Music News

A "Dreamy" Display

As far as showoffs go, Arizona is an unforgivably cocky offender. First, we get all high and mighty about that great, glorified geological ass-crack up north, then we start trottin' out the "heavies" to campaign against Lyndon Johnson, and now it seems we've casually cracked our knuckles and announced a showcase of bands. What will it take to humble the state that's simply a few John McCains short of Texas?

It's doubtful the issue will bother anyone at the Paper Heart, because come Friday, they'll all be so high on the musical fumes of the Modern Art Records/Dreamy Draw Showcase that their eyeballs will need several fresh coats of Windex before they'll even notice you jabbing them with that stick. The showcase features up-and-coming bands like indie-pop songsters Miniature Tigers, as well as locals like rap-rockers Chronic Future, and should serve as a revealing slice of the Southwestern indie rock pie. But you demand specifics! So now: the adoption of a respectful tone and the straight dope on the showcase hullabaloo.

Chronic Future: Alt-rock hip-hop interlaced with electronic and pop-punk trim. More often than they should, they succumb to the boring, Jimmy Eat World-sound-alike power-chord melodrama that's so mysteriously endemic to Arizona bands, but their triple-vocalist rap attack can be nimble and melodic.

Runaway Diamonds: Upbeat gospel pop with catchy twinkling piano, functional hip-hoppity backbeats, and some really nice doo-wop harmonies. The band's first album is called God's Mom and Her Turquoise Chow-Chow, their label is Dreamy Draw, and supposedly they named their chinchilla after the Flying Nun. Lovely melodies and the girls are kind of cute, too.

Back Ted N-Ted: Ryan Breen and the laptop horde manipulate an audio signal the way the holy angels tweak Adam's hairdo — meanwhile, the stage is populated with gyrating yahoos and/or MC Mike Busse from Chronic Future, who occasionally joins Breen to spew some Phoenix shuck. Great if you like staring at a bearded ProTools nerd absorbed in front of a monitor!

Treasure Mammal: Treasure Mammal's psycho-motivational speaker shtick rides the back of a pop-culture dance-party beast. Sole member Abelardo Gil slips into something ridiculous, starts a conga line, and sings about unicorns, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and other deeply, deeply humorous subjects. Remember I Hate You When You're Pregnant? Pretty close.

Miniature Tigers: Lovelorn Format-esque, sincere-as-fuck, sensitive-song guy pop that'll make your mother sigh like a willow tree in a wind tunnel. Rolling Stone or Pitchfork would probably feed you some line about "beautiful pop ruminations from jaded, earnest young men who have been irreversibly baptized in the cold ambiguous light of the morning after" or some such, but here it is straight: These are our generation's Frankie Avalons. Damned if these guys don't get more poon than Wilt Chamberlain on a hot day!