on Twitter?) over the legitimacy of #Seapunk.

What's that "hashtag seapunk," you ask? Imagine if you took Lisa Frank's fetish for porpoises, ran it through crappy late-'90s Geocities GIFs, and added some terrible, too-clever ocean-themed puns. Now, Zombelle and others that spawned this Tumblr miscarriage are calling out Rihanna and Azealia Banks for "stealing" their "style."

First, the Internet lashed out against Rihanna for her atrocious green screen fail on SNL, now folks are saying they had the gaudy idea first. And it's obvious that Banks' new video for "Atlantis" salutes an undersea Tim and Eric with none of the subtly, but in an interview with SPIN, Banks said "Seapunk isn't real, you know?"

Unfortunately, it is real. Sort of.

--Troy Farah

Sean Essex on Creating the Perfect Mix and How Every DJ Needs to Be Unique

If you hear the sound of rowdy partying mixed with slick electro beats emanating from Spanish Fly on Saturday night during the weekly FRWD party, it means that Sean Essex is in control of the turntables at that particular moment. That's because the local DJ knows how to do with aplomb, it's getting people screaming and shaking their moneymakers inside a club.

Essex's been a regular part of the Scottsdale scene for going on a decade and has performed at such noteworthy joints as Axis/Radius, Wild Knight, and bygone favorites like Myst and Cream Stereo Lounge. He's also pulled spin gigs at some big-time spots in Hollywood and elsewhere in Southern California. We recently spoke with the 30something selector about how this wealth of experience has helped hone his abilities at making the perfect mix and taught him why each DJ in the business today needs to be unique.

Read the full DJ Dossier with Sean Essex.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Club Candids: Obscura's 3rd Annual Twilight Party

Last weekend's cold spell made finding an appropriate outfit for Saturday night shenanigans a bit of a challenge. It was way too cold to rely on go to cute dresses or button down tops, so it was time to dig cozy hoodies and sweaters out of storage.

In spite of the last minute scrambling for snazzy outfits, folks dancing at Obscura's Twilight party still managed to look dapper.

The previous Twilight movies were projected behind DJs Roya and Funkfinger, who had alternating sets. Cut outs of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner covered in lipstick were propped in front of the DJ booth, so ladies could momentarily put their Team Edward/Team Jacob rivalries aside.

See the week's full Club Candids edition and slideshow.

--Melissa Fossum

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