3 Awesome Indie EPs You Should Hear

The Hill in MindThe Hill in Mind

Thimble

This is one of those albums that got completely overlooked. Even though I was a fan of their self-titled debut, even though I always try to stay apprised on new music, I somehow missed the September release of Thimble. It happens. Even good bands get lost in the shuffle and don’t receive our attentions at the time of their release. Thankfully, I stumbled across the EP last week and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. Thimble opens with “Seedy” and, almost immediately, discern a more fluid musicality. The theatrics of their debut are not abandoned, but integrated with far more grace on their latest release. The Hill in Mind sets a new scene for each song with textured arrangements and colorful fluctuations. Thimble proves almost minstrel (like Medieval musicians, not Al Jolson) with its gently sweeping songs. Tracks like “When I Am Laid in Earth” provide the listeners with something tangible to sink down into. Listen to Thimble here.

 


Slings AZ music Slings

On My Way

The beautiful harmonies that encompass the listener on On My Way feel like a warm flannel blanket on a frosty winter morning. The four-track EP opens with “The River”, a song that offers soothing in the face of sorrow. The second track, “On this Road”, continues the themes of strength for the weary in the gospel-infused, acoustic folk that marks Slings: earthen and honest and subtly stunning. “O, Father” almost beats out “The River” as my personal favorite from On My Way (almost) before “Return of the Cowboy” closes out the release. Featuring vocalists David Pope and Carol Deming, Slings is definitely a band you want to hear. Get your copy of On My Way here. Twenty copies of the album are available in a hand-sewn flannel and canvas case.

 


Coed PageantCoed Pageant

Drag

Gretchen and Bradley Bergstrand, the duo behind Coed Pageant, matriculated to Flagstaff from Urbana, Illinois by way of Northern California. In October, the band released Drag, a 6-song EP to follow-up The Four Seasons catalog, a series of four EPs divided by season. The lyrics heard on Drag go beyond simple storytelling to pensive introspection while musically offering a meeting ground between indie and emo. Coed Pageant seem to keep a pretty active tour schedule, but we’re hoping to see more AZ dates from Coed Pageant in the months to come. We’ll keep you posted, until then, listen to Drag here.

 

 

 

Fathers Day Celebrates 10 Years!!

1

by Lenore LaNova

Senior Editor

Fathers Day has been shaking up the local scene with their unique brand of punk for, well, a whole decade now. Yes, folks, ten years of the irreverent dad rock we’ve come to know and love.

The cast of characters that currently comprise the Fathers Day lineup include Tony Skyes (a.k.a. Olympic Sports Dad) on drums, Ronald Hayweather (Step Dad) on bass, Frank Brando (Golf Dad) on guitar and Douglas Patton (Business Dad) providing the vocals.

There have been several changes to the lineup over the years, all of whom adopted a “dad” moniker for the band. Many of the changing crew appear on the cover of the“…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day.  Over the years, Fathers Day has worked with Tristan Jemsek (Drunk Dad), Emily Spetrino (Classy Dad), Diana Welsch (PTSD Dad), Dave Driscoll (Single Dad), Toby Fatzinger (Little League Coach Dad), Jason Kron (Conspiracy Theory Dad), and Ben Nandin (Step-Dad), amongst others. Ray Reeves even signed on for a short while, but he didn’t have a paternal alter-ego because, and I quote, “because he is Ray Reeves and he is an amazing drummer and played drums for Bob Seger(we figured that’s dad enough)”. Only Andrew Jemsek (Golf Dad) and Ryan Avery (Business Dad) have held to the lineup since the inception of Fathers Day.

Avery, the man with the moniker of Douglas Patton, is a born performer. As Patton, he appears determined to deliver a memorable show every time he gets on stage and this has proven to be the most impressive facet to this longstanding local act. Any band can keep up a long-running joke concept, but Patton really sells it to us by completely disregarding who he is outside of Fathers Day when performing with Fathers Day. Total immersion.

To mark ten years of Fathers Day, the band took an unconventional approach (no surprise) to the tribute compilation marking this momentous occasion. “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day features a host of bands covering Fathers Day songs. Well, actually, they all cover one Fathers Day song, fan favorite “Did I Use the Word Divorce?”

This is a very difficult album to write about. Writing forces judgement calls and I really don’t know if I like Andy Warpigs’ cover of “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” more than Soft Shoulders’ version. Stylistically, the album proves so eclectic it’s sometimes difficult to remember that you’re really hearing the same song 16 times. Even the tracks vary in length which wouldn’t surprise me too much except for how disparate those numbers are. From 420’s 31-second version to Soft Shoulder’s which clocks in at just over 5 minutes long.

Everyone has their own approach to “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” Django Ramone puts a lounge spin on the number while Serene Dominic takes some artistic liberties, both lyrically and musically. Many of the bands I recognize from the local scene, but a few new names were introduced to me by “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day. 

Okay, the Treasure Mammal track might really be my favorite. It is the first moment in perhaps the span of Fathers Day that the band breaks character on an album for the inclusion of a short monologue from the real life father of Ryan Avery (a.k.a. Douglas Patton) discussing some of the larger implications behind the project. The misogyny and aggression, the bad dads. The track was in fact recorded by Abe of Treasure Mammal who works with Avery’s father.

In truth, the original will always be my favorite. You can hear the Fathers Day version of “Did I Use the Word Divorce” here, but you really want to want to check out “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day.  Listen/purchase here. Do it or your grounded.

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5 Feisty Singles

1Burning Palms

Thorns

Burning Palms might be traveling the country on their whirlwind tour, but they didn’t leave behind their desert-based fans without a little token of their affection. A new remix of the track “Thorns” is now available for your (free) downloading pleasure and, I must say, this song has all the air of mystery and the subtle power that we’ve come to expect from these ultra-cool Tucson rockers. Listen to “Thorns” here and get ready for Burning Palms’ return to AZ in mid-November. We’ll keep you posted on show details.

 

French GirlsFrench Girls

Summertime

Phoenix’s French Girls released the single “Summertime” just as the summer season was giving way to autumn. Whatever, it usually stays hot here for another month or two anyway, right? And, in truth, “Summertime” is an excellent little piece of the season to carry you through the haggard and almost-cold holiday season for every time you need that little bolstering power of sunshine, vacation trysts, and poolside fun. Listen to “Summertime” here. And head out to the Time Out Lounge in Tempe on Saturday (Nov. 1st) to catch French Girls live!

 

The Whispering WiresWhispering Wires

By the Light

The Tucson act known as Whispering Wires made “By the Light” available to listeners recently and, rumor has it, this is just the first single from a forthcoming album tentatively titled (and subject to change) Bathroom Eyes. “By the Light” is full of energy and warmth. I expect a lot more fun from the band’s album if this first single’s impulses are deemed pure. Whispering Wires will be heading north to the Valley of the Sun to play at the Time Out Lounge on November 1st with some favorite local acts including JJCnV, French Girls (the above band), and fellow Tucsonians, Blanche Beach. Mark your calendar and, until then, enjoy “By the Light” here.

 

Logan Greene ElectricLogan Greene Electric 

Get Over It

Logan Greene Electric is gearing up for their new EP due out in late December titled Dead Formats. “Get Over It” – the first single from that forthcoming release – captures that spirited pop punk power for a lively number that has us eagerly anticipating the new rest of the tracks on Dead Formats. Logan Greene Electric makes angst fun again. The EP is available for pre-order here through Diet Pop Records where you can also hear the single “Get Over It”. Do it. Do it now.

 

ConsumerCONSUMER

Demons

Gilbert band CONSUMER are relative newcomers on the scene but we’re digging their musical rage on the track “Demons”. Released over the summer, “Demons” is a punk song that has enough aggression and discord to bring it to the brink of metal without really crossing that threshold into full-on thrash. All you fans of fiery, feisty music should look into “Demons” here and, while you’re there, you can also check out a live song from CONSUMER called “Vassals” on their bandcamp page.

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Nicci Radhe Answers the YabYum Seven

NICCI
All photos by Nicci Radhe

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Niccole Celeste Radhe, I am an artist, photographer, outdoor adventure writer and I work at the Reid Park Zoo planning events. I love people, music and animals and photographing brings me the greatest joy. I enjoy being outdoors and sharing my adventures with people through pictures and stories. I want to encourage everyone to turn off the TV and get outside.

2. How did you get your start?

I have been hiking since I was a kid, living in different countries I was always outdoors with my brother, Alex. I have been an outdoors girl my whole life and have always loved taking pictures but I was a really lame photographer. So last year I decided to take a class at Pima. I ended up breaking one of their loaner cameras and had to buy my own, and it was the best accident ever.

nicci 01I have always wanted to write a Tucson hiking column and I mentioned it out loud one day to my boyfriend, Ruben, who looked at me like I was crazy. A few weeks later the owners of the AZ Weekly Entertainment Magazine were dining in the restaurant I was managing and I told them my dream and showed them my pictures. They were surprisingly excited and said they had been looking to start a TREK column in their Magazine. “Take a Stroll with Niccole” was born, in August 2013, I wrote a column for free every week for over a year and I have been writing about outdoor excursions ever since.

It’s been a lot of fun volunteering for KXCI Locals Only and Tucson Portraits and because of this I have met some of the most amazing and talented artist. I also love photographing musician’s because I dig collaborating with other artists.

3. What inspires you?

Traveling and Music! When you travel you experience new sounds, scents and voices and visions. Traveling gives me fresh ideas and new perspectives and it doesn’t matter if it’s a weekend trip to Payson or a week get away to a faraway island. Every time I go somewhere new I feel like I have taken a little piece of the place home with me, and left a piece of myself there. When I can’t travel I listen to new music, and it takes me places in my head.

 

nicci 024. What do you like about AZ?

What don’t I like about AZ? If you drive from the Mexico border to say Flagstaff you have surpassed more ecological diversity than if you drove half way across the US in any direction. Arizona has more biomes than any other state and the variety of plants and animals found here is impressive and surprising. In a few hours you can see the Sonoran desert and the ponderosa pine forest. Mexico is only a 6-8 hour drive and I like to Scuba dive. Plus the weather is unbeatable, with 350 days of sunshine there is no lack of vitamin D here. You can go north in the summer and south in the winter, but you never have to travel too far. I have snowboarded in Tucson in the winter and climbed Mt. Humphrey in the summer, you just have to know the right time to see certain places.

5. Where can we see your work?

I photograph and write about outdoor escapes for Zocalo, The Entertainer, and Lovin’ Life after 50. Every Month I write about a new destination for each magazine. I also contribute photography to Reid Park Zoo, KXCI Tucson’s Community Radio, and the Tucson Portraits articles written by Robert Hanshaw featured right here at Yab Yum. I am working on a lot of exciting projects and looking to start my photography website soon. For now I am traveling about AZ to find new getaways or shooting weddings, musicians and portraits down here in the Old Pueblo. If you get a chance please check out my work on Facebook or Instagram.

 


nicci 036. What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I want to get paid to travel and review. I want to create and publish a book or two. I definitely would like to create a tour guide to Arizona, a fun and unpretentious guide for the adventure seekers and new comers to our fine state. I have a lot more exploration to do before I can even begin that venture. I would also like to improve and refine my writing and photography skills, but that’s a short term goal. I also want to travel Mexico, border to border and coast to coast. It is close, it’s cheap and I love the culture.

7. What is your mantra?

YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK!

The world around us is created by our ideas and intentions. Be conscious, careful and kind with yourself and with others.

~

 

 

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Radio Phoenix Podcast with Scott Howard of Tramps & Thieves

Scott Howard Tramps & Thieves

To celebrate the summer release of Tramps & Thieves latest release, Galloping Hearts, we asked Scott Howard (TnT guitarist/vocalist/songwriter) to join us for Rise on Radio Phoenix! We have the complete list down below. Enjoy the show and don’t forget to snag your own copy of their new album here: Galloping Hearts – Tramps & Thieves!

Rise 2014-08-06 by Radio Phoenix on Mixcloud

Playlist:

Gloritone “Swan Dive”

Tramps & Thieves “Beacon Lights”

Dave Insley “There’s Gonna Be A Few Changes”

Truckers on Speed “Zamora, CA”

Jesse Valenzuela “Damaged Goods”

Tramps & Thieves “Galloping Hearts”

Dead Hot Workshop “Nixon Saves”

Mark Zubia “I Wonder”

Calexico “Splitter”

Rich Hopkins & Bill Sedlmayr “The Fifty Percenter”

Greyhound Soul “Rain”

The Venomous Pinks – Exes & Whoas

The Venomous Pinks

by Lenore Lanova
Senior Editor

Last Saturday, The Venomous Pinks unleashed their new EP to a crowd of expectant fans at the Yucca Tap Room in Tempe. The Phoenix punk rockers have been making the local scene a little bit rowdier since they hit the circuit a few years ago. This new EP, Exes & Whoas, marks the second release from the band and, let me tell you, the Pinks have stomped leaps and bounds in just these few short years.

Their 2013 EP (Three in the Pink) revealed a feisty punk band with tremendous promise. Exes & Whoas shows that promise realized. All five tracks are fierce and fun. And perhaps more importantly, they are delivered in slicker style, but with the fiery energy we’ve come to expect. Exes & Whoas makes Three in the Pink sound a bit like amateur hour. I don’t know if it’s the result of their heavy performance schedule, but the years of heavy rocking has transformed The Venomous Pinks into true professionals. And, as I sit here writing this on the Saturday following the Friday night release, I can honestly say I’ve listened to this album nearly nonstop since I got my hands on it.

For quite some time now, The Venomous Pinks have been making their way as a power trio featuring Drea Doll on guitar/vocals, Gaby Kaos on guitar/bass/vocals, and Jukie on drums, but they recently added Corrie Zazzera on guitar after a month of summertime jamming. Earlier that same summer, the trio recorded Exes & Whoas at Villian Recording with Byron Filson in North Phoenix. 

The EP opens with “Never Say Never”, a track certain to have you fist-pumping and shouting on repeated listens. Roger Miret of Agnostic Front joins in on the vocals for “Never Say Never” as well as the song “Do You Wanna?” Drea and Jukie helped with backing vocals on Miret’s last release and Drea decided to ask for some help in return.

By “No No No”, the second track, I was hooked. Exes & Whoas is badass. It lives up to the reputation The Venomous Pinks have acquired from their active involvement in the local punk scene: hard-working and hard-rocking.

Get a hold of your own copy here: Exes & Whoas! – EP – The Venomous Pinks!

5 Rocking New Releases

00The Lions Club

S.O.L.

The Phoenix band known as The Lions Club offers fans “good old-fashioned American Rock and Roll”, but they definitely add contemporary modes of music-making into the mix for a hearty helping of modern relevance. The band recently released a new full-length album titled S.O.L. which opens with the track “Hung Up”; a feisty number that’s been rolling around in the dirty lawn of distortion, to set a fast-paced, heavy-rock feel for the release. The Lions Club definitely has a “sound” but one of the things I most enjoyed about S.O.L. is the range found within the tracks; varied yet cohesive. Listen to S.O.L. here.

 

00EL

Elusion

I was down with bands like Tool and Incubus in the 90s (not solely, but you know) and sometimes I feel like there is a vacant space left by these harder rocking bands. Sometimes you want some “heavy rock” (as my uncle would say), but not genre-specific like punk or metal. I want my melody-heavy, beat-dynamic rocknroll – to borrow a phrase from some other local modern prog-rockers Horizon I. Tempe band EL delivers just that. They promise “pounding rhythms, soaring melodies, and wall of sound guitar” and that’s exactly what you find on Elusion. Hard and melodic. Powerful and constrained. Give Elusion a listen here. You’ll probably want to download the EP so you can jam it extra loud in your car.

 

00PRO TEENS 

~everything so far~

The crowd-favorite known as the PRO TEENS have been busy working on an LP, but they decided to give a little something-something to their eager fans. ~everything so far~ is just that, everything the band has recorded thus far toward the impending full-length release due out next spring. The band has a throwback rocknroll style that harkens back to its early days, but PRO TEENS deconstructs this sound and adds its own distinct, and modern, elements. Watery vocal effects and loungey keys keep things funky (in a weird way, not a George Clinton way) which the kids just love these days. Get with the good times offered by PRO TEENS on ~everything so far~ here. It will hold you over until they unleash the LP.

 

00Thomas Rex

Dinosaur Shadow

The scrappy garage rock of Tucson’s Thomas Rex gets the blood pumping and the feet moving. Just try getting through the song “easy to read” without dancing. I promise you’ll succumb to a little hip or shoulder action. It can’t be helped. I’m loving the stripped down sound of this three-piece which almost gives the band that Jack White touch without the studio clean-up. Thomas Rex keeps it gritty. The band is a melting post of sounds and influences, including a heavy dose of blues and jazz, that merge on a sub-atomic level so that music that gets made has its own unique sound. Listen to Dinosaur Shadow here.

 

00Justin Valdez y Los Guapos

Bean Dip for Two

The fiesta rock antics of Justin Valdez y Los Guapos doesn’t combines humor with a spicy Southwestern musicality on Bean Dip for Two. The Tucson act opens their single with the title track, “Bean Dip for Two”, immediately setting a fun and lively pace that would be well-suited to any backyard BBQ. The second track, “Hey Roberta!”, keeps the energy up until “Plethora of Piñatas” mellows into an easy trot to the finish. Listen to Bean Dip for Two here and if you like what you’re hearing consider delving into other releases available from Justin Valdez y Los Guapos.

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