Hey, if you missed our show last Friday, you should be ashamed.. Wait, no, we’re kidding. You do have two more chances to catch our Radio Phoenix debut. The show re-airs on Thanksgiving at 6am so we don’t expect too many of our rocknroll readership to be awake at that hour. Unless, that is, you’re getting ready to go to sleep at that time. A podcast of the program will be made available in the next couple weeks and we’ll be sure to post the link as soon as it’s available.
Our next show will be aired live on the Fourth Friday of the month – Dec. 27th – at the usual time – 7 pm. Hope you all have a chance to tune in!
The holiday season is upon us. Decorations are in stores, lights are on homes, Black Friday lurks at the end of this week. It’s here. We’ve decided to tackle the season head on and in style by kicking things off with A Drunk and Horny Christmas.
If I were to simply listen to the tracks devoid of any association with titles, I would not think I was listening to a Christmas album. I mean, I wouldn’t think “Barack Obama Christmas” was a holiday tune if I didn’t see the word “Christmas” at the end of the title and the shout of “Merry Christmas, everybody!” at the end of the song.
“Let’s Get Naked” and “You Da Man Jose” definitely don’t have the holiday spirit unless you gravitate toward depression during the winter months, and many of us do. Painfully honest and devoid of any attempts to soften the blows, Drunk and Horny comes out like an intoxicated relative ready to share with uncomfortable honesty.
The first three tracks come in safely under three minutes. More than half the album’s running time is committed to the song “Christmas Time” – repeating for more than seven minutes. I think this song should be used to replace waterboarding, but I really don’t know which would be worse.
I love Ryan Avery’s work with Fathers Day. And Andrew Jemsek is in more projects I admire than I can rightly name without being exclusive. This is not one of them. That doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of giving it to everyone I know for the holidays. In fact, I’m definitely considering sending A Drunk and Horny Christmas as a gift to all my closest friends for the holidays, which is an option through their bandcamp page. Just click “Send as Gift” here and you’re set.
And, of course, we can’t forget to mention the Christmas Special: a presentation of the film Christmas Torture followed by a set from the Drunk and Horny Orchestra. It all happens at the Trunk Space on December 14th. More information on the event here. Hope to see you there!
There are so many bands I keep meaning to get out and catch live. The SunPunchers have been on that list for some time which says something because they only started performing together earlier this year. After listening to their first release Honey, I’m absolutely irate with myself for not seeing them live yet. From the opening (and title) track, I was blown away. The album is beautiful. It’s precise with regard to both the musicianship and the songwriting; pulling at the heartstrings in the reflective moments and crackling with a sharp wit at other times. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less for the stellar cast of players in The SunPunchers. This album is an absolute must for all you alt-country desert rockers. And, it was recorded at 513 Analog – how cool is that?! You can listen (and purchase) Honey here.
It was only last May that we first came across the slightly dark, somewhat psychedelic rock of Tucson band Liila with their album Live at La Cocina (more here). We were very excited to hear about the release of their self-titled EP earlier this month. Liila manages to hold to the disembodied, fuzzy dreampop feel while enjoying the benefits of a sprugged up studio sound – my compliments to Waterworks Studio. The EP opens with “Vanitas”, a song that slides in just 16 seconds shy of a full eight minutes. And that’s not the longest track on this 5-song EP. The music of Liila has a trance-like effect on the listener and you’ll never notice the minutes ticking away as you drift along with the melodies. Listen to Liila here and get out to see the band live on November 30th at Plush in Tucson.
Dear Brother Death
Winner of our 2012 award for “Most Prolific Songwriter”, Bryant Vazquez certainly doesn’t seem to be in any sort of need for new sources of inspiration. That didn’t stop a near-fatal car accident from striking and leaving behind a wake of new songs that became Dear Brother Death. Recorded by Alex Begay of Mesa Tracks, the album has more of the stripped down, just-a-man-and-his-guitar feel we first heard from Bryant all those years ago. Word has it we should be expecting more piano ballads from his solo projects yet to be released. Sadly, fellow Zonies, we can’t see Bryant live these days because he‘s left behind the desert scene to scope out what the East Coast has to offer a struggling musician looking to make his way. But it is the Electronic Age so you can still enjoy Dear Brother Death here. Maybe even purchase a copy to take with you in the car. It’s great for late night drives, but please drive safely.
Anamieke is the force behind Sidepony and its offspring gathering, the Sidepony Express Music Festival. Two years in a row now, this festival has lured most of our staff to the town’s quaint quarters.
With more than seventy acts performing over three days, Sidepony offers a crash course in some of the best local music has to offer. With staggered sets all happening in short proximity of one another, we were able to catch up with a lot of musicians and discover what everyone is up to these days. There were even a few local celebrity sightings, like Manny from the Rogue and Laura Fischer from RAW Artists.
I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say there was an air of magic that encompassed the entire event. Anytime you can walk across the street after listening to the Haymarket Squares and find yourself at a Fairy Bones show, there is magic at work. You can’t help but feel a part of something greater than one’s self; a transformative era in the arts community happening right now. And we’re all part of it: the musicians, artists, organizers, and, of course, the fans.
As with any road trip, there was the inevitable question: What did we forget? Our answer? The camera. So, that being said, please enjoy our less than professional-quality re-cap of one the best weekends in Arizona music history.
See you next year!