6 Live Music Videos

Human Behavior
“Chops Off My Head”

from Sofar Tucson

Henry Black
“Queen of Brooklyn”

Mimi Gilbert
“Alabama”

from The Trundle Sessions

Exit Glaciers
“Cascades

from Sofar Denton

REDD ft. Mira Blues
“Her Story”

DENM
“Under Pressure”

YabYum Seven: Sandra Ortega

unnamed (11)Who are you and what do you do?

I am a follower of Jesus, clothed as an artist, working in pastels and now oils. A member of the Arizona Pastel Artists Assoc. and Pastel Society of America. I also work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I am in a ministry to women in crises. And I’m married to Larry Ortega. We have two adult children and six beautiful grandkids.

How did you get your start?

My sixth grade teacher believed my art was good enough to enter it into the Laguna Beach Art Festival’s Children’s Exhibit. An she also entered it into Chapman College children’s art exhibit in Orange County. I finished my formal art education at Cal State Fullerton.

What inspires you?

I am awe struck at the dance of sunlight on an object. I am inspired by other artists of all mediums. And the human spirit is inspiring and emotionally captivating.

unnamed (1)What do you like about AZ?

I love Arizona! Coming here from Hawaii in 1980 it took about 3 years to get acclimated, but the beauty of the desert slowly came into focus. The desert is stunning. And I witness the most beautiful sunsets from my porch. Where else can you travel from the desert to ponderosa pine forest in an hour and 30 minutes? Arizona is truly the land of enchantment!

Where can we see your work?

I am in group shows two and sometimes three times a year with the Arizona Pastel Artists Assoc. I just got back from the Bisbee Plein Air Festival, where I was one of the two judges. I sold my plain air piece on display there. You can also see my art on my website.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My desire is to transition my painting style from a representational to more abstract. I also have a short bucket list and hope to accomplish that.

What is your mantra?

Observe the beauty around me each day, love people, love God.

 

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Radio Phoenix Podcast: Man Hands

Man Hands

Local punk rockers Man Hands came down to the Phoenix Center for the Arts for another installment of Rise on Radio Phoenix. And of course they brought along some stellar tunes. The complete playlist can be found below.

Complete playlist:

Man Hands “Chloroform”

The Screamers “Vertigo”

Lenguas Largas “Little C’s”

Consumer “Made in China”

Silver Shadows “By My Vampire’s Side”

Mighty Sphincter “Temple Dogs”

Joke Flower “Dirty Hands”

100 Flowers “Contributions”

Poolside Sacrifice “Homicide is Cool”

US Depressed “Motorized Bicycle Male”

Destruction Unit “God Trip”

Spray Paint “I Need a Bag”

Chandails “Cult”

The Feederz “Avon Lady”

Recorded live on June 15, 2016

5 New ElectroPop Releases

MRCH

I Love You But You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About

That’s a rather long EP title for a band I would usually describe as terse. They don’t even give us a vowel in their band name and most of their tracks have one word titles. The breathy electropop of MRCH, however, isn’t short on style. “Light” opens the five-track EP, I Love You But You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About. This isn’t upbeat dance music. This is dreamy, meditative electronica pop meant to induce swaying in a club setting. Although, in all fairness, you could definitely dust off some of those New Wave dance moves for some of the tracks on MRCH’s latest, including “Ruins” and “Spin”. The EP is available on Spotify and iTunes, but you can preview “Ruin” here…

Iska Dhaaf

The Wanting Creature

Iska Dhaaf is an artist I want to keep an eye (or ear) on. It is only with his fourth release – The Wanting Creature –  that I even discovered Dhaaf and his musical endeavors, but I plan on delving the complete discography. The latest album opens with “Invisible Cities”, aptly named for its decidedly urban feel. Listening to this song, I can imagine tearing through a cityscape in middle of the night, windows open and music blasting. The Wanting Creature definitely provides some dance-able electro-pop despite its darker reflections on city life, a recurring theme on this album. At other moments, the music swims toward the listener at a meditative pace. The Seattle artist currently resides in New York, but The Wanting Creature was released through Brick Lane Records out of Seattle. That seems appropriate because The Wanting Creature has a mellow, West Coast vibe. “Chrysalis” and “Laura Palmer” (of course) are stand out tracks for me, but, overall, The Wanting Creature won’t leave you wanting. Preview the album before purchase here…

Beginners

Beginners

This five-track, self-titled debut from L.A.’s Beginners offers a high-energy, club-ready mix of music to get you moving whether on a dance floor or in your bedroom. The EP opens with “Ever Love” and fans of alt-electro-pop will be uplifted by the effervescent vibes. That invigorating energy doesn’t diminish although it does transmogrify throughout the release from the New Wave feel of the synths on “Let Go or Get Dragged” to easy permutations between chill and edgy on “So Close I Almost Believed It”. The closing track, “If It’s Not Enough”, takes on a plaintive hue without losing that Beginners’ sound. Overall, this EP is a promising start for Beginners. The band already has a new album in the works due out in September, but before that release hits public ears, give Beginners by Beginners a listen here…

Foresteater

Nightlife of the Exploding Heads

Mikey Pro out of Phoenix creates music under the name Foresteater. The act’s debut EP kicks off with the single “Very Friendly People”, but it’s not until the second track, “High and Bright”, that I really start to feel the Foresteater groove. Pro started writing the album after he had a dream wherein there was “a band playing on an island in outer-space with electric rainbows everywhere.” That’s actually a great visual to call to mind when listening to this album. Foresteater offers up effervescent, spaced-out electro-pop, something a little more dreamy than dance club. “Nighttime Honey” has a slowly building energy that envelopes the listener before the closing track, “Dress in Yellow”, mellows out a little with the EP’s most indie track. Recorded with Bob Hoag over at Flying Blanket Studios, Nightlife of the Exploding Heads was an unexpected boon to my afternoon listening. Check it out for yourself here…

Koala Bear

KBTP

Koala Bear describes his unique brand of electronica as “Drug Pop” and, while we never want to encourage disreputable behavior, I can imagine that certain foreign substances in the blood stream can induce a trance-like state with the addition of a KB soundtrack. The largely instrumental debut EP – KBTP – offers listeners four dreamy and uplifting tracks that are simple in design, but held our attention from start to finish. Coming in a just a little over ten minutes in length, my only complaint about KBTP by Koala Bear is that it leaves you wanting more. You can download the EP from Koala Bear for free through Bandcamp. But first, give it a listen here…

5 Live Music Videos

Simeon Beardsley
“Michael”

from The Trundle Sessions

Stephen Steinbrink
“I’m Turning Inside Out”

Live at Little Elephant

John Rossiter
“Every Little

from A Fistful of Vinyl

The Cloud Walls
“Magdalene”

from The T-Town Sessions

The Thermals
“My Heart Went Cold”

Live on KEXP

Bindi-Eye: Two Temple Dog

bindi eyeby Chris Nunley
Staff Writer

Whoever said that you eventually get accustomed to the summers here in Phoenix is a damn fool. There is NO getting used to them! In the four short years that I’ve been in the Valley, they seem to only get worse with each revolution. Apocalyptic visions of dust devils swirling in the distance and crossing over freeways while cookies bake on crackled dashboards are glorious reminders that we in fact live in Hell.

And there’s nothing to do at the same time. Baseball game? No thanks. Hiking? Enjoy dehydration and that motorized trip to the ER. “Release” pool parties? Watch out for roofies. Perhaps the best option is to stay indoors and ride it out until the calendar hits November.

However, in the midst of my despondency, a small nugget of local lo-fi folk music has been chiseled and presented with a sheen of imperfect perfection. Two Temple Dog, one of two recent releases from Bindi-Eye, is a warm and engaging musical testament that less is more, especially in the summertime.

From the opening hiss of the instrumental track “Tape Test”, you get the feeling that our brooding bedroom rocker cranked out this song (and album for that matter) with little effort. The subtle yet tasteful use of delays and reverb is brilliant, allowing the track to breathe within its own space.

“Hypochondrimania” clocks in at just over a minute, and it might very well be my favorite track, for what sounds like slam-poetry turned folk-song. This is how I would write if I could only carry a tune. There’s nothing fancy about it either. No bells or whistles. It’s just a throaty, raw song that says what needs to be said without the use of a hook. “Latex Clouds” sends the listener floating in the backyard pool at high noon with euphoric visions and dripping sonic textures thanks to tape stops and reverses, while “Comfort Junkie Apparatus” sounds like a found art piece of old recorders and plastic stringed toy guitars procured from a garage sale.

Bookending this section of the EP is the equally raw track “Hypnopompic Goddess”. Reminiscent of the second and third sections of “Paranoid Android”, I kind of wish there was a sort of uptempo first section on this one too, but I guess that would be too Radiohead though, huh? It’s a good track nonetheless, just a little short lived.

However, what I enjoyed most about this four song chunk is how connections are made between the artist and the audience on “Hypo” and “Hypno”. The two instrumentals allows the performer to sort of hang back in the shadows while the listener disconnects and drifts freely.

One of my favorite characteristics of lo-fi music are the unexpected surprises that you get from time to time. “Through Eons of Election Fraud” gives us just that, thus bringing the album to the 180 mark from where we originally began. A “hefty-hefty-hef-ty” dose of guitar feedback and abrasive vocals is humorously followed with a “wimpy-wimpy-wim-py” drum track that definitely has the balls fall through the sack. Artistically, it’s a genius move with the added elements of rhythm and a distorted harmonica. The combination of the two adds gritty tension to the dark and distressing lyrics, probably about the impending election and the lack of candidates with any substance.

“Little Medicine Feather” finally brings the album full circle as a full-bodied instrumental, complete with hints of the instruments used in the previous tracks, all while providing a simultaneous sense of optimism and hopelessness.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m feeling inspired to make a lo-fi record myself. November is still a ways away and there’s only so much Netflix one can take. Be cool…stay indoors!

6 Rad HipHop Singles

6 Rad HipHop Singles 00

Lando Chill

Early in the Morning

The smooth rhymes of Lando Chill have been garnishing a lot of media attention of late. Fans, both new and old, will be excited to learn that the Tucson emcee will be releasing a new album in August titled For Mark, Your Son. Don’t get your boxers in a bunch with anticipation. Lando Chill has released not one, but two singles from this impending LP to tide you over until its release. “Early in the Morning” (available for free download) has that chillax style that is to be expected from an artist with the word “Chill” in his moniker. After you check out “Early in the Morning” make sure you stick around to listen to “Coroner”; the first single from Lando’s new recording effort and a personal favorite.

Commonminds

Drown

Commonminds out of New York might only be 16, but he’s got a sick rhyme style that is bound to give rise to jealousy in artists who’ve been in the game longer than he’s been alive. “Drown” is the seventh track from Commonminds’ twelve-month project. If only I was that goal-oriented at his age… but that’s another story. Listen to “Drown” by Commonminds here and, if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into his Soundcloud offerings.

Joey Jewish

BLK SVND

Man, Tucson is throwing down some serious beats. Joey Jewish, another HipHop artist from the Old Pueblo, offers up this ambient single perfect for those indica-induced mellows. We first covered Joey Jewish last year when he released American Dream (more here), but if this new single is any indication of what’s to come, I expect something truly special. The new album is currently available for pre-order through Bandcamp so jump on that party train early. Beforehand, however, you can preview “BLK SVND” here…

Vic Rogue

Soul Fragment

Vic Rogue, out of Sacramento, has an interesting rhyme style and a voice that sounds like it rubbed up against a little sandpaper before he picked up the mic. “Soul Fragment”, his most recent single, leaves a little something to be desired in the beat arena, but it does reveal some serious potential in the works. I’m definitely interested to see where Vic Rogue is going. Listen to “Soul Fragment” here…

J.Lately

Quality Time

Why anyone in beautiful Sebastapool would decide to hole up in a room to develop those emcee chops, I do not know, but I’m glad J.Lately did just that. His new single, “Quality Time”, has a mellow, summertime feel. Think warm sun and windows down. For those of us in Arizona, that usually means February, but July is customarily thought of as a pleasant time of year… or so I’ve been told. This song is about smoking trees and driving around with friends (not at the same time, please). If you like what you’re hearing, check out J.Lately’s latest release, The Good Panda EP, here or on Spotify.

Desh

Better Friend

Is everyone in Colorado high? Probably not, but Desh’s easygoing rhythms and slightly awkward rhyme-style is endearing while suggesting that perhaps unmentionables might have been smoked before laying down the aforementioned rhymes. The single “Better Friend” comes from Desh’s EP, For Those Who Care. Between those two titles, sounds like Desh should ditch the haters and focus on the music. There’s a lot potential here to develop.

 

 

 

YabYum Seven: Emmett Potter

unnamed (2)Who are you and what do you do?

Emmett Potter and I am an artist.

How did you get your start?

I started in photography in the late 80’s and transitioned into graphic design by the 90’s. By 2006, I was really wanting to get back into creating artwork, but had no idea what direction to take. In 2008, I quit my day job and rented a studio at the now defunct Kollective in downtown Phoenix. The building is now occupied by FilmBar. That is where I met my wife, the artist, Kristin Bauer. We then became studio-mates in a little house on Portland Street with a friend of ours and then transitioned to a space in Scottsdale by 2010 that became our studio and also served as the home of Squeeze Gallery. That was where I really started putting up my work and selling as an artist.

What inspires you?

[A] good artist, my wife and kids, Carl Jung, pop culture, consumerism and life in general.

What do you like about AZ?unnamed

I like what AZ is becoming culturally, the desert landscape, and the good quality of life that is affordable in the Valley verses other metropolises.

Where can we see your work?

Currently, I was just in a two person show at Carlos Queso in Los Angeles and I will have a piece at the I.D.E.A. Museum in Mesa this summer.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

A long, healthy life.

What is your mantra?

My mantra is: “The Dude abides.”

 

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Big Changes at YabYum!!

yabyum 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

You might have noticed some big changes around here. First, there’s the website design that we originally planned to launch on August 1st, but we finished early and someone (ahem, it was me) couldn’t wait to show off our new digs.

As we drew closer to YabYum’s Seven Year Anniversary, we began contemplating the future of the publication.  When I originally started the website, I thought of YabYum as my community service project. I had worked for a handful of publications by that point and felt the Valley could use additional arts coverage that focused on the musicians and artists that called Arizona home.

Several years later, we decided to expand our coverage to include musicians from the Southwest/West Coast regions to increase connectivity between Arizona artists and those living elsewhere in the region. We started receiving a lot, and I mean a lot, of submissions from other areas as well. We dismissed each one with a polite form letter, but then we started to wonder why exactly we were doing it.

Increasing our coverage area (and readership) only increases visibility for the artists we cover. Wasn’t that the entire point in the first place? It started to seem like a smart move, not only for us, but for the artists we feature as well.

And, as the years ticked on, there seemed to be something a little self-congratulatory developing in local arts coverage. Sorta like “everyone gets a ribbon” and, by ribbon, I mean a positive sentiment expressed in print until coverage was no longer a boon of a job well done, but an expectation for hitting record.

As many bands will tell you, we haven’t covered everyone in the local scene. It’s just not possible. We have, however, maintained a high rate of coverage with regard to our local submissions’ pile. Over the past couple of years, as our submissions have increased, this percentage has decreased and will likely continue to do so. But, fear not, we remain Arizona-based and Arizona-focused.

We hope that in expanding our coverage we can expand the visibility of Arizona music and arts. This shift will also give us an opportunity to increase our coverage of underrepresented artists who don’t fit into genres most popular within the local scene and, therefore, don’t always receive the timely coverage they deserve.

And, who knows, maybe you’ll find a rad band from Boise that fits with your style you can reach out to before your next tour? Or maybe you’ll find an electronica artist out of Miami you want to collaborate with? Or an indie band from Denton? The possibilities are endless.

Don’t let the big-fish-in-a-moderately-sized-pond thing fool you. If you want your band to succeed, you need to be bigger than one place. This shift at YabYum probably won’t be the thing to launch you there, but we’re hoping it might help. There’s something special happening in the arts here. Let’s all work toward letting everybody else in on the secret.

TL;DR: We’re going National!!

Implied but not stated: Make sure you keep sending us the things you make!! Our submissions pile is oppressively large so we don’t have time to chase after you folks who are too-cool-for-PR. But, don’t worry, we’re still going to listen to the things you send us.