As part of YabYum’s ongoing effort to cover more music than ever before, we’ve decided to showcase a few different hip-hop acts that are each very much ‘doing their own thing.’ For those not really in the know, there are tons of hip-hop styles flowing all over this state. From Flag to Tucson, folks are picking up mics and just straight delivering. Here a few cats you really should hear.
Time and Space
If you haven’t heard of Random a.k.a. Mega Ran yet then damn. At around 40 releases, music is something Random’s constantly working at. And, yes, that is a Mega Man reference. He secured a ‘special licensing agreement’ with Capcom so don’t worry, he won’t be sued. Sampling an array of video-game-music based beats and original productions, Random has established fans throughout the world with his smart, story telling style. Definitely check out his tour kick-off going down at the Trunkspace on Wed. February 6th. here.
If you’ve never been to Prescott, do so as soon as you can. Known as “Everybody’s Hometown,” this quaint and quiet city offers a nice place to unwind and take a breather from hectic Valley life. Obviously, however, it’s much different if you’re young and live there. Having grown up in a small town myself, I understand the need of hibernating in one’s basement, meticulously crafting a song. Here are some of Prescott’s finest who are making it happen…
Although my editor hates this, immediately leave this article and begin listening to the Sounder here (make sure you come back though). What you’re listening to is their incredible debut album, Ziggurat. Covering an array of style and sound, “Indie Electro” can only hint at the vastness Ziggurat relays. Cortland Kay, Aubrey Jae, and Phill Bradford have constructed an unbelievable sound that, forgive me for saying, made my girlfriend forget (multiple times) that we were indeed listening to a band from Prescott. It’s that good. With a new album expected for 2013, I’m looking forward to all the Sounder can give me.
The entire demo is full of surprises like this and should be listened to here.
I like to keep the weekends lively, if I can manage it. The week can be overwhelmingly mundane with its paperwork and phone calls and so on. If I don’t pause to breathe in a little art and music and life at the end of it all things could get existential… and not in a good way. The highlight of this weekend was an unexpected solo performance at Long Wong’s from Frederick Huang, frontman for Of the Painted Choir, one of our bands “We Should Have Covered in 2012.”
I have been enjoying the tracks available through Of the Painted Choir’s Soundcloud page for some time. The group’s EP Lula can be found here along with a couple other tracks released at later dates: the airy and innocent song “Mr. Bumblebee” and the fun, not-so-innocent “D.I.T.M.O.L.”
Of the Painted Choir makes ethereal, desert pop. They combine a nostalgic pop warmth with a western sense of vastness to create something both sweet and slightly ominous like songs remembered from a dream. The songs hold a strong sense of style. Some people cringe when you say a band has style because it implies something transitory or temporal. These people are stupid. Style gives shape. It provides direction. The soft touches and subtle nuances found in each song give them their unique style. Of the Painted Choir are thoughtful and thorough when it comes to songcraft. `
Catching Fred solo really made the weekend for me. Now I’m even more excited to catch the whole band live at the Rogue on February 23rd. Mark your calendar, this band is a must see.
|Frederick Huang performing at Long Wong’s. Photo by Mark Anderson|
2. How did you get your start?
I majored in photography in college back in the days before digital cameras were accessible to everyone. I’d say 98% of my work was done in the darkroom. With a strong love for film and a nostalgia for the darkroom, I was hesitant to make the switch to digital photography. But I finally made the plunge and bought my first DSLR. About a year ago, I turned my sights toward music/band photography. It wasn’t enough. I was obsessed with music video blogs at the time, like La Blogotheque and Look Sessions. I loved the artistic, raw quality of the videos blended with incredible musical talent. I wanted to create something just as intimate, but with the amazing musicians we have here in Phoenix. With no videography background, I flipped the switch on my camera over to video and jumped into the creation of ANY_STAGE PRODUCTIONS. In the beginning, I didn’t know all the technical aspects of sound or editing, but I didn’t care. I loved the process so much and I learned as I went.
3. What inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who has a creative mind and isn’t afraid to try something new or put their work out there. I’m inspired by people who continue creating regardless of failure or success, criticisms or praise. I’m inspired by people who make something out of nothing and who spend most of their waking hours thinking about or dreaming about their next creation or endeavor. I’m very inspired by people who do things simply because they love it, even when money is not involved. I’m inspired by talent, but even more so by tenacity.
4. What do you like about AZ?
I love that it’s my home. Being an Arizona native, regardless of where I live, it will always be my home.
5. Where can we see your work?
6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I’d like to learn and speak at least three different languages (in addition to English). I’d love to live somewhere else in the world. Be a traveling photojournalist. Learn an instrument. Write a book. Actually, the list goes on and on…
7. What is your mantra?
I’m big on quotes so if I had to pick a mantra, I’d say that I read this quote anytime I’m about to do something new in my life. It’s actually a magnet on my fridge. A little cheesy, I know. I’m okay with it.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…Do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
|Michael Brian Patterson|
|The Bear and the Bird|
|The Cold Desert|
Another week on the interwebs has yielded some good finds. Please enjoy. Oh, and if you know of any AZ bloggers we should know about please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electronic music – from sample-based hiphop to GarageBand compositions, drum-machine dancehall to rhythms written in Reason – is certainly here to stay. This year at YabYum were focusing more on covering all aspects of Arizona music, electronic music being something that we have been somewhat lacking in coverage. So without further ado, here are some new electronic sound worth checking out.
Blaque Panther Disco
William Reed and Elise Welch, known collectively as Blaque Panther Disco, have released their first single with label Re:sound. “Pommes Frites” indeed is a very fun nu disco tune and I highly recommend listening to it here. The Gemini Bros. from Bucharest, Romania provide the remix, ensuring Blaque Panther Disco to be heard by an even larger world audience.