2014 Awards Announcement!

It’s that time of year again… Awards’ Month!! January is our time to acknowledge the artists and albums that really defined 2014 for us so get ready for the action.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep posting our “Show Picks of the Week” so keep sending us those flyers! We’ll be returning to our regular publication schedule on Feb. 1st with all the music and arts coverage you’ve come to expect. Until then, enjoy our 2014 Awards this January!

Stay up-to-date on our awards by following up on social media. We appreciate your continued support!

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The Fort Lowell Round-Up

by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

Although Fort Lowell Records and it’s founder James Tritten may have moved to North Carolina from Tucson, that does not mean they’re still not “releasing damn good music on vinyl.” Far from it. This year was a busy one for Fort Lowell, especially as it moves more into the publicity realm of things and steps up its collective game as a label. We’ve always enjoyed Fort Lowell releases and this year was no exception. However, as we focused more on the West this past year, Fort Lowell was pushed a bit to the wayside. Well nuts to that. Fort Lowell Records & Publicity released no less than 4 albums this past year and I needed to take a moment to recognize that. You should do the same.

 

amor 01Naïm Amor

Hear the Walls

So first off, Hear the Walls is a must hear. I mean it. Go to Fort Lowell’s website and buy it immediately. OK, maybe you want to hear it first. You can do that here. Happy now? You could’ve just straight up bought it though and not wasted any time listening to it first. All jokes aside, Hear the Walls is Naïm Amor’s finest work to date. A French musician living in Tucson, Mr. Amor is not new to recording and releasing albums. The sparse, eloquent instrumentation behind Naïm’s voice is so perfect, you don’t want the album to stop. Eventually it does however and you simply have no choice but to flip it over and start it again. Do yourself a favor and check out Hear the Walls here.

 

kim ware 01the Good Graces

Close to the Sun

Based out of Atlanta, the Good Graces’s Kim Ware has released quite a few albums over the years, but this is her first on sweet vinyl. Released in September, Close to the Sun opens with “I Don’t Know Where to Start”, immediately setting a mellow and inviting pace from the indie-folk outfit, but it was the second track, “Cold in California”, that had me sold. Fans of folk should definitely settle into the 11-tracks heard on Close to the Sun for a modern rendition of the genre. Ware is a singer-songwriter reaching beyond the confines of that label. the Good Graces creates songs that are both pensive and dreamy on Close to the Sun. Listen here and consider making that vinyl purchase!

 


moyamoya 01moyamoya

moyamoya

moyamoya are an instrumental band whose only genre may in fact just be “instrumental.” While it’s opening track “sorry i called you he-man” seamlessly moves in and out of intricate, clean melodies then into a hardcore blast music, it pushes towards 9 minutes. I’m not saying they immediately alientate listeners, moyamoya simply get straight to the point of who they are and what they’re trying to create: badass, technical, instrumental music. If this sounds up your alley then “spring guide to fashion”, “open letter to a football hero”, “i don’t need an advocate, i need an exorcist” and the rest of their cleverly titled songs are for you. Get lost in the sound here.

 

la cerca 01La Cerca

Sunrise For Everyone

Released in July, Sunrise For Everyone should be on everyone’s list if you’re into indie alternative dream-pop. The first track “Arizon” grabs your hand as you begin your journey down the sonic river presented by La Cerca. The title track and “Sorry XO” carry you beautifully before “The First One”, “Weather Festival”, and “Dream Continues” pick up the tempo to really get you moving. The songwriting is well-honed and executed on Sunrise For Everyone and Andrew Garner and co. have released a modern Tucson classic. Check out Sunrise For Everyone here.

YabYum Seven: Mary Shindell

mary 01
All photos provided by Mary Shindell

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Mary Shindell, visual artist: drawing-based 2 and 3D works relating to landscape and botanical imagery.

2. How did you get your start?

I was introduced to art as a child; I grew up going to city arts programs. I have made things for as long as I can remember.

3. What inspires you?

The visual exchange of imagery as art, especially when it is surprising.

 

mary 02
Fig:Moon #2

4. What do you like about AZ?

The wonderful light, the vast space and the detail of the desert are the things I like about AZ.

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

At 515arts, 5th Street and Roosevelt. Inflection Point, a show of my new work will open January 2.

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

I would like to keep up with new drawing processes and push my studio art into new formats.

 

mary 03
Saguaro Stand

7. What is your mantra?

Experience is valuable but new experiences are vital.

~

To see more of Mary Shindell’s work, visit her website and Facebook page.

mary 04
Wild Flower Hawks
Mary 05
Priced to Move

5 Rad Live Music Videos

Playboy Manbaby
“Lizard People” on RAARS

Sun Bones
“Good in Red” on The Trundle Sessions

The Hourglass Cats
“Rain Checks” live at Apache Lake Music Festival

Treasurefruit
“Darkside” live at PotLuckCon

Coobee Coo
“Sugar Cane Lane” Live in Downtown Mesa

3 Eclectic New Albums

Wight Lhite - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogWight Lhite

Beyond the Satellites

Tucson’s Wight Lhite is pretty awesome so if you haven’t yet had a chance to check them out, I suggest starting with the link to their album. It’s okay. I’ll wait… Beyond the Satellites has a mellow, psych-rock feel that I can totally get behind. From the start of their opening track, “Close to Odd”, I was hooked. The album continues to deliver throughout all seven tracks, including the acoustic rendition of “Demons”, a personal favorite both electric and acoustic. Don’t go into the acoustic version of “Demons” expecting a stripped raw song, Wight Lhite puts their own spin on acoustic. Released by Paisley Shirt Records out of California, Beyond the Satellites takes all the drama of psychedelic rock and adds a dark, desert spin which you can clearly hear on tracks like “Spoon”. Other tracks like “Laughing Tongue”  and “Demons” (the electric version) are imprinted with that distinctive Wight Lhite sound even though they push the confines of definition, incorporating slick retro style. Listen to Beyond the Satellites here and score your own copy. My only complaint about the album is that it’s too short. Longer than a EP, but not nearly enough to satiate my newly discovered love of Wight Lhite, even with seven minute plus tracks like “Counting Diamonds”. Hopefully, we’ll be hearing a lot from this band.

 

Arizona Music BlogBanshee Speak*

Playground Blues

What I really, really love about this album is the portal it provides the listener into the development of an artist. We’ve already been introduced to the merits of the musical Rose family through older brother Nathan’s projects, i.e. Drive-by Dunk. In Playground Blues, younger brother Noah seeks to delve the reaches of song structure to craft a sound unique to his own music. Playground Blues takes us along on the artistic process. Banshee Speak’s sound incorporates interesting layers and electro adages to create more of a soundscape to surround his lyrics rather than holding to traditional song structures. At fourteen tracks, and the longest song coming in at more than ten minutes, Playground Blues is a beast in the era of the EP, but the album is really more a collection of musical musings than a singular concept. It is as if Banshee Speak is trying out several variations of its developing style to determine the shape and structure of the sound to come. I, for one, am excited to hear what’s coming next from Banshee Speak. In the meantime, I’ll continue to spend time with Playground Blues. You can too. Listen here and consider making that purchase! This is an album to sink into.

 

Soft Deadlines - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogSoft Deadlines

Critic

Soft Deadlines released their first album through Phoenix’s own 56th Street Records. Critic starts off with the track “First-World Emergency” and I found myself aligning their music more with the emo/alternative side of the collective musical pool of the Valley offerings. That’s not to say I can’t hear elements from their more art-rock influences like Joy Division and Gang of Four as the album plays. Soft Deadlines defies the blurred boundaries that separate genres. Just listen to “Triage”. It sounds like it descends straight from pop-punk traditions, but the song “What No One Sees” takes on a much darker tone, holding more to those aforementioned influences. “Venice is Sinking”, the first single from the album, has proven my favorite track on the album, but “The Future is Canceled” has earned some staff interest. Critic features Oliver Lemke (Vocals, Guitar, Melodica, Piano, Percussion), Russ Hill (Drums, Percussion), and Chad Cussen (Bass) with performances Dan Williams (Bass, Backing Vocals) as well. You can stream (and purchase) the album from 56th Street Records here.

 

  • Whoopsy, we had to update this piece due to some errors. Our bad. Banshee Speak rocks.

Awesome Alternative Arizona HipHop

by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

As some of you may know, I am a fan of the absurd when it comes to my hiphop musical listening pleasure. Unorthodox beats, comedic delivery, and taboo subject matter all score points with me, and creativity is the key. Here are three artists taking a different approach to the mainstream hiphop sound, and sounding all the better for it.

vibe prescribeThe Vibe Prescribers

Grown Man Slumber Party

Although The Ref tends to work with Mouse Powell these days (check out his sick production on the recent “Love Is” here), his work with Sergeant Love and Wizard Lips, collectively called The Vibe Prescribers, is a must hear. The May release of Grown Man Slumber Party went totally under all known radar, and that’s a damn shame, this shit is funny as hell. As “Hot Girls” started the album, I wasn’t real sure if these guys were serious or completely joking, and, like all the greats, it’s a little of both. The sophmoric sillyness of “V-Neck” (with it’s chorus of “Chillin’ in my v-neck tryna’ get my ‘d’ wet”), completely contrasts with stark reality of “I Can Change” with it’s hook “Wanna change, need to change, gotta change But I’m basically the same.” Although even that is said with a little tongue-in-cheek. By the time “Millionaire (feat. Michael Jordan) played I knew these guys were geniuses. “Textin’ & Drivin’ (Swerve)” keeps the hilarity and hiphop strong before “Jesus Came Inside of Me” comes along and just blows everything out the gate with it’s 1970s Hammond Portable Organ bossa nova inspired beat and redneck-voiced delivery. The single from Grown Man Slumber Party is the track “Period”, and, although it’s instrumentation might sound like a modern top 40 rap track, it’s chorus of “As long as you get that period. As long as you get that period again, and again” is anything but. The album closes with the title track, a six-minute ode to three grown men having a slumber party. With nods to the likes of The Lonely Island and Jon Lajoie, anyone who’s a fan of solid, comedic hiphop should dig the hell out Grown Man Slumber Party. Listen and download here.

 

bbb 01Boom Box Bros.

Introductions” and “Let’s Eat

Now here’s a way to introduce your music to the world. The Boom Box Bros. out of Flagstaff dropped these tracks in October as means of introducing their act and the members involved: Colin Haviland (aka “Smallz”), Kris Hogge (aka ‘Mic Hogg”) and Justin Stump (aka “DJ 001”). And I can say is that if the rest of their music lives up to their “Introductions”, we at YabYum will be fans for the long haul. Their recent opening slot for the Dilated Peoples at the Green Room certainly boasts well for the BBB’s, and their debut album slated for release in the spring is now much anticipated in my book. “Let’s Eat” offers a more low-key vibe about (you guessed it) food, throwing out shout-outs to local Flagstaff businesses along the way. Listen to the slinky smooth “Introductions” and the fun, food-lovin’ “Let’s Eat” by Boom Box Bros. here.

 

deloreanSidney Delorean

AssCashSeaBass

Wow. So finding out about Sidney Delorean was completely an accident, but now that I’ve experienced AssCashSeaBass, her message of “Period Sex” and “Average Dicks” is one that I feel compelled to shout upon the mountaintops. A fine artist in her own right, as Sidney Delorean uses “photography, illustration, costume and performance, I attempt to tackle these heavy issues head on, with color, vibrancy and a persevering joie de vivre.” Her self-produced singles “Marc Maron” and “Who Farted?” are swell and all, but the recording and mixing by Jalipaz at Audioconfusion and the beat production provided by Jason “Hug of War” Kron give AssCashSeaBass a very high leg up on the Sidney Delorean catalog. Her recent, interative installation of AssCashSeaBass is described by Sidney as “wall mounted dicks contain MP3 players, playing on a loop the song which corresponds to the album art seen projected directly above it. The participants wear the headphones coming out of the dick to listen to each song individually.” Eat A Dick cookies were also served. I highly recommend checking out everything you can on Sidney Delorean. For starters, peep her on YouTube and download AssCashSeaBass on Bandcamp.

Field Tripp Premieres “Ride of My Life” from Warren Druhgs

Field Tripp - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogField Tripp has been awfully busy this year. They released Les is Mormon early this year and followed that EP with another over the summer known as Woeful Common Terry. But winter is now upon us and we’re super excited for the third installment of this Field Tripp trilogy: Warren Druhgs.

Set for release on Christmas Day at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, Warren Druhgs promises to live up to the Field Tripp standard set in the two previous 2014 releases. And, we just so happen to have a sneak peak of what’s to come right here. “Ride of My Life” follows the musically meandering style of Field Tripp: thoughtful, beautiful, both somber and humorous.

Listen to “Ride of My Life” below which features the vocals of Cassidy Hilgers, slide guitar by Jon Messenger, drummer David Cooper, and bassist Jess Pruitt, not to mention singer/songwriter/guitarist Dan Allmond (aka Dan Tripp).

Head to the release show this Thursday (Christmas Day) where, in addition to Field Tripp, The Bittersweet Way and Treasurefruit will both be performing along with comedian Eli Kluger. More info on the release show here.

Field Tripp
“Ride of My Life”