Heli Lanz of 36 Cents and a Dream Chats with the Hay Girls

36 Cents 2The Hay Girls Show is a monthly podcast featuring some of the Valley’s promising talents. YabYum will be highlighting a an artist every month from the show. To kick things off, singer/songwriter Heli Lanz of 36 Cents and a Dream took out a few moments to chat with Song River about his path and where it is all going.

Interview with Song River
Staff Writer & Hay Girl

Song River: Heli, it sounds like you’ve been on a music trip. You’ve re-grouped. Are you a musician who cares to dwell in what was or move on to what is?

Heli Lanz: Life, and music are a trip for sure… I have been really lucky to get to play with the guys that I have. I guess I’m just optimistic in the sense that this has been a chance to write and grow with a new cast of characters.

SR: Every local city worldwide has their musicians. Where do you fit now into the local Phoenix scene?

HL: We kinda get in where we can fit in. We’ve done a lot of shows with a lot of different bands over the years. It’s always cool to be on a bill with really different bands. Since we’ve been at it a while we probably don’t fit into the scene. It really changes constantly. You know, long bands last. You do see some of the same faces pop up and re-group though and that’s kinda where this band is at.

SR: I was talking to a musician the other day, they have just release their fifth album, one thing he said to me is how difficult at times it can be right around the time of a 3rd album release. It seems that is the timeline period where for whatever reason ‘things’ change within the band. What have been some of those changes that you’ve seen as a positive with your band?36 Cents

HL: I think that it’s just settling into the process that’s been a positive. You learn so much as you go through it each time. Writing, editing, producing, recording, marketing, etc… I’m actually excited to apply the things I learned on the last record to the material we’ve been working on now. I think that this record will sound different because everybody really brings something fresh to the table.

SR: Moving forward, what are the plans musically? Is their going to be a metamorphosis change in sound, packaging, presence?

HL: I don’t think that you can remove or add an element of a band without affecting the sound. Yeah, it’s gonna be different without Troy, Kagen, and Bobby… These guys have a unique set of skills. With that said, working with Dane and Jason has been a treat. I really can’t wait to see what’s possible with them.

SR: As a songwriter, do you like working alone on your own writings or do you enjoy collaborating as well?

HL: There was a lot of collaboration on “Lucid Change.” It was only in a few instances where I came to the table with a fully formed song. I think that writing together gives everybody a sense of ownership of the material. That kinda makes everybody play with a little more passion. I’d say it’s better to collaborate whenever possible. It’s how you grow as a player too.

SR: What or who have been some of your greatest inspirations musically?

HL: Man, I listened to a lot of rock and metal when I was younger. Pantera was my JAM! Then, when I was learning guitar, my mom’s friend and later my guitar teacher turned me on to Stevie Ray Vaughn. He loaned me a VHS tape of him “Live at the Mocambo Club”. That was it. I was chasing down guitar tones after that. Really anything with good guitar now is fair game to my ears.

36 Cents 3SR: You played ALMF (Apache Lake Music Festival) this past year, what is that like? Are you playing again this year?

HL: I think we are gonna be doing something. Even if only an acoustic set. I really love this event and will be there watching all the bands either way… I recommend going for sure.

SR: Is there a must-play song for you every time you play live?

HL: “So Right” has turned into a personal and maybe a crowd favorite too…

SR: New website is in the works? What can we be looking for?

HL: Kind of a re-branding if you will… It will be simple for sure. Some pictures and links to buy merch. Anything more is too costly to maintain for me.

SR: Plans for the rest of 2015-16?

HL: I, we, are focusing our efforts on getting these dozen or so tunes in order for recording. We had such a great time performing for you on the Hay Girls show! Thanks for having us on.

For more on 36 Cents and a Dream, check out their Facebook page here.

To listen to the original podcast from The Hay Girls Show, head here.

Fine Pets are Formally Pretty

Fine Pets - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blogby Joe Golfen
Staff Writer

Fine Pets sounds like the kind of band you’d discover while crashing at a really rowdy house party. Armed with fuzzed out rave-ups and blown-speaker vocals, the Portland, Ore.-based band offers lo-fi punk at its best on their latest cassette, Formally Pretty.

The trouble with playing things loud and loose is that it is a limited template to work with, and too often bands find themselves retreading the same sounds for an entire record, each song bleeding into the next without making too much of an impression. But Fine Pets switch things up often enough to keep things fun and engaging, resulting in 23-minutes of relentless energy.

The buzzy opener “sex wars” kicks things off right, offering just under two minutes of blown-out punk goodness. The druggy haze of “showgaze backlash” recalls the weird slower tracks on Black Lips records, while “maligned” chugs along with a taunt Joy Division drive.

The gentrification-bashing “more condos, please” is a great punk rock tune, as is “anything weird.” And the minute-long noise-rock string fiddling that kicks off “come out” makes the tight payoff worth it.

Check it out here.

Talking Tour with Fairy Bones

The Fairy Bones crew joined forces with Dadadoh for a whirlwind tour. We asked them to snap some pictures for us along the way. Armed with disposable cameras and a sense of adventure, they set forth. Chelsey Louise of Fairy Bones was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions. Read the interview below and check out the tour photos the band sent over!

YabYum: So, the basics. How many shows? In how many cities? In how many days?

Chelsey Louise: 15 shows, 11 cities, 18 days.

YY: What was your favorite spot to play? And why? Crowd? Setting?

CL: I think we collectively love Riverside, CA, Bisbee, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM. We’ve been to those places the most, so it’s always familiar faces, and they’re all very unique setting-wise. We met Charlie Moon some years ago and she runs a DIY type movement in Riverside, and the places she comes up with for us to play are always very cool and the people are always artistic and opinionated and amazing.

We play in Bisbee quite often because the people there are exceptional, it’s as if they were all pulled from very strange, different walks off life and all decided to create Bisbee. This time we played Bisbee Pride and it was LOUD AND BIG! We love Dana at Quarry and Anamieke with Sidepony!

Fairy Bones TourYY: Who were some of the bands you played with that really stood out?

CL: We really liked Drink Me from Albuquerque, Faded Leroy, a metal band from Boise, ID, The Burning of Rome and MADUS from Los Angeles, CA, and Trendy Dad from San Francisco, CA!

Oh snap and 100 Watt Mind from Oregon!

YabYum: I heard you were in San Fran when marriage-for-all was announced. What was that like?

CL: We were actually in a hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, soooo, that was a much different experience. We were kind of like, “Should we leave here fast? Umm. Maybe..” But we were in SF after the ruling, and you honestly couldn’t tell the difference, which is so positive. Most of the people of SF are already living their lives as free as they want. There were definitely more rainbows, though.

YY: What’s next for Fairy Bones now that you’re back on home turf?

Dadadoh
Dadadoh joined Fairy Bones on tour.

CL: We have a couple shows up until September and then we probably won’t be playing many shows till next year while we prep entirely new music! We’re currently working on music videos, we just released “Banshee,” and the next one up is our album closer, “Notes from Wonderland.” It will be directed and shot by Jim Hesterman, who has done many of our photos in the past, with collaboration from our body-painter friend, Brandon McGill!

YY: What did you miss most while you were away? The heat? Your own bed?

CL: My dogs and my bed, but the minute I get back I just want to go again. It’s addicting, even when it’s horrible.

YY: So, you guys live together and play in a band together. Were you pretty well adjusted to each other’s behaviorism’s before the trip? Or did someone start to get really annoying?

CL: Matt is consistently annoying despite his location. Honestly, half the reason this band works is because we get along so well. We all take the time and space we need when we need it and we don’t question each other if someone’s like, I’M GONNA GET THE HELL AWAY FROM YOU PEOPLE RIGHT NOW. We all know when it’s time to be a team.

YY: Judging from the pictures, it looks like you were able to take breaks from tour life (driving, performing, sleeping on floors, etc.). Could you share a favorite spot or two that you visited?

CL: We love Youngblood Productions in Albuquerque, NM. We’ve stayed their for a couple days at a time on two separate tours, and it’s fantastic. Ryan, the owner, is a fantastic producer and engineer, and he is very generous with his amazing house/studio. I highly suggest any touring band hitting him up about staying and even recording there if they’re traveling through Albuquerque.

We also love forests, gardens, beaches, anything that you can’t really get in Arizona. If we see some sexy looking grass, we make sure to lay in it. We stop and take in the sights, the air, the trees, the sand, we all reallllly love nature. Tour is a great nature fix.

YY: Joining Fairy Bones on tour was Phoenix hiphop artist Dadadoh. Was he the outsider-insider on the trip? Or is he now part of the Fairy Bones family?

CL: Dadadoh was already apart of the family before we went, we would never bring someone on tour if we didn’t believe in them. We have a little art collective called Bones Haus, which consists of photographers, makeup artists, musicians, and painters, and we basically all help each other out with our various ideas and projects, and Dadadoh is a big part of that. He’s also really great at back flips, which is never a bad thing.

YY: Any summer shows to speak of?

CL: August 2 at Valley Bar with Bear Ghost and Le Zets. August 6 at Crescent Ballroom with Bad Neighbors (album release).
August 14 at Yucca Tap with Captain Squeegee, MADUS, Genre, and Day Before Plastics.

And we’re heading out to CA to do a mini-festival in September.

YY: Who wore the American sock/shoe combo [see pictures below]? Was that on the Fourth? 

CL: Ben! And yes, it was the 4th of July. Ben and Robert have the greatest sock collection. We were actually hanging out on the beach drinking wine, which is apparently not legal, but it seemed pretty chill and we weren’t ruthlessly drunk or anything. Anyway, all of a sudden these cops start swarming the beach in cars. One goes by, I’m hiding the entire bottle of wine in my jacket, their lights are on, but they’re pointed towards the ocean. They ignore us, so we’re like.. well, okay.

Then another cop car comes by the other direction, same story. This goes on for about half an hour. Then helicopters start flying by very low and we’re like, alllllll right, maybe time to leave. There are boats out in the water with lights on even. The helicopter pilot gets on the loud speaker and asks us to evacuate the beach. So we bust out of there. Turns out some women was drunk and the last place someone saw her was the beach, they thought she drowned. We checked the news the next morning and it turns out she was hammered, stumbled into a strangers house, and slept on their couch.

In conclusion, Bens socks are great and he would like his nickname to be “Freedom Eagleson,” because there’s nothing more American than that.

Keep up with Fairy Bones here

Fairy Bones

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Chelsey Louise of Fairy Bones

 

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Ben Foos of Fairy Bones

 

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Matt Foos from Fairy Bones

 

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Daphne and Jonney from Statue of Cats

 

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Ben’s Fourth of July footwear. According to Chelsey, “Ben and Robert have the greatest sock collection.”

Dadadoh
Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Dadadoh Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Fairy Bones Tour Fairy Bones Tour Fairy Bones Tour Dadadoh Fairy Bones Tour

Fairy Bones

3 Cool New Albums

Amadoo's Crew - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogAmadoo’s Crew

Bb

Cesar Ruiz is the man behind Amadoo’s Crew, an almagamation of musicians in the Phoenix area that make the catchy do-wop sounds that have helped define the band. Earlier this month, Amadoo’s Crew unleashed its much anticipated debut album before heading out on short seven city tour in California that will end on July 12th back on home turf in Phoenix at The Trunk Space. Until their return, you should definitely spend some time with Bb, the first official release from the band. Ruiz provides vocals, electric/acoustic/bass guitars, guitarrón, piano, synthesizers, samples, drum kit, and percussion on Bb, but many other musicians contributed to the richly textured sounds of Amadoo’s Crew. The album opens with “Mijo Blues” – a grungy garage pop tune – before going into “Soap #1” which adheres more to the album’s overall feel: a return to the innocence of early pop music through the modern lens of homegrown indie goodness. The album moves from dreamy to ironic and back again. Bb was three years in the making and utilized several studio spaces to bring the album to life. You can check out Bb for yourself here. “Death by Lovesong” is a personal favorite so make sure you give that one a spin!

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThe Debutantes

Adams Apples EP

OK, kids, if you’re looking for a splash of thrashing, distorted guitars, mixed with a dose of electronica, glazed with lush melodies, you’re really really really in for a treat. “Adams Apples”, the first track on this EP will smack you across the face with its guitars and vocals very reminiscent of (dare I say?) The Jesus and Mary Chain. And, quite frankly, it’s terrific. Sandwiched in between, “Adams Apple” and the final track, “X and Y”, is another tune that features super dirty (in a good way) guitar and great vocals are “Kids” and “Gentlemans Wash”. These two songs take a delicious turn. Wavy keys and thick harmonies showcase the band’s versatility and gave me a reason to go see them live if given a chance. Until then, check out the Adams Apples EP by The Debutantes available through Flagstaff’s Emotional Response Records here.

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThe Myrrors

Arena Negra 

The four track release from The Myrrors clocks in at over forty minutes of mystical desert-drone. Arena Negra is an album you can zone out to as your mind fills with desolate images of empty highways and hostile, moonlit terrains. That being said, these sounds and the images they evoke all carry a sense of meditative calm. From the opening title track to the 20+minute closer, “The Forward Path: Emergence/Distant Traveller/Permanent Revolution”, Arena Negra captivates listeners and holds them in a dreamspace. The EP was released back in March and, since that time, the band has released a short tour EP that already sold out. Fear not, you can still get your hands on Arena Negra and word has it The Myrrors have a summer single coming your way later in July. That should give you plenty of time to spend in the company of Arena Negra by The Myrrors. Listen (and purchase) here.

YabYum Seven: Douglas Proce

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blog
Photo by Andrew Douglas Foote

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Douglas Proce, I am a documentary filmmaker, videographer, and editor.

2. How did you get your start?

I started by filming and editing videos for the dojo I was training at. I discovered I enjoyed the process, and it’s been my focus since then.

3. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people: my friends, my colleagues, and the people I meet everyday from all walks of life. If you really listen, everyone has something inspirational about them.

4. What do you like about AZ?

What I like most about Arizona is the diverse and vibrant arts culture. It’s something we should all cherish and protect as much as possible.

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

You can see my work at: www.connectedfilms.com or through Youtube here.

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

Before I die, I’d like to become a successful documentary filmmaker. I’d also like to visit the lands of my ancestors, Italy and Romania.

7. What is your mantra?

My mantra is; People will forget your name, your birthday, what you do, etc,.. but they’ll never forget how you treat them – always be kind.

Trailer for the documentary, “Inconvenient Youth”
Official selection, Tucson Film wars
Official Selection, Sherman Oaks Summer Films Series

Promo for “Stories of their sacrifices: PTSD”

Short film, “Falling Out Of Love”
Official Selection, Sherman Oaks Summer Film Series

Short Film, “First Friday”

Trailer for the documentary, “Kata”

Promo for the “I Have A Name Project”

Short film – Official Selection 2015 Phoenix Comicon film challenge, “Special Space Units”

What a Lead Singer is Thinking at a Gig

brought to you by Frank Ippolito and Sam Lowy
(neither of whom is a lead singer)

1. I need more of me in monitor and less of everyone else.

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

2. It’s so awesome everyone came out to see me tonight.

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

3. It’s sad my band didn’t sell more tickets.

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

4. Can’t wait to talk for people to praise me after the show, but do I really have to speak to them?

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

5. Don’t you know who I am?

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

6.  I needed a +5 not a +1.

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

7. Trust me, there’s nothing happening behind me.

YabYum Music & Arts - Arizona Music Blog

* a note on images: If we absconded your image (in the name of some innocent fun), please let us know and we will gladly credit your work. We do our best to support artists with proper attributions.

The Brothers Comatose

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThe San Francisco Americana act known as The Brothers Comatose can always be found a pick’n and always a’grinnin. At the center of the band sits the brothers Morrison, but all members have become part of the extended family. Pull up a stool, grab your banjo or guitar and listen along as Ben Morrison from The Brothers Comatose shares some good times with us.

by Song River
Staff Writer

Song River: Where was the original Morrison home? Describe what a typical evening back at the Morrison Homestead sounded and felt like. Take us back and paint us a picture.

Ben Morrison: We grew up in Petaluma, about an hour north of San Francisco. Our mom was in a band and they used to rehearse there regularly. They had lots of musician friends and would have parties every couple of months where everyone would sit around in the living room and pass around songs. We learned lots from those parties.

SR: Was there the typical pressure on either brother that when they were growing up… they had to play a musical instrument? Or was it something you both gravitated towards naturally on your own?

BM: There definitely wasn’t any pressure to learn anything. We just caught the bug from being around all that great music and those players. We had guitars lying around the house and couldn’t help but pick ‘em up and try to jump in there.

SR: Did you both grow up on bluegrass influences or was it a mixture?

BM: We didn’t listen to bluegrass at all growing up. We grew up on a healthy dose of classic rock and roll: Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, Kinks and Credence.

SR: Who were some of the regulars who would show up at the house to play?

BM: Local musicians that were in different bands around town. We used to have parties on Sundays when nobody had gigs.

SR: Do either of you recall a particular evening’s event?

BM: The first time I ever really sang in front of anyone was at our first music party. And from that point on they couldn’t shut me up.

SR: Share with us a bit about both of your musical progression. I read taking classes was mentioned, did you find formal training to be an asset in developing your own style?

BM: We all had training of some sort. Some of us (not me) went to school to study music…and some of us – Alex and I – took lessons and cut our teeth on chairs in the living room.

SR: Two albums and another one on the way… Title and release date? Where can we look for purchasing? How difficult at times is it to decide which song tracks to put on, and how hard is it sometimes to just have the faith to let it go to press and send it off?

BM: The title of the new album is “City Painted Gold.” We don’t have a release date quite yet…we’re still figuring that out. It can get difficult throughout the process to figure out which cuts will make it and which ones wont. I guess the best test is, if you’re not excited to play it, don’t put it on the album.  At a certain point you just have to let it go…or else you could end up working on it for years.

SR: “Songs From The Stoop” and “Respect The Van” showed a progression to where you are as a band now… what is this next album looking to do?

BM: Each album thus far has been pretty much a slice of what we’ve been doing at the time. “Songs from the Stoop” was all about moving to SF and hanging on our stoop and writing songs together. “Respect the Van” has to do with being on the road for long stretches of time. Our most recent album is about a changing of times. Things were shaken up a bit this last year with lineup changes…and changing back, and getting kicked out of our house in SF due to rent hikes. Things are changing in all of our lives and it all slips its way into the music somehow.

SR: Your style is Bluegrass. How close is it to true Bluegrass?

BM: I would say we’re more in the “rowdy roots” category. We have bluegrass instrumentation, but we end up pulling from all of our different influences – lots of rock, folk and blues influences as well.

SR: Whether playing live or a fan listening to a recording, how important is it for the sound to come across full of energy? A party sing-along in both environments?

BM: It’s extremely important. That’s our favorite environment and it’s of course easiest to create that in a live setting. It’s hard to convey that live energy in a recording, but I think we’ve done a good job on our most recent album.

SR: How is the San Fran area when it comes to homegrown style Bluegrass sounds?

BM: It’s great. There was the 70’s bluegrass and folk revival with some of the Grateful Dead guys getting involved in “Old and in the Way.” That definitely has an influence as well as the “Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest in SF” – which has exposed most of SF to new blue-grassy sorts of sounds.

SR: You all have packed your bags, loaded down the van, and once again are hitting the road. How many times across the USA have you all taken your music?

BM: Hmm…I can’t really tell you off the top of my head. Maybe a dozen times across the US. We spend most of our time in the Western US.

SR: How long is this tour expected to be? Any towns in particular you haven’t been to before that you’re looking forward to checking out?

BM: This tour is 5 weeks long…with lots of driving in between. We rarely make it to the northeast so we’re excited to get back there – NY, PA, MA & VA – we’re looking forward to visiting all those places.

SR: You offer a song book, so fans can sing-along. How often do you invite audience members to come up on stage and perform along with you?

BM: We made the song book so people can learn how to play and sing the songs if they want. Sometimes people have a hard time understanding the lyrics so we made an easy little guide. Lately, we’ve been bringing up ladies to help us sing a duet we recorded with Nicki Bluhm – “Morning Time”. Since we don’t have a woman in the band, we can’t really play that song, so it’s nice to be able to bring up an audience member to help us out.

SR: Good times. Obviously those times have stuck with you both, are now a part of your band as a whole, and a slice of the pie you want to share with others. If you all were to sum up your approach to not only life, but music what would it be?

BM: To quote the keyboard player from Spinal Tap – “Have a good time…all the time.”

SR: Lastly, there has to be a story behind the name?

BM: The name just popped into my head one day…though I think it was subconsciously affected by my brother Alex. When he gets into his banjo playing, his eyes roll into the back of his head and it looks like he’s in some sort of musical coma. It just kind of stuck after that.

You can catch The Brothers Comatose live at Last Exit Live on Friday, July 24th. Tickets for the show can be procured here. For more information on the band, you can check out the website here or their Facebook page here

 

3 Lively Indie Albums

Logan & Lucille - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogLogan & Lucille 

Logan & Lucille

The Tucson musical duo of Logan Greene & Lucille Petty found more than a unique opportunity for alliteration, they found a uniquely upbeat approach to indiefolk in this era when sad-bastard music has taken hold. That’s not to say Logan & Lucille is without their somber moments, but they hinge their sound on a more joyful note. Their self-titled full-length dropped in May and offers listeners ten tracks of feel-good indie pop. There is a vein of Americana that runs through the album which adds to the overall character of Logan & Lucille’s sound. The duo is currently out on tour but they’ll be back on home turf in time for their July 23rd show at La Cocina in Tucson. Hopefully, we can convince them to visit their friendly neighbor to the north for some live shows before summer ends. Until then, give Logan & Lucille a listen here. “Volatile Heart” and “Pryacantha” are two personal favorites, but the whole album deserves a spin.

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThe Wretched Desert

Street Lights

When Zach Lind returned from tour with Jimmy Eat World, he didn’t stop the music-making to work on overlooked home projects. Instead, he and his wife, Holly, rearranged their living room and got to work on a new project: The Wretched Desert. Combining indierock with elements of electronica, The Wretched Desert crafts a compelling experimental sound with a distintive nod to the desolation of the desert. I particularly enjoyed the shared vocal responsibility heard from Zach and Holly on the three-track debut from the band titled Street Lights. Zach’s deeper tones offset the ethereal reaches of Holly’s voice on songs like “Memento” and “Street Lights”. The EP was engineered and produced by Jamie Woolford and mixed by Chris Testa. You can listen to Street Lights from The Wretched Desert here.

Coyote Mustach - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogCoyote Mustache

Some Songs

The release from Tucson’s Coyote Mustache might have a simple name and a stripped-down sound, but Some Songs remains an album that you can sink down into, pulling back the lyrical layers. The 10-track release opens with “Tunnels” which quickly establishes the lo-fi, indiefolk sound that Coyote Mustache delivers throughout Some Songs. Tracks like “Damn Cold” and “Soot and Dirt” offer a downhome feel mingled with a sense of inner reflection while songs like “Alone” appears to come more from the bedroom electropop tradition with surprising success.  You can listen to/purchase Some Songs for yourself here. I also recommend checking out a video recording Coyote Mustache made in Nashville with Utmost Creative here. He performs the track “Just Cause” which does not appear on the album. Let’s hope the new track means there’s more new music coming from Coyote Mustache in the not-too-distant future.