4XF: It’s Not Just About First Friday Anymore.

I don’t know what surprises me more: how incredibly busy the Roosevelt area is on First Friday or how incredibly not busy this downtown center is on other nights. Roosevelt Row businesses have been working to transform this occasional surge of people into a steady stream of sustaining interest in the RoRo. Jobot, Carly’s, Revolver Records – these are some of the great businesses that have struggled against the fickleness of downtown support to become local and long-standing favorites. With the addition of Lawn Gnome Publishing (and bookstore) and the force of owner Aaron Johnson and his brood of poets and bookish revolutionaries, further strides have been taken toward making the Roosevelt Row Arts District the bustling, visitor-friendly spot to spend your weekend nights.

The Bovine Fury rocking out at Lawn Gnome.

First and Third Friday already hop with activity. The new 4xF, or FMLY FRNDLY Fourth Friday, promises to make even more Fridays bustle. The event, sponsored by Jobot and organized by Aaron, provides all-ages access to live music for free starting at five and rolling into the night. I made it out to the recent Fourth Friday event. An eclectic crowd roamed Fifth Street, wandering between the four venues housing musical acts with occasional stops at Jobot for coffee as it was an unusually chilly evening for us desert dwellers.

I caught bands I’d always wanted to check out but hadn’t yet gotten around to seeing like the punk rock stylings of French Girls and the Bovine Fury. I was also introduced to some new acts I hadn’t yet heard of but I definitely want to hear more from like Guesthouse and Wolvves. Perhaps, the highlight of the evening was being able to listen to bands while perusing books at Lawn Gnome. So much for a “free” night out on the town but I did snag an armful of must-reads.

Next month should be warmer and, therefore, even more alive with peeps enjoying some music and community.The next 4xF is scheduled for March 22nd. I’ll be there and you should too.

Cliff of horizon i, my favorite band of the bands I can’t cover.
Photo by Jofrin Pezzati

So What’s In a Name Anyways?

In the 3+ years of YabYum Music and Art’s existence, we’ve continually been asked, “So, what does YabYum mean anyway?” For a short time, we held to the mystery, only hinting at it’s Vajrayana origins. As of late however we decided what the heck, why not provide an answer. Both editors, however, had different answers. Here we go…

L:  When I started YabYum M&A back in 2009, I was completing my graduate studies in philosophy and religion. My interest in the development of American Buddhism and the writers of the Beat Generation (Kerouac, in particular) first led me to my course of study. I was interested in most cultural merging points wherein religions undergo transformations. I see a new emerging consciousness in the world that dispels traditional religions in lieu of new freely-formed spiritual paths. Art has always been my chosen spiritual practice. I chose the name YabYum for three reasons. It was one of the first things I looked up about Buddhism when I was 15 and reading Desolation Angels for the first time. Through it I discovered the writings of Alan Watts. Secondly, I thought YabYum had a musical sound when spoken. And, perhaps most importantly, it was a way for Jack Kerouac to get girls into bed. Whole story. Ta-da.

M: Quite literally, yab-yum means ‘Father and Mother.’ In Tibetan art, each male and female consort represents the unity of masculine and feminine ideas. Yab, the male, symbolizes compassion (karunā) and skillful means (upāya-kauśalya). The female, Yum, links to transcendental wisdom (prajñā) and consciousness. The joining of both principles is then expressed (more often than not) in sexual partnership.

“The two components are an invitation to reintegrate the duality of phenomenal experience into the plane of the Absolute or bodhicitta from which we have decayed,” says the internationally recognized renowned scholar of Tibetan Buddhism Lokesh Chandra. “Instead of repressing the inborn libido of creatures, it is well to transfer it to higher planes.”

Yab, possessing the māyā-body and skillful means and Yum, retaining transcendental consciousness, reintegrate together on the plane of ultimate reality. Entering into the consciousness of Being, mahāsuka, or the ‘great voidness,’ corresponds to intense pleasure.

Tson-kha-pa, the famous 14th to 15th century Buddhist scholar, says that the Yab is the enlightened attitude that specifically causes Buddhahood. On the other side, the Yum is the discriminative acumen, an imperturbable tranquility that must be examined again and again.

Says Lokesh Chandra, “Just as both the father and mother are necessary to produce a child, likewise both an enlightened attitude and discriminative acumen are necessary for the arising of Buddhahood.”


Bailey Flynn Answers the YabYum 7

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, everybody. My name is Bailey Flynn. I am an Illustrator. My specialty is creating illustrations for album covers, t-shirt designs, and gig posters.

2. How did you get your start?

I would have to say everything started with my mom. She is an artist as well. When I was a little kid, I would sit and watch her paint in our basement of our farmhouse in Nebraska. She’d give me a small canvas to paint on while she worked, and I would paint pictures of Batman or whatever cartoon character I really liked at the time.

My mom used to own a college art supplies store, and that was my daycare as a child. A huge sheet of paper and pen occupied me for hours. I would spend the whole day quietly in the back room, filling pages with dinosaurs, monsters, and my ghost ideas for Ghostbusters. She would always be disappointed that I always scribbled out the ghosts when I would show her my day’s work. I had it my mind that the Ghostbusters would never let a ghost free. They always had to be contained by proton pack streams. Those early years really laid the foundation for me as an artist. One thing led to another and here I am, still drawing. Ben Florine and the guys in the local band RAC had me do my very first CD cover for them.

3.What inspires you?

Where to begin? So many things inspire me. It can be as simple as a crow flying by with a piece of trash in its mouth. In fact, that’s where the inspiration for the Fancy Cloud cover came from. Matt (Reveles) and I were in the early stages of discussing the cover. He told me the story behind the song “New Year New Jacket,” how one year his jacket accidentally ended up in the bonfire at a New Years Eve party. He then made it a tradition to throw a jacket into a fire every year after that. Thus “New Year New Jacket”. He gave me a rough mix of the song and I told him I would get back to him.

Initially, I was really having trouble trying to capture the feel of the song and story in a single image.Then one day, randomly, I noticed a crow with a piece of garbage in its beak. That’s when the light bulb went off, which eventually led to a story in my head of two owls looking around the forest for materials to build a nest. The two owls come upon the aftermath of a new years party in the woods from the night before. In the fire pit, they find the burnt remains of a jacket. Thinking that it would make good nest building material, the owls fly off with it. If you freeze frame that moment in the story, that is the cover for the 7”.

4. What do you like about AZ?

I really love the friends that I have made throughout the years in Arizona. Wherever life takes us, they will always be special to me. I also like the fact that you are only a few blocks away, at any given time, from a 24/7 burrito hut.

5. Where can we see your work?

Follow my art on Facebook (don’t forget to “like” my page).

If there are any bands out there who are interested in commissions contact me at baileyf62@msn.com.

Fancy Cloud

This Happens Every Time


6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I would like to have a really expansive body of quality work that people really enjoy and connect to. Everything else will take care of itself.

7. What is your mantra?

“Let’s see what happens”


Weekly Web Round-Up

Welcome to our weekly installment of things-we-find-online brought to you by AZ-run blogs and websites.
Have you checked out Dust Circuit Radio yet?? You should. This online radio beats out the car stations any old day.
Alexis Getscher delves into the world of Bandcamp to bring exciting new music to readers at The Spec. This installment highlights CooBee Coo recorded in Gilbert at the Studio at the Farm. 
Phoenix Taco, we feature you so much it’s almost time we add a permanent link to your blog… This week, check out the Call to Artists for the Tempe Streetscape Project & Bicycle Lane Symbol Design. Serious cred for seriously interested artists.

Casey of Avant-Girl gives a nod to Western Wear. Think fashionable accents, not tourist in Old Town Scottsdale.
Homemade almond milk?! Yes, please, and thank you! Steph of Pumpkin Amore shows you the ropes. 

Country Bands You Should Know

Now, we’re not talking about any Taylor Swift / Blake Shelton country music. We’re talking good country. Real country. Salt of the earth, fire in the belly country. You get where we’re going with this. Arizona has some truly noteworthy country acts out there and we’d like to share a few with you that have caught our fancy. All of the artists featured below will be playing Valley Fever, a weekly AZ country music event at Yucca Tap Room hosted by Dana Armstrong, in the next couple of months so head out for a show soon!
The twangy, earthy, layered harmonies created by the hard-living ladies of Barefoot & Pregnant made them an instant favorite in my heart of hearts. They remind me of the Wailin’ Jennys , but with a much stronger commitment to the great female country singers of the 50s and 60s like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. Head to myspace (yes, myspace) to hear tracks from the band or head out to Valley Fever on Feb. 24 to hear them live!
Tony Martinez makes the type of country music I think of when I think of country music. When it’s time for some solid, authentic, downhome AZ country, I turn to the Tony Martinez Band. A couple of tracks are available online through Revernation but I recommend heading out for a live show. In addition to their frequent shows in the Valley, Tony Martinez can be found playing locales across the state if you’re up for adventure! And, of course, Valley Fever will be hosting Tony Martinez for their March 24th show at the Yucca Tap Room.
Former drummer for US Bombs and One Man Army, Chip Hanna, decided to head in another direction when he started his independent project. With a twangy vocal style reminiscent of Hank Williams, Chip Hanna creates a brew of bluegrass and classic country with a smattering of psychobilly. Catch Chip live at Valley Fever on March 3rd. You can also head to his website to hear tracks now!

4 Super New Bands to Watch

I don’t know who these people are but I know I want to hear everything they record, forever. The fast-paced, fun-loving introductory track “I’m Full of Lust (and I Want You)” is amazing. So amazing, in fact, that it has secured my fandom in under two minutes. I must see this band live. Good thing they’re playing around a million upcoming shows and I’ll get the chance! For more info and showtimes click here.
photo courtesy of NUMB BATS
The feisty surf-punk overlaid with the minimalist call-it-out lyrics of the NUMB BATS might just fill the vacancy left by North Dakota’s brief but powerful appearance on the local music scene (and, thankfully, the band hasn’t tossed in the towel despite continental divide). To date, the NUMB BATS have only one live video available online. I have listened to it 50 times today. I need an album. I need one quickly. Fear not, early fans, the group does have quite the schedule of live performances so you can get your regular NUMB BATS fix in a less psychotic manner, or just listen to the video over and over and over….
Update: Video no longer available.
Chelsey Louise, the spirited singer of Born Loser and the Hangers On has embarked on a new venture with Fairy Bones. As a songwriter, Chelsey definitely wakes up on the edgier side of the ballad bed (my favorite) in this new project. And, with Bob Hoag of Flying Blanket set to record their first EP this June, Fairy Bones is a band to watch for sure!
So, technically, Exploding Oranges have been on the scene for a little while now but we’re including them in the mix because it took them a bit to come into their own and find just the right players to make their “indie space folk” really come to life. Exploding Oranges has come a long way in a short time. Their music is refreshingly innocent pop, both sweet and optimistic. Hearing them live carries the sense of a faintly remembered dream and the warmth of summer mornings. Hear Exploding Oranges here.

Steph Carrico Answers the YabYum 7!

Steph showing her work at Trunk Space

1. Who are you and what do you do?    
My name is Stephanie Carrico, most people call me Steph. I run the Trunk Space which is an all ages art gallery and performance venue in downtown Phoenix. I also teach visual art and photography at Metropolitan Arts Institute. I also work as a portrait and fine art photographer, but I haven’t had much time to do that lately, though I am working on a series titled, “Artists and their pets.” 
2. How did you get your start?   
I was showing my photography in downtown Phoenix and hanging around the art scene where I met JRC, we were asked by Scott Sanders at the Paper Heart to run coffee and help book performances there, which we did for a year. When Scott decided to move into the new location we decided it was a good time for us to go do our own thing, which is when we opened the Trunk Space. That was April 2004.
Andrew Jackson Jihad

3. What inspires you? 

My Students, the people that perform and show their art at Trunk Space, my family, my friends, the weather. So many things inspire me!      

4. What do you like about AZ?  

I like that it has such a diverse landscape, I love heading up to Flagstaff, Sedona or Prescott for the night and it is just a couple hours to get there. Things I like about Phoenix are the creative and supportive people. I feel lucky to have so many great friends here.

Pete and Dana (of JJCnV)

5. Where can we see your work?  


6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?  

I would like to travel everywhere!

7. What is your mantra?  

Treat the planet and everything on it with love and respect.