3 HipHop Albums for Your Ear Holes

So Brilliant

Permission to Speak

You don’t often find the tags “dirty South” and “Tucson” together on the same album. So Brilliant might just be about changing all that. You’ll find your head bobbing along to tracks like “The Way It Goes” and “Melody”, but they’re not afraid to lay it out on tracks like “Hurt” or “Authority”. So Brilliant is more than a HipHop collective, they are a force for social change. Music with a message. We’re about it. This album weighs in heavy with 14 tracks and features a host of local players. Listen/Purchase Permission to Speak here.



I had heard about DaDadoah, but I hadn’t actually heard DaDadoah until I came across a live album from Bacchus & the Demon Sluts, Live at the Crescent Ballroom wit DaDadoh, to be exact. In February, DaDadoah released his own album, Guerilla. Produced by Bryan Preston (aka DaDadoah) and Dopamine Dreams, Guerilla keeps things stripped down to keep the emphasis on rhyme and flow rather than showy studio effects. Listen to Guerilla here. Only 5 bones for 9 tracks. That’s a bargain, for all you no-math musicians out there.

Flawed Logic

Cooking with Dad

The sample-based artist known as Flawed Logic creates layered, ambient tracks that are surprisingly engaging given how often the aforementioned descriptors are attached to projects one finds online these days. For Cooking with Dad, Flawed Logic integrates musical selections with excerpts from cooking shows, combining samples and beats to construct entirely new sounds. Cameos by Julia Child can and should be expected. You will find titles like “Salami & Brie”, “Artichoke Hearts”, and “Ratatouille” appropriately paired to their assigned tracks. Listen to Cooking with Dad here.

The Indie 500 or The Trunk Space Turns 10 in Trunk Space Style

The Trunk Space has become much more than a venue during the course of their 10 year run thus far. They’ve become a key player in the Valley’s developing arts scene, a launching pad for new acts, and a hub for all the wondrous and strange and wondrously strange musicians that venture through our town from other locales, like Portland or Japan.

This year saw the launch of the Trunk Space’s fundraising project. The effort was aimed at raising not only the funds needed for the massive celebration planned to mark their first decade, but, more importantly, the money for a new air conditioning unit. This might not seem like a big deal to our readers in California or Colorado, but for our Arizona constituent, I’m sure you understand. Playing the Trunk Space in the summertime, or even attending a show during our “warm season”, has become a right of passage, an endurance tests for fans and performers alike, and adds to the experience a bonding element that emerges from profuse sweating with strangers pressed against you. This is all about to change, thank the gods.

Before we get to feel that cool rush of air from INSIDE the Trunk Space this summer, Steph and JRC, owners of the Trunk Space, have planned a truly spectacular event to mark the occasion. Ten days of music from some of the best and feistiest bands to grace the TS stages are going to be filling the bill every night starting tonight!

The event, known as the Indie 500 because the ultimate goal is to reach 500 songs performed over the next 10 days, kicks off tonight (Sunday, March 30th) when some of our very favorites from the Valley (like JJCnV, Liam and the Ladies, and French Girls) will be joined by Mike Park and Dan Potthast.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Over the next ten days, the music just keeps coming. Acts like Treasure Mammal and Back Ted N-Ted (Wednesday, April 2nd), Man-Cat (Monday, April 7th), Stephen Steinbrink (Tuesday, April 8th), and tons more are slated to contribute their tunes to the venue’s ultimate goal of 500 songs before these ten days expire. For a complete schedule of bands, please refer to the Trunk Space’s show calendar here (also a great resource for planning your monthly show schedule EVERY month of the year).

Hope to see you all there!

5 Unexpected Singles

Small Leaks Sink Ships

The Malevolent Jester

While this track might not be making an appearance on the forthcoming release from staff favorites, Small Leaks Sink Ships, you can enjoy the ambient instrumental release and its strange visual accompaniment here. And don’t forget to head out to the Last Exit Live on March 30th for the band’s farewell show where they’ll bid adieu to Arizona.

Taylor Upsahl


The acoustic indie rock of Taylor Upsahl has a warm and airiness that envelops the listener from the very first notes of “Sunflower”. The singer-songwriter occasionally releases tracks online through her Bandcamp page and I definitely suggest perusing through the selections available there for a better idea of this young songwriter’s talent in development. Listen to “Sunflower” here.

The Sweet Nothings


The harmonious melding of voices on “Untouchable” offers listeners their first opportunity to become enamored with the duo known as The Sweet Nothings. Brian Chapman and Lauren Rae Baumgartner combine singing styles like cars and oil, sweet and salty, the empowering and the enchanting. The Sweet Nothings contains two halves that, musically speaking, might not shine as bright without the other. Thankfully, they found each other and started recording. You can hear their earliest endeavors here.

Trevor Denton 

Royals [Lorde Cover]

At the time of announcement of Sun Ghost’s retirement, I had word of potential future projects from its members to assist in consoling myself. Lead singer and principle songwriter Trevor Denton assured me that the creation of music would always be part of his life. And now we have the first foray into independent music making from Denton, a cover of “Royals” with a combined divergent push toward pop experimentation and a familiar effervescence that echoes back to Sun Ghost days. Listen to Denton’s take on “Royals” here.

Fresh n Sleazy 

Livin’ Large

Okay, so I’m just sharing this track. I’m not actually commenting on this song because its creation takes place in the same locale all the splendor of YabYum occurs. That’s because one of our higher ups indulges his penchant for funny hiphop on off nights with his buddy, Toasty. In fact, just about everyone that was at HQ during the recording makes an appearance on the track. True story. Ridiculous or amazing or ridiculously amazing, you have to decide for yourself. Listen here.

Throwback Thursday: Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special

I’ve written it once and I’ll write again right now, (see what I did there?), I love love love love listening to bands that I know are special, (someone stop me), that I haven’t heard or seen live. The reason: I hit can “play” without any preconceived opinion.

And thank Frank Zappa, because from the very first note of the self-titled Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special record, all I have to say is: Wowzers.

I mean, seriously? The very first thing that struck me, (dare I say like midnight?), was the absolute dominance of Ms. Robinson’s voice. Her range is fantastic. Oh sure, people have referenced Janis and Stevie, but for me, this chick is a straight out reincarnation of the best the singers Motown has ever had. For real. I dare you to go back and listen to some of the records, shut your eyes, and you may not be able to tell the two apart. I did. I couldn’t.

The only thing that rivals Robinson’s voice, is her band: Da-am.

Brandon Croft, Evan Knisely and Brenden McBride are freakin’ terrific. The combination of rock, blues, and funk is pretty epic – and can I get another “Da-am” for the huge, I mean ginormous Led Zeppelin-inspired choruses and crazy hooky hooks? It’s a pretty powerful record to say the least. BTW, is it possible to be in love with a Wah-wah pedal? (Just checking.)

Lookit, I refrain, (oh my gosh someone stop me), from listing each and every track from the album, let me just state I truly liked each and every one of them and they deserve a listen.

I just read Sarah and the Midnight (freakin’) Special are back in the studio. Yes. And please. Trouble is, do I listen to it or wait until I get to review it? Before that happens, you should put in some time with the band’s self-titled debut. You can hear Sara Robinson & the Midnight Special here.

Frank Ippolito
Staff Writer

Scorpion Vs Tarantula: Claim to Fame

For a band that formed in 2008, Scorpion vs. Tarantula already has amassed some pretty impressive recording ventures: 2010’s She Goes Hard, 2012’s Don’t Waste It, and they recently added Claim to Fame to their discography earlier this year.

The album kicks off with “Tomboy” and from the first growl of vocalist L.Hotshot, I was hooked. This album comes in feisty and keeps it there the whole time. By the time you slide into track two, “Watching You Watching Me Watching You Go,” you’ll be throwing your fist and shaking your ass.

The album’s third (and title) track takes the already abundant energy and kicks it up to a riot level. There is no staying in your seat without causing an aneurysm.

I’m a big fan of “Your Girl Ain’t Nothing Like Me” and, if you’ve ever caught Scorpion vs. Tarantula live, you can probably agree with the song’s sentiments. L. Hotshot is probably not like many other gals out there making the rounds on the local circuit… or anywhere else for that matter. I’m a tough cookie but, in all likelihood, she could drink me under the table and beat me up in the parking lot without smudging her Glam Rock makeup, all while dressed in a leather catsuit.

Scorpion vs. Tarantula keeps their stamina up til the very end. “Something Else To Get Into” packs that same punch that defines the band’s overall sound. Hats off to Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit for managing to maintain the feel of the band’s electrifying stage performance on Claim to Fame. It is almost a complete success, but Scorpion vs. Tarantula finds their most authentic delivery live. If you haven’t been to a SvT show yet, do it.

Claim to Fame is available for preview and purchase online here. Of course, the coolest kids scored their vinyl copies at the official record release show which took place on March 1st at Rips in Phoenix. If you’re lucky, there still might be a few vinyl copies available so get on it.

3 From Rubber Brother Records

Los Puchos 

Los Puchos!

The seven song, self-titled cassette released as a joint venture between Tempe’s Rubber Brother Records and L.A.’s Lollipop Records is a must for any avid tape collector. Los Puchos has their own style of garage rock that harkens back to early Van Morrison or Beach Boys recordings, but dragged through the guttural 90s to arrive all angsty and disheveled for their meeting with modern listeners. The songs are all named for ladies (see “Dina Kathleen”, “Victoria”, “Stephanie Shines”, and so on) which leaves me suspect of the venereal intentions of the bands members. The exception, of course, is the track “???” which contends with “Sophie” for the most authentically romantic track on Los Puchos! “Joanne” calls to mind a Bringing It All Back Home-era Dylan infused with surf pop guitar work. Add Los Puchos! to your must-hear albums. You can stream and purchase the tape here. Hurry up. Supplies are limited.

Treasure Mammal 


Okay, so this tape was released last December, but we can’t peruse new RBR tapes without a nod to this particular gem we almost missed in the end of year chaos. More pop culture experiment than traditional band, Treasure Mammal mixes and matches contemporary references with a nervous dance-able agitation that turns crowds into sweaty cuddle puddles before you can say “orgy”. No one is safe from the T.Mammal takeover, not adorbs Carly Rae Jepsen or super sweet Taylor Swift. Neigh, anyone and everyone Treasure Mammal sets their candy-colored eyes upon might get re-envisioned, re-mixed, mashed up, and eroticized or mocked or both for the listening pleasure of the masses that flock to live shows. Listen to DGAF here and order your own copy, perfect for parties or private moments alike.

Partners In Crime {PIC}

Partners in Crime

When the album first started with the aptly-titled “Opening”, I thought I might be caught in a dream of a springtime fair and then, not a minute later, I was thrown into a psycho circus of convoluted energy known as “Buttcheeks”. The album is entirely instrumental minus some roars on tracks like “Presenting” and has a distinctly metal feel, a strange diversion for the weird indie label out of Tempe that released their cassette. Partners in Crime answers the question, “What if kids who grew up on Metallica decided to swim through the murky waters of the subconscious?” It might sound like the alternate soundtrack to The Gingerdead Man which is kind of what you get on this self-titled release from Partners in Crime. If that sounds right up your alley, you should definitely check it out. Listen to Partners in Crime here.

Vicariously Visiting SXSW

I’ve never been to SXSW. Been meaning to, but just haven’t jumped on that caravan yet  to check out all the insanity and charm such fest could offer.  I asked a couple of noisemaker buddies to share their experience of this year’s event and thought I’d share with fellow Yab Yum readers! I spoke with Jackie Cruz of Man Hands and Jeff Doing of The Rebel Set.

Jackie Cruz of Man Hands

Photo courtesy of Man Hands

Dusty Rose: First, let me start with…that was your first time in Austin right? Or have you been there before? Was it everything you imagined it would be?

Jackie Cruz: This was actually our second time in Austin but first time playing SXSW. Last time we were there we played Hotel Vegas and that was an awesome show. We actually spent most of our time at Hotel Vegas during SX too, since most of the bands we wanted to see were already playing there. It was better than I ever imagined it would be! I’m generally a pretty cranky person (ha!), so I didn’t think I’d be able to handle the crowds, but it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had.

You crawled under a fence to see Ty Segal…what other shenanigans did you guys get into?

Haha well…after we snuck into that show I actually fell on top of a table trying to crawl across the crowd. There were like a few hundred people there and all I wanted to do was get to the front. I was kind of in crazy mode by that time. Then I look up on the stage and James (our bass player) is up there with Ty Segall! So we end up sneaking backstage too. You needed these black wristbands to get back there, so when I walked past the bouncer, and he asked me where mine was, I told him that my band was back there and I needed to get through. He said ok. Then they came up to us asking if we needed anything so I asked where our beer was. He took me to the keg and we had free beer the rest of the night haha. It was nuts. Also, one of our band members got kicked out of Hotel Vegas the night before and we somehow got him back in!

What band blew you away?

There were so many great ones, it’s hard to pick just one. I know Marc will say Entrance Band was his favorite. I thought Speedy Ortiz and Ex Cult were amazing. And our friends Xetas and Lie were incredible as well.

Where did you guys stay?

We stayed at my friend Amanda’s apartment. We actually didn’t have a definite place until about 2AM the morning we got there. I was still texting and messaging people as we were pulling into Austin. We finally got there and to bed by 4AM. She took such great care of us and we love her forever!

What was the neatest place you saw?

I think being in downtown Austin, in the midst of all the chaos, was the neatest thing I saw. The way I’ve been describing it has been, Mardi Gras for punk kids haha. It was really exciting being in the middle of it all.

Were you able to check out any other fellow AZ acts?

We got to see some of Destruction Units set at Empire before our Friday show. Other than that, we didn’t get to catch any AZ bands.

Any  delicious grub?

I got Bibimbap out of a Korean food truck! It was the best thing that I ate. We also got some delicious tacos from a truck. It was like food truck heaven out there.

How many days were you in Austin?

We were only there for 3 days unfortunately. Next time we’re going to try to go for the whole week.

Were there any places you wish you could have checked out but didn’t have time to?

Yes. My biggest regret is missing the Coachwhips and Tyvek. By the time we would play and go to a show, it was really hard to get to another show in time. Especially trying to drive and park the van. I’m sad that I didn’t get to go to Beerland or Red 7. The lines were crazy long and we just didn’t have time.

What was your favorite moment/and or funniest moment?

My favorite moments were: seeing friends from all over the country in the same place, the free margarita bar and VIP leather couches at our B.O.B. showcase, the ridiculous stage at our B.O.B. showcase, playing New Movement Theater and Helm’s Deep and meeting our new friends Lie’. The whole experience was incredible and I can’t wait to do it again.

Photo from Burger Records.
Trailer Space Records Showcase.

Jeff Doing of The Rebel Set

Dusty Rose: You played Trailer Space Records for the Burger Records showcase…What did you like about that space? I think it would have been neat to see this band White Mystery…A frizzy red haired brother sister duo.  I guess they played after you guys.  What band were you looking forward to seeing there?   What band did you wish you had time to see there, but couldn’t? Did you buy any records?

Jeff Doing: We didn’t get as much time to see the bands at Trailer Space as we would’ve liked, due to our schedule and also because Trailer Space was packed to capacity pretty much all day, so by the time we headed back over there, the line out of the door was insane. But the bands we did see – Party Plants before us, and Lust Cats of the Gutters, Froth and Habibi – were great.

I know you were saying when you played Cali recently you guys put on Green Jellos giant costume heads amongst the crowd … any band shenanigans or funny stories occur during this SXSW trip? Did you meet anyone interesting or see anything crazy? What was your favorite part of this trip?

Obviously we were freaked out when we heard about the drunk driver accident that happened right by where we had performed. Luckily we had only been there during the daytime (not that there wasn’t a lot of drinking going on then, too) but we had decided to stay in that night in order to fly out early the next morning, so we were safe. So thankfully we weren’t around any of the kind of “craziness” that was going on that day.

Austin is known for its delicious grub…I know half of you guys are vegetarian and you were looking forward to the infamous Texas BBQ…were you able to get your hands on some good eats…any place you recommend?

Trailer Space is next door to a pretty good pizza place called East Side Pies. There was also a taco truck across the street. That provided the bulk of our food for the trip. No BBQ this time.

How many times have you been to South by Southwest? I know you guys went once before… What is one of your fondest memories there? I remember your bandmate telling me once you checked out the Dazed and Confused  Moonlight Tower and Office Space’s Initech…

This was our second time going. Last time we were there we had a van and more free time to go check out some of the sights that Austin can provide. This time was more limited, both in time and how we got around town. Next time we go we’ll get more time to see whatever hasn’t been seen already, or we can show Brandon around more, I guess.

Did you see Willie Nelson? I heard he was at your show. Not really.

Must have missed him.

How do you keep sane amongst the chaos…do you stick to a certain routine…place you stay…people you hang out with? Or do you just party all night long, get no sleep, and have coffee IVs ?

It depends on what’s going on. Obviously having to fly out at the crack of dawn in the morning, we weren’t going to be out all night. Plus we’d been out in the sun all day so it was a nice evening for relaxing. But other times are better for hitting the town and enjoying a night out. Just depends on what’s been going on.

Cowboy boots or bolo tie?


What was different about this year’s fest compared to other years you’ve been?

It’s hard to compare two different trips and say which one was the different one. But it seemed like things were more hectic this year, and it was a tighter strain on the city to keep the event functioning.

Lastly, Texas is known for its history of outlaw music… if you had to cruise through Austin listening to one outlaw musician or song who or what would it be?  

Charlie Shooter.


by Dusty Rose
Contributing Writer

Last Exit Live’s Airstream Sessions

Ever since I caught my first Airstream Sessions installment, I’ve been on the watch for new additions as they become available. Last week, however, my fangrrl status got upgraded when I actually got to go inside The Airstream to personally check out where the musical magic happens.

Many of you might have seen the specific Airstream of which I speak. It sits beside Last Exit Live in downtown Phoenix. Both the venue and the associated Airstream trailer belong to Brannon Kleinlein. Together with Matty Steinkamp (on video) and Brian Stubblefield (on sound), the trio has captured some truly incredible moments in Arizona music making as well as notable performances from touring acts.

The recording endeavors of Last Exit Live initially began with the Summer Acoustic Sessions, but the trio decided to move the sessions from the main stage to the Airstream. The silver trailer has a campy, vintage vibe that adds to the intimacy of each stripped down set performed inside. Each band might record a few tracks, then the folks behind the Airstream Sessions decide which track(s) to add to their thoughtfully curated collection of videos.

Here are a few videos from the Airstream Sessions, but for the complete Last Exit Live video collection, including each installment of the Airstream Sessions, head here.

Hunter Johnson
“All I Had”

The Thin Bloods
“This Line”

Jason Devore

“Stand By Me (cover)”

The Wiley Ones
“Beer Song”

The Pistoleros
“What You Need”

5 Rad AZ Music Videos

Japhy’s Descent

“Psychic Line”

Samuel L Cool J

“My Day Off Part 1 (Wasting My Time)”


Thaahum ft. MysticBlu & Huni
“We Live the Music”