Up on the Sun's 10 Top Music Stories of 2014

2014 is come and gone, and lots happened. Here's a recap of our most-read stories of the year.

10.) Max Cavalera Once Pissed on a Fan, and Other Tales

Valley resident, former Sepultura singer and Soulfly founder Max Cavalera is nothing if not a character. He's sober now, but when he was drinking. anything could've happened. In this interview, Cavalera revealed some juicy tidbits from his new autobiography, including one revolting, yet hilarious, story.

See also: Arizona's 30 Most Influential Musicians

9.) Nils Lofgren Finally Gets His Day in the Spotlight

Nils Lofgren's success as a sideman in Crazyhorse and the E Street Band has overshadowed his own prowess as a solo artist, and the Valley resident released a career-spanning box set earlier this year that delved into his musical accomplishments.

8.) Black Flag's Mike Vallely Rags on Former Singer Ron Reyes

Current Black Flag singer Mike Vallely spared no words for former singer Ron Reyes, in this interview from May, which helped shed light on the dramatic on-stage firing that happened earlier. "But Ron was always Ron's own worst enemy. Ron was Ron's only impediment to making this whole thing work -- He couldn't get out of his own way. So, he can rant on and on about the drummer, the Theremin, the start and stops of songs and anything else that he can think of, but really it was only Ron Reyes that stood in the way of Ron Reyes."

7.) The Sail Inn in Tempe to Close in June

This year saw many storied venues, in Tempe and out, shutter their windows. Few, if any, hit harder than the news from March that the Sail Inn was closing. Gina Lombardi's bar hosted many storied local bands, and the venue's leaving left a void no one has yet filled.

6.) Watch the Video of that Scottsdale Bar Fight That Led to Three Arrests

Names were called, punches were thrown. The video has since been taken down, though.

5.) Upon a Burning Body: Looks Like Disappearance Was a Hoax

Before Upon a Burning Body's stop in Phoenix as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, lead singer Danny Leal made a couple suspicious-seeming posts of social media, reporting that a weird car had driven by his house, and then, he thought he heard someone inside his home. Soon, the band posted something on its Facebook wall that Leal was missing. Sympathy poured in, but we at Up on the Sun were suspicious, and called the police in Leal's hometown to confirm the missing person report. In the end, the claim he was missing, like the band's music, was bullshit.

4.) Cannibal Corpse's Death Metal Still Provoking Controversies

George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher, singer of Cannibal Corpse, dropped some intimate knowledge in this interview, revealing that a), he's human, and b), the shock-death-metal band still faces censorship in parts of the world, including Germany.

3.) KDKB Switches Formats to Alternative Rock

How ironic that when KDKB stunted to gather attention for its format change, it played songs nonstop by a guy named Richard Cheese. Because when the once-beloved rock station came back on the air, it had switched formats to alternative rock, ending an era in Phoenix.

2.) 10 Years Ago, My Bandmate Knocked Danzig Out

Ten years ago this year, a pre-YouTube video went viral on the Internet. It showed Danzig, the former singer of the Misfits, shoving a large man and subsequently getting knocked to the ground by a punch. This was during an age of innocence of sort for the Internet, in the days before social media ruined any musician's chance of maintaining an image of mystery and secrecy, and it was one of the first blows of silliness to strike a dent in Danzig's tough-guy, macho-metal-man persona. Turns out, this happened just up the road from Phoenix, and our writer, a bandmate with the man who threw the punch heard 'round the metal world, saw the whole thing happen.

1.) 10 Classic Punk Records That Actually Kind of Suck

Man, did this blog piss people off. Our writer got hate mail for weeks after publishing this piece, which attacked some fairly revered punk records by bands as varied as Bad Religion, Black Flag, and Rancid. The comment section quickly filled with personal attacks on the writer, as opposed to actual debate, but hey, it's the Internet, what do you expect? Because as we all know, there's nothing more punk rock than dogmatically idolizing certain bands whose reputations precede them.

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David Accomazzo is a music wrangler, award-winning reporter, critic, and editor with more than a decade in the business.
Contact: David Accomazzo