Weekly Web Round-Up

Share in our weekly web finds every Thursday at YabYum. We’re going to be updating our AZ Blogs Directory in the very near future so if your blog isn’t on our list make sure you email us a link (yymeditors@gmail.com)!!
Gotta love Lightning Octopus‘ weekly feature “5 Awesomely Nerdy Things to do this Weekend” when looking for new and exciting happenings around town.
Up Til Dawn Films, an AZ film review site and zero-budget production studio, is not afraid to stand in opposition to critical acclaim or to bring new light to the underrated.

Chelsea of Tea Talk gears up for the Puppy Love Project, a collaboration of Co+Hoots and the Phoenix Style Collective to benefit the Arizona Humane Society. 

The Spec highlights the latest feature to hit bandcamp. This is way more exciting than it sounds. Fans can now create accounts to help keep track of the bands they love.
Jayson Chesler of the Downtown Devil’s METROnome covers Tempe Starving Artist’s recent “Round Robin” at House 314.

Hip-Hop Don’t Stop

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.

Random a.k.a. Mega Ran

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.

Dream Big
It seems that no matter who I talk to about Valley hip-hop these days, Futuristic’s name always comes up. It’s little wonder too because this kid seems to be grinding on the constant. Growing up in a family of musicians, it seems inevitable that Futuristic would  make a name for himself in the medium of songs. With Futuristic’s all ages “Chasing Down A Dream” show going down Feb. 22nd at Club Red, it’ll be the perfect chance to see him after his new album drops February 19th!

Black Rose
The Insects have been making their music for years now. Somewhat of an off-shoot to Drunken Immortals, all three members of the Insects – vocalist Brad B, DJ/producer/drummer Foundation, and live artist Dumperfoo – call both bands home. With different style and approach, however, the Insects certainly have a unique buzz all their own. You can pre-order their brand new album Black Rose for only 5 bucks here. Also, peep the event page here for more info regarding the release show February 5th!

MORE AZ MUSIC VIDEOS

Well, it’s Tuesday, that means it’s time for some more AZ music videos! We have some really swell ones this time too so make sure to check ’em out…
The Breakup Society – “Your Invitation to Quit”
The Riveras – “The Fox”
The Devil’s Daughters – “Pass That Bottle”
Therapist – “Desire”
Courtney Marie Andrews – “Paintings From Michael” // Ballard Sessions #37
The Indie Music Highway – Teaser Clip 1 – MAN-CAT
If you are an Arizona musician or band and have a video that you would like to share, email it to yymeditors@gmail.com.

Prescott Music Kicks Ass!

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…

The Sounder

Ziggurat

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 Balcony Scene

A little over a month ago, a lovely album appeared in our inbox. Being  right in the middle of wrapping up the year with our hectic awards month, there wasn’t much we could do but listen to it. And let me tell you what a delight listening to the Balcony Scene really is. The Balcony Scene, otherwise known by his given name of Justin Moody, writes good-natured  folk tunes perfect for an afternoon in Prescott. “The Sun Will Rise,” an americana head-bobber, sounds superb with piano, banjo, harmonica and guitar. Likewise, the ballad “Begging oh Lord” sounds great with only Justin’s vocals and a strumming acoustic.

Listen to the Balcony Scene here.

Demo

Like any proper small town music scene, Prescott has it’s fair share of metal/hardcore bands. Of course I had to check out a band called “Windmill of Corpses”. That’s simply an obligation. What I discovered was something a little different than your average slash and thrash band. “I Slang Jenkems” begins the album with a slow, sludging riff before turning it on itself and bursting out of control, blast-metal spraying everywhere. Towards the end of the song however, it’s morphed into some sort of reggae hybrid – definitely stoner metal man.

The entire demo is full of surprises like this and should be listened to here.

Of the Painted Choir

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

Esther Martinez Answers the YabYum 7!

1. Who are you and what do you do?
Esther Martinez
My name is Esther Martinez and I’m a writer, photographer and videographer. I run ANY_STAGE PRODUCTIONS, a music video blog that features videos, write-ups and photos of local musicians shot in various Phoenix businesses and locations. In an effort to be a part of, contribute to and support Phoenix’s continually growing art and music community, I promote both the musician and local businesses. When I’m not doing the job I love most (running ANY_STAGE PRODUCTIONS) I happen to get paid at my other full-time job. I’m  a multimedia writer and photographer at Food for the Hungry, a international relief and development non-profit based in Phoenix. 

Dylan Pratt

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?

Avery

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?

You can see my work at anystageproductions.wordpress.com or my Vimeo channel . My band photography can be seen at estherruthphotography.com.

Kristina Moore

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

Bogan Via

Michael Brian Patterson

The Bear and the Bird

The Cold Desert

~

Weekly Web Round Up

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 yymeditors@gmail.com.

Dee Wallace of The Spec checks out Jivemind’s EP project for aspiring musicians. Learn more about this opportunity for upstart musicians to record an EP for free here
Echo Cloud unleashes their 50 AZ Favorites of 2012 (in no particular order).
Phoenix Taco checks out Jason Griffith’s Tempe Chair Installations, funded by the Tempe Neighborhood Grant Program. 
The AZ Edge hangs out with Prescott’s fem-folk the Gurley Girls. 
Don’t fall behind on new music listening this year! Every Tuesday, Electric Mustache lists all your need to knows so you can stay knowledgeable. 
Phoenix is Haute‘s “I Have a Cool Job” post this week features awesome artists Joshua and Sarah Rhodes. Read more about this cool couple and get inspired!
Many of us have been trapped indoors overcoming illness this flu season. How we all deal with these periods of confinement differs. Some of us catch up on missed television shows, some of us cook up healing soups, and there’s the one chick from i believe in unicorns who decides this is her personal party time. I love it. How to deal with “a strange case of the boreds”? Confetti your walls

New Electronic Sounds

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

Pommes Frites

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.

Aron Bron
XPLOR
Aron Bron creates “experimental” electronic music via an electric guitar, bass, vocals and programmed beats. Playing live, he incorporates looping stations   to great effect, adding texture upon delicate texture. Not entirely direct in their approach, Aron’s songs remain steadfast in providing a “chill” atmosphere.  Check him out here.  
Vial Of Sound
VOS
If you haven’t heard Vial Of Sound yet, well my gosh, you’re ‘gonna’ have to hop on board the disco train and ride it all the way to Funkytown (i.e. make way steadfast to their Bandcamp page and press play)! Using only “vintage analog synthesizers ranging from 1973-1984” as their instruments, Vial Of Sound incorporates new school dance music with old school execution. Did I mention it was recorded by Mr. Bob Hoag at his Flying Blanket Studios? If that isn’t enough for you to check Vial Of Sound, I don’t know what is.

AZ MUSIC VIDEOS


The Wiley One – “Kill It With Love”

Voodoo Swing – “My Rockabilly Martian Gal”

Vial Of Sound – “Pop The Beat”
Futuristic, Dizzy Wright, Jarren Benton, Prod. by Akt Aktion – “Don’t Mind If I Do”
Treasure MammaL – Stevie Wonder to the Bullshit
Banana Gun recording LIVE on-line at TheRecordingArtist.com
If you are an Arizona musician or band and have a video that you would like to share, email it to yymeditors@gmail.com.