Most Popular Articles of the Year!!

Okay, here are our most popular articles for 2014…

(1)

5 Mellow Indie Albums Re-Shaping Folk
featuring Ari and Her Banjo, Old Hours, Bryant Vazquez, The Radiant Dregs

reshaping folk

(2)

5 Mellow Indie Albums
featuring The Bittersweet Way, Betty Soo, The Nix, Richmond, Moth Mender

Indie  - YabYum - Arizona Music Blog

(3)

Tucson Portraits featuring Brittany Katter of Katterwaul
by Bob Hanshaw

Katterwaul

(4)

Your Band is Not Going to Get a Record Deal So Get the F#%k Over It
By Frank Ippolito

cry girl

(5)

The Art of the Donut with Mo Neuharth

2014 Awards Recap!!!

2014 Awards RecapHere is the complete list of 2014 Awards!!

Miss Congeniality: Andy Warpigs

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Best Album to Jumpstart Your Existential Crisis: Christmas Island by Andrew Jackson Jihad

Best Comeback: Billy Sedlmayr

Most Committed Crew: The Trunk Space

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Hardest Working Musician: Dan Tripp

Best Eternal Summer Album: Lawnchair’s EP

Best Electronic Album: Fresh As It Gets by Robots With Rayguns

Top 5 Punk Albums of 2014Lenguas Largas, The Linecutters, Alvie & the Breakfast Pigs, Nerdzerker, JJCnV

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Best Hunt: NXOEED

Favorite Rabble Rousers: Travis James & the Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists

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Top 10 Singles of 2014

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Dark Horse Award: Copper & Congress

The Art Scene Queen: Daniel Funkhouser

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Best Swan Song: Of the Painted Choir

Best Quinquennial: Banana Gun

YabYum - Arizona Music Blog

Show of the Year: The Indie 500

Top 3 Retro Revamped Records: The Wavelengths, Samuel L Cool J, Whiskey Kiss

Top 10 Album CoversAndrew Jackson Jihad, Diners, Robots with Rayguns, Nova Joven, Field Tripp, French Girls, Banana Gun, Murrieta, Yus, Andy Warpigs

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Bands We Want to Steal from Tucson: Burning Palms, Chicha Dust, Prom Body

The Record Execs: James Fella of Gilgongo Records & Ryan Avery of Related Records

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Most Likely to Succeed: Head Over Heart

Best Americana Album: The Filthier Things by Hasty Escape

Songwriter of the Year: Justin Moody

Top 3 Pop Albums: Stephen Steinbrink, Diners, Future Loves Past

top pop 2014

Top 20 Videos: The Prowling Kind, Futuristic, Prom Body, Burning Palms, Captain Squeegee, The Thin Bloods, Samuel L Cool J, Playboy Manbaby, No Volcano, Blanche Beach, Luna Aura, Katterwaul, Head Over Heart, Boss Frog, The Haymarket Squares, Diners, YUS

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Top 3 Psychedelic Albums: The Woodworks, Wooden Indian, The Psychedelephantspsychedelic 00

The Songbird: Laura Kepner-Adney

Best New Band: Leonardo DiCapricorn

Best Live Bands: Fathers Day, Jerusafunk, Wolvves

 Album of the YearElectric Babyman by Playboy Manbaby

Playboy Manbaby - YabYum - Arizona Music Blog

Album of the Year: Electric Babyman by Playboy Manbaby

Playboy Manbaby - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogAs you well know, our Awards Month every January is our time to acknowledge the albums that really helped define the year for us. And, every year, we reserve “Album of the Year” for that one album that has really marked the year: the one we gave to friends, the one we took to the gym and played in our cars, the one that receive more radio requests on our show than any other. For us, that album was Electric Babyman by Playboy Manbaby, or “The Playboy Manbaby Experience” as they are listed on the cassette tape the band released through (no surprise) Rubber Brother Records.

Playboy Manbaby has a been a favorite on the local scene ever since their 2011 debut and, in the time since, we’ve seen the band growing along with their fanbase. Back when the album came out last summer, we declared it, “Easily the band’s greatest album to date, Electric Babyman offers eight tracks of fiery punk rock for all you high-strung kids out there.”

The band returned to Audioconfusion to work with Jalipaz on the recording. Combining studio clarity with the snappy Playboy Manbaby style and improved lyrical prowess really made for a memorable release. The album was released, btw, to a sold-out crowd at the Crescent Ballroom, not the first or the last for Playboy Manbaby.

You can read our original review of Electric Babyman here. And don’t forget to check out the album if you haven’t already. Listen here.

Best Live Bands of 2014

Fathers Day - YabYum - Arizona Music Blog

Fathers Day

This band celebrated ten years together in 2014 and marked the occasion with a compilation album featuring several different local acts performing the Fathers Day classic, “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” (more on that here).  The album was fun, but no where near as much fun as catching Fathers Day live. This dad band throws down. Fronted by the undauntable Douglas Patton (aka Business Dad), Fathers Day has charged through a decade with a riotous take on parenting and punk rock. Patton doesn’t hold back onstage and the audience meets that energy head on. And with such emblematic hits as “College Fund”, “When are You Gunna Grow Up?”, and “You’re Lucky to be Eating at the Sizzler” the band has successfully tapped that teenage vein of angst that I somehow didn’t grow out of quite when I (or my parents) expected. Make sure you catch Fathers Day live sooner rather than later. You can also head here for the Fathers Day oeuvre. The band has a lot in the works for 2015 including a new album and a new bass player and even a music video. Get ready.

 

JerusafuYabYum - Arizona Music Blognk

Anything that can be described as “Old School Sexified Jewish Folk Funk” sounds like a party I want to attend. Jerusafunk is just that: a party. Maybe that has something to do with the band’s roster which counts 13 players (Jessie Demaree, Chris Del Favero, Elliott Fox, Ricky Smash, Joe Amos, Torrey McDannald, Isaac Parker, Zack Parker, Brandon Minch, Caleb Michel, Jeremy Lentz, Bryce Broome, Josh Santa Cruz) and sometimes friends join them onstage during performances. Everytime they take the stage, the energy in the room goes up. It only takes one song to turn any venue into a dance club in an era when kids don’t seem to want to dance anymore. The band is currently at work on some new tracks to add to their existing body of “juicy tunes” in anticipation of a new album before they head out on a short tour this summer. Make sure you catch them live on their own turf before they venture forth. Until that time comes, you can check out some of their recorded music here on Sweat & Glitter.

 

Wolvves - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogWolvves

It’s the band everyone loves to get disgruntled about and everyone wants to see live. That’s because Wolvves offer all the feisty antics you want from your rocknrollers including unabashedly honest, sometimes overtly hostile, lyrics set to a ruckus beat. You can count on Wolvves to arrive with a devil-may-care attitude and maybe a backpack full of beer to put on a show you’re going to remember for a long time. The music of Wolvves has an infectious quality so that long after you experience a song, you’ll find the words running through your head. Milkshakes, pizza, immortality, and the disaffection of a generation, Wolvves has it all. And when they channel all that frustration found in their songs into live energy onstage, the crowd feels it. There is a communal outpouring of all that pent up malaise when Wolvves performs. It’s better and cheaper than therapy. If you haven’t yet been to a Wolvves show, reflect on the value of your life experience thus far and make plans for attending their next gig. Prepare yourself by listening to their 2014 release, Go Demon or Go Homeso you know when you’re supposed to yell “Milkshakes”.

Best New Band: Leonardo DiCapricorn

leonardo dicapricorn 00It was just one year ago that I first heard about a little band called Leonardo DiCapricorn. I’m always game for a clever name, a name I heard scored a booking Robbie Pfeffer of Rubber Brother Records on its merits alone. But would the music live up to the cleverness of their name? With the January 2014 release of Vice-Versace just a few months after the band formed, we received a resounding “Yes!” to our question.

The first single from the band, “J-No”, immediately secured our following. Combining weird punk grounded in rocknroll with wicked turn of phrase, Leonardo DiCapricorn repeatedly proved that they had so much more to offer than a clever name. They quickly followed Vice-Versace with The Black 4Loko Dolphin E​.​P. and then a split cassette through Rubber Brother Records with Red Tank! over the summer called Nerf War. Busy year for a new band, but Leonardo DiCapricorn gave us something new that we didn’t even know we wanted.

The band kept busy over the summer. They released Suite 4, a few tracks they recorded at the now defunct Parliament in Tempe. They also went on a short tour with hometown favorites, Playboy Manbaby. In the Fall, we got a new track conveniently titled “NUNU“.

With such a busy first year, we can’t wait to see what 2015 will hold for the band. Make sure to check out the video for “J-No” below!

The Songbird: Laura Kepner-Adney

Laura 00Every year we like to acknowledge one vocalist of matchless talent, the one who really put the wind in our sails with every note. Laura Kepner-Adney definitely met that criteria. The Tucson songbird might be known for her work with the harmoniously rustic Silver Thread Trio or retro rockers The Cordials, but it is her new project, Laura and the Killed Men, that has us excited for 2015.

Laura and the Killed Men combine the efforts of Laura Kepner-Adney and the members of another amazing musical project out of Tucson, Sun Bones. The band plans on releasing an album sometime this year and they have a summer tour in the works. We can’t wait.

It addition to a voice that is truly stunning, Laura Kepner-Adney is thoughtful in her choice of projects, selecting musical undertakings that, like her, reflect something memorable, a little old-fashioned, and ultra hip. Just listen for yourself. You can hear Laura and the Killed Men performing “Secrets on a Postcard” in the video below or head here to hear some of the early tracks available from the band through Soundcloud.

Top 3 Psychedelic Albums

psychedelic 00This past year was a big one for the resurrgence of psychedelia right here in the Valley. Several bands have taken to the meandering path of progressive rock and created mind-altering soundscapes that entrance their listeners. We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge some of psychedelic rock albums that excited our ears and captured our imagingations in 2014.

The Woodworks - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogThe Woodworks

Safe Mode

The Woodworks have become a favorite among the musicians that make their rounds on the local circuit. Their name often comes up when we ask musicians to talk about the bands that influence their own work. Combining the efforts of Solo (vocals, guitar), Stan (drums) and Steve (bass), The Woodworks formed a power trio that few can compete with.  To quote our review from earlier this year, “Solo’s vocals transition from barrel-chested blues-mama to airy, ethereal, and incorporeal and then back again in the course of the same song.” With most tracks topping the five-minute-mark, Safe Mode is a meaty musical project for true fans of the medium. No three-minute, hook-saturated ditties here. Listen to Safe Mode here. And make sure you get out to see The Woodworks live.

 

YabYum - Arizona Music BlogWooden Indian

moan info (b-sides)

This past year was an exciting one for fans of Wooden Indian. In addition to the cassette tape re-issue of Color is Work through Rubber Brother Records, the band also released a collection of b-sides under the title moan info in August. With tracks like “easier stoned than done” and the single “savage grass”, it should be easy to understand why they’ve earned ranking amongst other psychedelic rock bands on our list. moan info is a notable album in its own right despite the tracks’ b-sides status. Wooden Indian is Ross Andrews, Wally Boudway, David Moroney, Greg Muller, and Alex Tighe, but the band is planning on expanding that roster this year. They’re also planning on releasing a full-length album in July through Jealous Butcher Records. Check out moan info (b-sides) here.

 

YabYum - Arizona Music BlogThe Psychedelephants

Asymmetrical Geometry

The Psychedelephants describe their sound as “Jazz Grunge” but there definitely seems to be a strong association with psychedelia that even carries through to the band’s chosen moniker. Featuring the combined talents of Paul Balazs (guitar/vocals), Calin Gross (guitar/lap steel slide), Mile Tippett (Bass), and Ari Leopold (drums), The Psychedelephants released their debut album – Asymmetrical Geometry – back in October. Since then, they’ve enjoyed quite a bit of air time down at YabYum HQ. “The Facade” still holds as one of my personal favorites, but “Little Lucy” has slowly crept up the ranks.

 

Top 20 Videos of 2014

The Prowling Kind
“Melted Together”

Director: Frank Thomas

Futuristic
“That Thang”

Director: Jakob Owens

Prom Body
“My Paradise”

Director: Ryan Glenn

Burning Palms
“Pyramids”

Director: Rory O’Rear

Captain Squeegee
“The Factory”

Director: Matty Steinkamp

The Thin Bloods
“Peter Was A Virus”

Director: Ryan Lee Caldwell

Samuel L Cool J
“Slip and Slide”

Director: Grant McCord

Playboy Manbaby
“Choppy Chad”

Director: Tyler Huffman

Captain Squeegee
“Inevitable”

Animation: Johnny McHone

No Volcano
“Tribute”

Director: Pete Hinz

Blanche Beach
“Poor”

Director: Herbert Deuce

Luna Aura
“Radio”

Director: Fweshly Dipped

Katterwaul
“No Free Meals”

Director: Caleb Gutierrez

Head Over Heart
“You and Me”

Director: Neil Schwartz

Boss Frog
“Two Mouth One Mouth”

Director: Bud Bennett

The Haymarket Squares
“Gateway Drug”

Directors: Dan De Vivo & Francisco Flores

Diners
“Wide Range”

Director: Ben Kitnick

Yus
“20 Million”

Director: Youceff Kabal & Anne H. Furlong

Top 3 Pop Albums of 2014

YabYum - Arizona Music BlogStephen Steinbrink

Arranged Waves

The melodic pop of Stephen Steinbrink is startling not only for its astonishing beauty, but for the way the music seems to effortlessly envelop the listener in an ocean of gentle sounds that bring on a sense of calm as it forces you down a path of serious introspection. Arranged Waves, his most recent masterpiece, proved less depressive than his previous album, I Drew a Picture, which served as an odd sort of tribute to Phoenix, Steinbrink’s home turf. But, unlike other artists, this shift in tonality does not in any way diminish the brilliance that lies therein. Listen to Arranged Waves for yourself here and offer a bit of hometown support to Stephen Steinbrink.

 

Diners - YabYum - Arizona Music BlogDiners

“Always Room”

When I first wrote about Diners’ 2014 album, “Always Room”, I was swept away by the summery sound tinged with an innocence I would describe as youthful, but certainly not puerile. And therein lies some of the magic of Diners, that ability to hold onto a fresh perspective on life without succumbing to the world-weariness of adulthood. To steam (and purchase) “Always Roomfrom Diners head here. Also, you can read our full review of “Always Room”  from back in May here.

 

flp popFuture Loves Past

Our Solar System 

Fans of Future Love Past might remember the December 2013 preview of Our Solar System offered at the Crescent Ballroom wherein the band performed the album in its entirety. They then went into the studio to record Our Solar System which came on on cassette through Rubber Brother Records a few months later. Future Loves Past creates “effervescent space pop” that is certain to lift the spirit into the atmosphere’s upper reaches as you explore Our Solar System. Listen for yourself here and score your own cassette copy!