Sure, we like to think we’re everyone’s favorite music and arts blog in the Zona (eh?) but, really, we know there is way too much awesomeness happening right here, right now, for anyone to cover all the angles. That is why we need a network of local press and YabYum is proud to be part of that web. We’re all part of the same movement – to make Arizona a haven for artists. I feel terrible when a great album comes our way and we don’t have the hands on deck to see that it gets the attention it warrants. Then there’s a great sigh of relief when I know that Sounds Around Town or The Spec provided coverage. Only on the occasion when I’m ready to publish a piece and find out that Mitchell Hillman beat me to the punch by a matter of minutes (okay, hours) do you hear me grumble ever so slightly. I (always) immediately retract my displeasure in remembering how grateful I am to be part of this vibrant scene during such a transformative time, knowing there is enough love and mutual support to go around.
Here are some of our local favs for music/art coverage around our desert state.
For more blogs/zines, check out our AZ Blog Directory.
If you’re part of the AZ music scene and you haven’t run across Mitchell Hillman’s name, you might be going about this all wrong. I’ve always felt a certain kindredness to Mitchell because we’re both writers who love music, not musicians or critics. Just here for the love of the game, so to speak. Sounds Around Town is Hillman’s chosen forum when not writing for Java Mag.
Tempe Starving Artist and their man-behind-the-mag Robbie Pfeffer are more of a community than a publication. I’m also a big fan of the Tempe Starving Artist shows that happen all over the Valley, from their mainstay at Tempe’s Long Wongs to house parties wherevs, even extending beyond our dusty borders to split showcases with Burger Records out of California. No matter the locale, TSA promises worthy acts on their bills.
When Spike Brendle (PALMS, Sister Cities) and Nicole Parasida launched Echo Cloud in December 2011, their goal was to showcase Arizona’s “extraordinary talent pool on a broader scale.” We enjoy regular features like “The Week In Local” and “Freeload Friday”. Plus, they also started the Echo Cloud Musicians Network on Facebook, a great way for musicians to connect with one another.
Started in 2011 by Alexis Gretscher and Dee Wallace, The Spec offers such delights as the “What I Learned on Bandcamp” feature as well as “Mix”, a collection of songs for your listening pleasure based on varying topics.
When it comes to visual art in the Valley, I doubt there are few more knowledgeable than Daniel Mills, the force behind Phoenix Taco. Gallery showings, artist spotlights, and the good old-fashioned brick & stucco impromptu muralists that beautify our city streets – the Taco has it all. If I had a dollar for every time I thought, “Damn, wish we covered that,” I could probably afford to hire Daniel full time. Maybe.