Announcing Our 2013 Awards!!

It’s that time of year again! We at YabYum are excited to announce our Annual Awards Month starting tomorrow, New Year’s Day! Each and every day throughout January we’ll continue to highlight individuals or groups that help make the Arizona music and arts scene what it is and what it is becoming. We’re excited and hope you are too! Stay tuned…

December in Review!

Ollie Vaughn’sA New Eatery Opens in the Coronado District
Music Videos with Sara Robinson & the Midnight Specials, decker., Human Behavior, Hasty Escape, and The Burning of Rome
Eclectic Music Videos with Micah Bentley, Pam Barker, Hi My Name is Ryan, Dead City Lights, and Jimmy Pines

US at Eye Lounge

Even More Music Videos with Steff & the Articles, The Cold Desert, The Hourglass Cats, Tracy Shedd, The Upper Strata, Bentley, and Prehab
Bands, Be Brave. (editorial piece by Frank Ippolito) 

Radio Phoenix Recap: December 2013

Welcome back everyone. Hopefully, you had a chance to hear the second installment of the YabYum Music & Arts Hour on Radio Phoenix this past Fourth Friday. Below we have our Playlist from our December show as well as the podcast from our November show now available for your listening pleasure at any hour, day or night.

December Playlist:

decker.  “Speak in Tongues”
more on decker. here

The SunPunchers  “Sodium Pentothal Blues”
more on The SunPunchers here
Jeff Gonzales  “Trickster”
more here

Jared & the Mill  “Wrecking Ball”
more here
Steff & the Articles  “Leave You Alone”
more here
The Modeens  “What I Need”
more here
Dogbreth  “Sentimental Health”
more here
Muscle  “Most Compatible Sign”
more here
Good Friends Great Enemies  “Forgotten Offspring”
more here
Sun Ghost  “Photo Radar Blues”
more here
Andrew Jackson Jihad  “#armageddon”
more here
Mouse Powell “DGTW”
more here
Candid Canyon  “Wu-Hoppin”

In the coming weeks, the podcast will be available. Don’t miss our next show on January 24th from 7-8pm on! Until then, please enjoy our show from November right here!

For the complete playlist from our November show, head here

Bands, Be Brave.

Yesterday, well not really yesterday but it sounds way more dramatic, the editors of Yab Yum (two of the most integrified people I have met in the last decade and the Valley is lucky to have them) sent me a list of a new albums for my opinion.

As luck would have it, I forgot to bring my ear buds to work (sssh, they don’t know I write reviews at work), and so I decided to listen to the music au natural, sans headphones, you get the idea.

The music started and half way through the third song, my co-worker – I work in an open space concept – says, “Hey, is that new Interpol?”

I was like, “Geezus, it sounds exactly like Interpol, no wonder I liked it so much.”

From there my mood and opinion immediately changed. I deleted the glowing comments I had written and rewrote the piece. Expressing exactly how I felt. Writing that, “They are good musicians but they sound exactly like Interpol.” And that, “There was once a wise person who said, “The art of creativity is concealing your sources and you’re not very good at hiding them.”

When I finished and re-read the piece, and I was like, “I can’t send this in.” So I searched out a trusted friend and fellow musician who I admire and respect even though I hate them because they are so freaking good, and sent it to said person to make sure I wasn’t going completely “bash piece”.

He/she told me that I was being “wishy-washy”. “Wow!” I said to myself, “remind me not to get your opinion on my music”. But they were correct.

Then, I sought advice from my editors.

“If that is what you really thought, you should write it,” was the sage advice that came back to me.

And that brings us to the part of the story where I am up at 3 AM agonizing over if I was going to submit it for publication.

Let me first state, it’s difficult giving an opinion on music, especially since I am musician. I mean, when I read negative comments about our music, and I have, it kills me. “Don’t they know that I worked hard on that?” and “What do they know about anything?” are some of things I say aloud, and some things I say are not fit to print here. So, I treat the exercise as more “opinion” than “review”.

In fact, I woke up this morning to two “thank you very much but no thank you” emails from radio stations. And, frankly, I was pissed. More confused, no…I was pissed.

But then again, it doesn’t matter.

As an artist, we/you/I have assumed the risks of critique – deal with it. And, frankly, I have read a lot of reviews that are so filled with wonderfulness and awesomefulness for the music that it goes way beyond sucking up to the point that the artist, or the reader for the matter, doesn’t really get an honest opinion.

Lookit, I am not advocating for Mean Girls bashing, here. Honesty with a healthy dose of integrity and constructive criticism – that’s what is going to make the artist, and the music and the community on the whole, better in the long run. Not a tongue bath.

One of the first reviews my band received was right here on Yab Yum. And, of course I didn’t agree with everything that was written, but you know what? I read it, learned from it, and the music is better because of it.

And I can promise you guys that you will always get an opinion that will always be constructive, so please, read it that way.

In other words: Bravely submit your music as bravely as you push the record button.


Dear Band That Shall Remain Nameless,

You sound exactly like Interpol and you need to take an honest listen to your music and change it. Not because you are bad musicians – but because it’s not original and you got more in you than that.

Love, Frank.

by Frank Ippolito
Staff Writer

Buy Local Holiday, Part II

More gift-giving suggestions from our great state. Shop Local this season and every season!
If you still need more ideas consider a gift card to a local restaurant, a t-shirt or album from a favorite local band, or a book from a local independent shop!! 
OMG. How adorable is this Sweet Pea (implied) onesie?? Saracina Designs has adorable images for the whole family. I’m partial to the Lucky Star t-shirt.

I’m totally in love with Sebastien Millon‘s cartoons. Through his website you can purchase prints or shirts, even a Christmas card featuring baby pandas. Purchase and peruse here. If you ask nicely, he might even sign one for you.
Yum, these Truffle Bath Melts from Mrs. Brown’s Bath Bakery look so delicious they come with a warning lest consumers actually attempt consumption. The relaxing effects of chocolate but none of the calories.

The Jay Street Art Lab offer some awesome (and eclectic) offerings including ceramic masks, jewelry, and pin-up prints, both modern and retro-styled. 
This Geeky Boston Terrier Throw Pillow from Joyful Roots out of Bisbee makes a great gift for any nesting couple or dorm-bound student. Or me.
Spoke N Wheelz has the perfect gift for the cyclist on your shopping list. Like this super chill hoodie or something from their wide-array of t-shirts.

The Above Knuckle Rings are all the rage this season, or so the internet tells me. These rings by The Wicked Griffin are not only stylishly Bohemian but their also hand-crafted from copper so they have that unique AZ-flair we do so love here.
The name of the artisan says it all… You’re Gonna Love This fulfills on that promise with their too-cute personalized jewelry and charms, like the hand-stamped Love Birds necklace above.
This Elk Antler & Turquoise Pendant is made using naturally shed antlers by Woman on Wild Mountain. The perfect gift for the boho cowgirl or aspiring mountain woman in your life.

For that crafty friend on your list, how about this beautiful Bonfire Handspun Yarn for their next knitting project? If, like me, you love the yarn but hate to knit, Bewilderknits By Cora also offers a variety of already-knitted goods.
Go GAGA 4 Art offers quite a bit of cutesy crafts for the country kitsch collector, but it was this recycled art piece titled “Lady Mandala” that I was particularly taken with… and my guess is, I won’t be alone.

Dogbreth – Sentimental Health

Dogbreth is a pop-punk band outta Phoenix known for their positive messages, incredibly fun music, and feel-good attitude. The group is getting ready to celebrate the release of their second full-length album Sentimental Health later this month.

The band built anticipation for this album with the release of Cassingle (and loving it!) on Rubber Brother Records which featured the tracks “Too Much Too Fast” and “How Long”. The first of these tracks kicks off the album nicely and gets the momentum going.  The song deals with realizing you didn’t know when to shut your mouth last night, something we can all relate to… painfully.  Next up is “How Long” and this song features bassist Erin Caldwell grabbing the reins and performing main vocals. This switch up is a nice change of pace and adds to the sonic variety this album offers.

Tracks like “New Friend” and “Shakin’” are very danceable and will most likely get people moving at shows. “Tru 2 U” has soaring guitar leads and finishes with a fiery solo that has that true rocknroll feel. “Blueprints” is an acoustic guitar piece with loud feedback behind it giving it a heavy, lumbering quality.

Most songs offer a unique feeling that make them stand out separately but work together to create an entertaining album from start to finish. The lyrics are easy to make a connection with whether they’re about being excited to have a new friend, having trouble focusing on your work, or the love that’s all around us. The music here is lively and it is made to dance and sing along to with your friends.

Sentimental Health is streaming on their bandcamp for free (here), but you can pick up the cassette from Lost Sound Tapes and the LP from Plan-It-X records!

Make sure you head out to the official release show (and tour kickoff) on December 28th at the Trunk Space!

by Miguel Guzman
Contributing Writer

Even More Music Videos!!

Steff and the Articles
“Te Extraño”

The Cold Desert
“Bad Reaction”

The Hourglass Cats

Tracy Shedd

“Broken Arrows”

The Upper Strata
“Maybe A Day”

“Good Man”

“Not Coming Home”

Chelsea Claire Answers the YabYum Seven

Eric Molinar Photography

1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Chelsea Claire and I am a professional film actor and art model, and I am a proud mother of a beautiful little girl named Marley Rose. I will be 29 on December 12th and I am looking to make the move to LA early 2014.

2. How did you get your start?

I got started as an actor in 2010 when I got asked to be in my first film called Pizza Shop the Movie. I played the part of the bitchy cook, Jenny. I have always wanted to be an actor, and when I wasn’t receiving much attention from the local agencies, I started looking for work on my own and I have had the opportunity to work on many great projects since. I have been in comedy, drama, a psychological thriller, a few web series, and a few music videos. About a year ago, right after I had my head shaved in a music video by El Sonida de Reposa, I did my first photo shoot with Dave Kelley, and I have really built an interesting portfolio that I am very proud of. I have had the opportunity to intern on a local digital radio station, GratRock Radio, and in February I have the chance to act in my first sketch comedy troupe, The Sic Sense. I was also in a band at one point and I really do miss that outlet very much.

Mohawk Photography


3. What inspires you?

Passion. Drive. RAW emotion. LOVE. Art in all forms. My daughter. Riding my bicycle late at night and listening to music way too loud. Making people laugh and hearing people laugh.

4. What do you like about AZ?

I have lived here off and on since I was 18 months old. I was born in Tulsa, OK and lived many of my formative years in Anahuac, TX. When I moved here in 2001 my intention was to graduate and go to school to be a Radio DJ then move to LA and audition as much as I can. Living here has given me the opportunity to grow as an artist and meet and work with so many talented people. I love to collaborate. I love networking. I have made many great friends here in the art community and I am excited to work with them all.

5. Where can we see you(r) work?

Short film by Devin Walter-Lost, We Three, Short film The Sound of Running Water, Music video shot by SPOOL. Artist: El Sonida de Reposa – “My Song Like The River“, Blackbook: The SeriesGratrock Radio as an Intern, and Lucidity Episode 6-Clearly Glitched (Drunken Mermaid #1).

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

I have a tough time answering questions like this because I don’t plan for the future. I just try to make art that means something to me and speaks from my heart and mind and experience and hopefully someone out there will get the message and it will touch them.

7. What is your mantra?

If you want something and you have a dream or a desire go for it. Don’t ever let anyone’s opinion influence what you are trying to accomplish.

Blantant Pixels
Renee Bock Mackel

Michelle Engberg
Blantant Pixels

Mohawk Photography

Chelsea in perhaps her most natural environment: on-set.
We Three