Swirling vocals? Check. Fuzzy, sweeping guitars? Check. Smash bang drums accompanied with interesting bass lines? Check.
If you dig Indie Dream Pop, you’re going to love, and I mean, love, Joyriot.
Max Encinas, vocals and guitars, has written a terrific dreamy album. And although this is Joyriot’s first effort, it sounds like Encinas, bassist Kyle Gutierrez, and drummer Seji Butler have been together for quite some time.
When I saw the name of the first song on the album, “Zen Jam,” I was like, uh-oh, but that notion changed when I hit play. It starts with a simple guitar riff. Then the bass and drums come in from behind it with another simple but powerful back beat. But the thing that makes the song so wonderful is the lyrical melody – Encinas nails it on this and on the rest of the album.
Like most Dream Pop, the lyrics aren’t necessarily the main focus, and while there are some nice moments, the music is the star here. Especially when Encinas steps on the overdrive/fuzz pedal. He uses it sparingly, but when he does, it fits perfectly. Oh, and btw, his lead guitar work is nothing to gloss over. Again, he uses it to extenuate – not show off – perfect for the vibe of the album.
Why you should listen: Because the tracks will make you feel good. And isn’t that what music should do – make you feel something?
What you should listen for: The surprise time signature change that comes out of nowhere and makes you go, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”
What they sound like: Let’s say the band Phoenix met-up with No Joy, had a few drinks, and decided to jam. Trust me.
Perfect listening for: Long drives out of the heat, sharing a bottle of wine, doodling a minimalist cartoon.
My favorite part: The fact that Joyriot lives up to their name and the fact that Indie Dream Pop is alive and well and living in Tucson.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are, The Burton Barr Central Library is bringing the Valley a delightful collection of 50 artworks!
Maurice Sendak is an acclaimed author and illustrator who pioneered the children’s genre. Sendak was primarily a self-taught artist who had an incredible career spanning over 60 years, producing more than 100 books! 50 Years of Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are is a whimsical and amusing collection of art that is prominently displayed on the second floor of the library.
The Burton Barr Central Library is architecturally stunning and not to mention offers incredible city views providing great natural light, the perfect backdrop for this exhibition. An eclectic selection of artwork is showcased along three wall displays highlighting sketches, pencil drawings, watercolors, original illustrations, and even a bronze sculpture!
Through his artwork viewers are able to see this fantastic book and others through Sendak’s eyes offering a glimpse of his process and genius. A bit of history and insight to this author and his illustrations are presented through quotes from celebrities, the president, and others which cap off the exhibition. Exploring the animation cells as well as his earlier magazine work help to better illustrate the creative magic that Sendak possessed. Displayed along with the artwork are several publications by Sendak, inviting patrons to sit and read some of these beloved children’s classics.
This exhibition has been traveling across the country to libraries and museums since 2013 celebrating and sharing Sendak and his enchanting work. The Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Mercy Care Plan, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, and AFA NYC generously sponsored this exhibition. More info can be found here. Special activities are planned throughout the remaining weeks of the exhibition and can be found online on the Phoenix Library Calendar here.
I am Kevin Caron, a sculptor. I excite and delight people with my fabricated metal and 3D printed sculptures. Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone look at one of my sculptures from every angle, soaking it in – or trying to figure it out!
How did you get your start?
I wasn’t one of those people who always wanted to be an artist, so I sort of backed into being an artist. We wanted a privacy screen at our house. People saw it and began asking me to make things for them. Before I knew it, instead of trading for work, people began paying me to have fun.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by trying to make the things I see in my head. Sometimes a technical challenge presents itself (I’ve been told this makes some of my work conceptual). I let my hands become an extension of my mind, as I do when I am riding my motorcycle. I also love sound, movement, shadows and illusion, as well as the sensuality of shapes, the gentle rise and fall of their sides and junctures.
What do you like about AZ?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the desert, exploring washes, interacting with the plants and animals around me. Arizona is in my heart as well as being my home.
Where can we see you(r) work?
In Arizona, my work is at Pearson & Company in Scottsdale, Vision Gallery in Chandler and Van Gogh’s Ear gallery in Prescott. As for where I work, I have a studio, which is a converted auto garage (only fitting, since I was a mechanic for many years), in Phoenix where I do my metal work. My three 3D printers are at home – the studio is too dirty for sensitive (and I mean sensitive!) equipment.
I just wrapped up a solo show of my 3D printed work at the Walter Art Gallery in Scottsdale and a solo show of my metal work and drawings came to a close on April 28 at the Central Arts Plaza in Phoenix. Both were curated by Robrt Pela of R. Pela Contemporary.
You can also see – and hear – my artwork at my Websiteand watch me work on my YouTube channel, where I have more than 400 videos.
We know most of our readership is comprised of musicians and music-hounds. The best way to expand your listener base is to get your music out there to as many ears as you can. Music blogs and publications help get your music to new audiences so we’re going to regularly feature music blogs that accept unsolicited submissions – like us! As we see it, the best way to get Arizona on the national music map is to help our local bands reach new fans beyond our dusty reaches.
Just remember: be bold, be polite, always read submissions guidelines, and always show support for the sites that cover you by sharing posts and articles!
The folks behind Tiny Mix Tapes claim to cover ” every single style of music in existence.” That’s a bold statement and a motto that we also try to embody here at YabYum. That means they just might have interest in your ambient chillwave or witch disco or coffee pop or whatever obscure genre you might be mixing up in your musical endeavors.
This music blog based out of Virginia covers bands from all over that fly under the radar. Album reviews, interviews, film, and a whole lot more graces the digital pages of this zine. Make sure you properly peruse their contact page to reach out to the right editor for your submission.
EARMILK promises all milk, no duds, so it’s no surprise that only four of every 1,600 actually get coverage through the site according to their submission’s page. Don’t let that deter you. If you think you’re music is worth that big break, go for it! They only accept submissions through SubmitHub – if you’re unfamiliar, get acquainted!
The A.V. Club covers quite a bit of the audio-visual spectrum from film to literature to, of course, music. A sister publication of The Onion, but don’t let that association confuse you. These are different enterprises. The A.V. Club receives a lot of submissions so they offer fair warning that your submission will probably be passed over. Be brave and mail (yes, mail) your album to The A.V. Club (730 N. Franklin St., 7th floor, Chicago, IL 60654).
Cruel Rhythm provides Tumblr with some serious music by posting links to streaming sites and music videos. If you’re band is deemed worthy, you could land on this popular page. Once again, this website accepts submissions through SubmitHub so get on that party train.
COTMA is the official music blog of ASU’s Blaze Radio but they aren’t solely restricted to Arizona musicians. Just today I learned about an Cumbia/electro-pop act from the blog. Additionally, they offer live show reviews, concert guides, and more.
Echo Cloud offers coverage of Arizona music so all you local bands should already have this one on your radar. Management of the site recently changed hands so we’re hoping to see renewed vigor for this local rag.
All you musicians who matriculated to sunny Los Angeles should have buzzbands.la bookmarked on your web browser. Kevin Bronson, the man behind the blog, also hosts a couple local radio shows as an added bonus for all you music lovers. Make sure you check out the submissions guidelines before sending in your songs or videos.
The Tastemaker’s Ten offers you a brief, educational playlist to help introduce some of your favorite musician’s favorite musicians. To kick off our new series, we asked Pete Hinz ofJJCnV, a man of discerning taste if ever there was one, to provide us with “ten tracks he thinks everyone should know.” We got back some doozies. Confining Pete to only 10 tracks was the real challenge, but he came through with a stellar list. Enjoy.
1. Ros Sereysothea
“Cham Oun (I’m 16)”
2. The Knife
“Marble House (Live)”
3. Kathy McCarty
4. Public Image Ltd.
“Flowers of Romance”
5. The Jetzons
“Nothing Ever Happened”
7. Throwing Muses
“Hate My Way”
8. Folk Implosion
10. Richard Hell and the Voidoids
“Love Comes in Spurts”
And to hear something from Pete, check out the JJCnV track below:
We get a lot of submissions. A lot. Recently, for a new YabYum series, I started researching other music publications to see what other folks are looking for when it comes to submissions. Given that so many of our readers are musicians, we thought it wise to pass along this useful PR tips to help streamline that submission process and maybe, just maybe, see a higher rate of response for all those albums you might be sending out to publications.
Here we go…
You don’t need to provide your entire personal history or the in-depth formation of the band itself, but a little information – like where you’re from and who plays what – can be exceedingly useful for all those bloggers and musical journalists out there. Don’t expect writers to put in the legwork these days. Often, they don’t, but would rather move onto the next artist waiting in their inbox.
Sorry, kids, but in the present day and age, many publications expect bands to provide their own images when to accompany articles. You might have a friend with some mad camera skills or maybe you pop for a professional photographer to snap a few tasty shots. However you go about it, having a few images of yourself or your band to send along with a press inquiry is a great way to bolster your chances of securing coverage.
Social Media Links
Blogs and other publications count on band’s to share the press they receive to help expand their own readership. It’s sort of a PR exchange. One or two publications went so far as to expressly request that bands have a minimum number of fans or followers in order to receive coverage. We don’t go in for that sort of thing here, but it does help when a band has a social media presence when it comes time to draft that review. Maybe you consider social media a little to passé for your taste, but if you’re trying to reach new audiences, the internet can be your friend.
Reasonable Response Time
This is a big one. Probably not the biggest, that comes next, but responding to press inquiries (or any inquiry) within a reasonable time frame – let’s say a day or two at most – can be essential to receiving coverage. If I had a dollar for every time we’ve passed over an artist that sent us a submission and then failed to respond to our follow-up questions, I’d be able to pay our server costs for the entire year. Think about that. Then, if necessary, assign one band member the task of checking your email and social media accounts on a daily (or almost-daily) basis. It’s important.
Links to Digital Music
This might seem obvious to all you younger cats reading this, but, for some reason, not everyone is up to par on the digital music game. We live in an internet era. If you only have hard copies of your album available for fans at shows, the likelihood that you’re going to receive coverage from a publication in a different zip code diminishes greatly. Most music blogs and online magazines stream tracks or feature videos directly on their site. Referring readers to an iTunes account where the song can be purchased, but not previewed in full, is an almost sure-fire way to get passed over in favor of a more internet-savvy musician.
Videos Videos Videos
I know, music videos can be expensive. They can be time consuming. And, what’s more, the construction of a decent music video often lies outside the normative skill set of most musicians. We feel your pain, but that doesn’t change the fact that internet publications love love love music videos. There is some good news, however. A lot of local filmmakers are willing and able to hand-craft an exclusive video for your band for a nominal fee including these folks: Burning Empire Media, Electric Legend Pictures, Michael J. Buckius, Sundawg Media, and a whole lot more!
Genre has been making music on the local music circuit for years now and their most recent release, Legendary Rock Act, shows the band has no plans of slowing down. The album’s official title includes the disclaimer “The Demos” because most of the tracks were recorded at home, but fear not Genre fans, these are new songs. Coming in at a hefty 13 tracks, Legendary Rock Act combines emo and alt-rock for an aggressive, angsty sound. With lines like, “My depression’s just a symptom of my misplaced affection and the years I spent wandering without any direction,” you’re not getting the feel-good album of the year. For what it lacks in cheer (who wants that from their music anyway?), Genre makes up for with a raucous energy that will have you moving from beginning to end.
Phenomena (out of Boulder, CO), might be on a short hiatus, but they dropped this gem of an EP beforehand to keep their fans company during their (hopefully brief) break. The Eponymous EP hearkens back to rocknroll’s classic era. Opening with “The Inquisition”, listeners will find their ears filled with a Grace Slick-esque vocals and serious rock tinged with a hint of the West. If you’re an attentive listener, you might begin to suspect some darker themes under the surface of The Eponymous EP and you’d be correct. Phenomena describes this release as “a rockin’ exploration of rape culture through fairytale and folklore.” And, while that might not sound like your idea of a Friday well spent, fans of throwback rock will want to check this one out. Phenomena knows rocknroll. The EP was released by the band before it was completed so expect a couple rough cuts.
Zodiac Bash dropped their debut, Pilot EP, a couple months back. At ten tracks, you might be thinking this release is more of an LP than an EP, but several of those numbers are brief instrumental interludes that run around a minute or less. A short intro, “Attention”, opens the album before Zodiac Bash barrels into “Break Party”, setting up the ZB sound to be as bellicose as it is fun. That’s an interesting combination, but not where the unusual juxtapositions end. The band combines synth sounds with rowdy rock. Zodiac Bash is not for the faint of heart, but, for those of you who like all things strange and ruckus, the Pilot EP just might be for you. And Zodiac Bash does get weird, downright trippy even. Just listen to tracks like “The Crane Zodiac” or “Bouncey” and you can hear what I’m taking about. While you’re at it, give the whole Pilot EP an auditory perusal.