November 2013 in Review

Music Videos with Mergence, Wolvves, Cherie Cherie, Mouse Powell, and The Saving Pointe
Examining “From Lemons to Lingerie: The Still Life Redefined”

3 Eclectic Albums with Dinosaur Love, Orphans, and Burning Palms
Live Music Videos with Fairy Bones, Tramps & Thieves, Playboy Manbaby, Nowhere Man & A Whiskey Girl, Catfish Mustache, and Small Leaks Sink Ships
5 Stellar Singles with Captain Squeegee, Stray Flares, Supa Joint, Head, and Vagabond Gods


3 Albums to Check Out with Fathers Day, Weird Ladies, and Shawn Skinner
Future Loves Past: All the Luscious Plants
5 Albums We’re Excited About with Former Friends of Young Americans, JJCnV, Steff & the Articles, Cherie Cherie, and Tierra Firme
Captain Squeegee: To the Bardos

3 New Albums, Transplant Edition, with Stephen Steinbrink, Tracy Shedd, and Muscle
Music Videos with Clay Dudash, Supa Joint, JJCnV, Lost in Atlantis, and Saddles
3 New & Stellar Albums with The SunPunchers, Liila, and Bryant Vazquez

Top 5 Show Picks of the Week!!

Hopefully, you had some extra time off the week and now you’re ready to get down because there are some rad shows happening this week. Fairy Bones celebrates the release of their first EP on Friday at the Rogue. The Rubber Brother Records Round Robin Festival happens all weekend at Parliament. Saturday, SupaJoint continues the holiday with a “Thanksgivin’ Weedend Extravaganza” at Tempe Tavern. The Crescent Ballroom has a stellar lineup in place including Hasty Escape, the American Longspurs, The Hill in Mind and more. And, of course, Captain Squeegee’s long-anticipated record release happens at the Crescent Ballroom this Thursday. Get out and get down, people.

Radio Phoenix Recap

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!

Here’s the playlist (as promised) from our very first show. Below that you’ll find the concert calendar we also shared with radio listeners. 
Sister Lip – “Sue”
Future Loves Past – “Fear of Growing”
Dry River Yacht Club – “The Legend of El Tigre”
Fairy Bones – “Like Like”
Asian Fred – “The Cops Wanna Keep Us Down”
Petty Things – “The Itch”
JJCnV – “I’ll Keep You”
Black Rose Mansion – “Arching Angles”
Wolvves – “Dance”
North Dakota – “Bikini”
Bogan Via – “Afternoon Wonderland”
Cherie Cherie – “Friday’s Child”
Stray Flares – “Reno”
Where are All the Buffalo? – Kwiaty Są Piękne
Stephen Steinbrink – “Now You See Everything”
Former Friends of Young Americans– “Love Hope Doubt”
Concert Calendar:
Nov 29 – Fairy Bones release show at the Rogue
Nov 29 – Dec 1 – Rubber Brother Round Robin
Dec 5 – Capt Squeegee release at the Crescent
Dec 6 – Shelby James & the Crying Shames at the Western in Scottsdale
Dec 6 – Tierra Firme at Rogue
Dec 7 – Former Friends release at Yucca
Dec 7 – in Tucson – Steff Koeppen & the Articles
Dec 14 – Cherie Cherie release at Crescent
And I think we instituted a Bragg’s Factory Diner tradition post-radio-show. Mmmm, pie.

Buy Local Holiday Kick-Off!!

We here at YabYum have decided once again to support a Buy Local Holiday season by offering our readers friendly alternatives to the gluttonous consumer rampage that seemingly blindsides Americans to both the questions: Where was this made? And, where does my money go? Take a deep breath and remember that your children don’t need another toy made overseas from toxic plastic by less fortunate children. 
Every week, we’ll be bringing you suggestions for your holiday gift giving and maybe even a few items will find their way to your own wish list. 
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This super fabulous star hair clip from Glampire Design would be a welcome edition to any hair-accessory collection… my own included.
OMG. Atomic Retro Rocket Lamp?!?! Yes, this Art Deco yet still Space Age lamp from High Desert Dreams has an eco-friendly waterbased finish just in case you thought it couldn’t get any cooler. 
Personalized wine and champagne bottles just might be the classiest way to say  “Happy Holidays” this year. Sun Devil Trophy & Awards can pretty much put anything on anything but we’re partial to their holiday selection of bottles, glasses, and ornaments for personalized gifts. Customers get to choose their own wine so I’d like to suggest either AZ Stronghold or maybe even a selection from Caduceus??
This wheel-thrown, stoneware pottery mug is the most poetical container for that hot cup of morning coffee at the start of a cold, winter’s day. Fire N Flux Handmade also offers amazing handmade goblets if you prefer wine to coffee.
This eco-friendly Earth Horse from Woolies makes stuffed animals certain to delight the little ones in your life… without all the carcinogens. I love the natural hues of the Earth Horse, but Woolies’ Pegasus also captured my fancy.
What do you get the Nascar lover in your life? How about a print from Ryan Casillas Art? This artist uses charcoal to create tasteful works of motorsports-themed art. 

This three-piece bracelet set from The Sea Port is perfect for the the ocean lover in your life. Adorbs.
If you find a cute t-shirt at Target, chances are everyone and their mother has already seen it. Opt for something original like this rad owl shirt from Scott Allison Art.  I also recommend checking out the original drawings available from the artist.
Keep up the local-only tradition alive after the holiday season comes to its end with this adorable sign from Snappy Design. If I make it in my own kitchen, is it not, by its very nature, local? And, should I decide not to cook, this sign serves as a friendly reminder of all the fabu locally-owned eateries eager to take over dinner duties… dishes included.
This tree of life pendant is laser cut into wood by Tucson artisan Bijoux Bee. Lovely and sorta self-referential. 
Wondering what to get the art lover in your life? Look no further than WHAT IS NOW – a collection of photographs from Mo Neuharth. Twenty prints come in a handmade box with a letterpress printed title. Don’t bother getting this one for me. I already bought it for myself. Duh.

A Drunk & Horny Christmas

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!

3 New & Stellar Albums

The SunPunchers

Honey

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.

Liila

Liila

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.

Bryant Vazquez

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 hes 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.

Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee 2013

It just so happens that Bisbee is probably the coolest small town Arizona has to offer. It’s artsy and funky and adorable sorta like the woman of the hour: Anamieke Quinn.

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.

Sun Ghost was the highlight of my trip. The band has long been a favorite amongst staffers and we were sad to see them come to an end, but what an end it was! They performed their last set of Sun Ghost originals at the Bisbee Grand Saloon to a wiley crowd. Folks sang and danced until the music stopped then they grew wild with demands for more songs. You still have one last chance to catch the fellas of Sun Ghost together as when they perform at their annual Beatles Tribute at the Rogue this December.
Here’s the lovelost performing at The Stock Exchange. That dude on the left looks strangely familiar… 
Anthony Fama led the crowd at the Copper Queen in a moving sing-a-long to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. I hate to be the one to say it, but I guess I’ll say it. I love Anthony Fama and I love Doctor Bones, but I miss the old Doctor Bones. And, I’m not alone.
A small town tucked into the mountains, Bisbee embodies all the spirited weirdness that makes Arizona truly unique and wondrous. Last year we enjoyed the hospitality of the Copper Queen but this year we opted for the Inn at Castle Rock which boasts the Apache Spring Well right in the lobby. As an added bonus, the musicians from Frequent Kings & WuT were staying there too so we were often greeted on returning with some rad music on the porch or in the lounge.
The folks of Bisbee are so nice the local PD even helped Catfish Mustache carry their equipment between gigs.
Super cute maps of the downtown were included in the Sidepony Express Music Festival brochure. Now, just imagine music everywhere! Props to Haley Grigaitis of Ruca fame for drawing the commemorative map that now hangs in YabYum HQ.
Everywhere art and color and interesting things to look at. And listen to.
The smallest bar in the state is tucked away in Room 4 of the Silver King Hotel. A must-see spot on any trip to Bisbee.
We love that the folks of Bisbee love music enough open up their town to Anamieke’s rabble of musicians and their friends. Some, admittedly, had more fun than others like this gentleman who could not contain his love of Fairy Bones. I totally know the feeling. 
An intimate performance from Former Friends of Young Americans was a welcome prelude to their impending record release show happening this December.
Fairy Bones at The Bisbee Grand Saloon rocking out for only the first time on Saturday. They absolutely killed it at their St. Elmo’s set later that night, but anytime you get to see Chelsey perform twice in the same day is a good day.

See you next year!

Top 5 Shows of the Week!!

The real reason we do all this work to bring you the latest from all these great bands is because we’re secretly plotting to draw you all away from your televisions and out into the streets where real art and music happen LIVE. It’s all a conspiracy to make you dance. Go see something. Oh, and before you head out tonight make sure you tune in to catch us live on Radio Phoenix from 7-8pm. We’ll be bringing you some of the best in local music! 
For more shows happening, check out our Upcoming Shows page!!