An Insider’s Introduction: The NEW Trunk Space

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All photos courtesy of The Trunk Space

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

I’ve always been a music kid.

While my friends were using their allowance for My Little Ponies and neon scrunchies, I was socking away for that New Kids on the Block or Debbie Gibson cassette (I was seven, btw).

The point is, I’m always on the watch for that new musician that kicks me in my chest or vivifies my spirit. And, when I find that song or album that I can’t stop listening to, I have to tell everyone I know about my new discovery.

This is why The Trunk Space has been like a second home to me since I moved back to the Valley of the Sun in 2009. It is the place for folks like me who want to know about new music first and that’s because this venue has served as a launching pad for emerging acts since its inception more than a decade ago.

When The Trunk Space closed the doors of their original location on Grand Avenue, I was subject to waves of nostalgia about that sweaty little cupboard where I heard more bands than I could count, but I was not heartbroken because I knew this was only a transition and not the end of an era.

Now, as the summer heat is finally in its late-term death throes, The Trunk Space stands poised to return after a long and lonely season without them. I’ve visited the new location on a few occasions now while they were still testing out their potential home and, let me tell you, this place is amazing.

But I’m not going to tell you about all that for two reasons. First, you should be making plans to visit on your own if you haven’t already. And second, I had a chance to chat with Steph Carrico, matriach extraordinare of The Trunk Space family, about the new location and what’s in store for the future of Phoenix’s favorite D.I.Y. (ahem, I mean, D.I.T.) music venue.

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Roar performing at the new Trunk Space on Sept. 16, 2016

YabYum: So, can you tell us a little bit about the new space in terms of what they can expect? I know you were looking at different locations. What drew you to this spot?

Steph Carrico: The new space is wider then the old space and not as deep. The performance area is slightly smaller then the old space, but we have access to Hope Hall a couple times a month and Hope Hall has on occupancy of 375 people, so if we have larger shows we can accommodate them there.

The old Trunk Space was aprox. 1100 sq ft, the new space is aprox. 1,600 sq ft. We will have a greenroom, 2 bathrooms and a couple extra rooms that we will be using as either artist studios or office space for an arts related non-profit. We are not yet sure. There will be 3 rooms total available for people to use for workshops or classes, which I am pretty excited about. We just want to be able to offer as much as possible to the creative community.

The space is really fantastic. I love that it is so close to Roosevelt Row, there is a lot of parking as well as access to a lot of street parking, the library is walking distance so people could park there as well and walk over. It is near light rail. The Gothic architecture is beautiful. The courtyard with grass is a great place for people to hang out. It’s bigger then the old Trunk Space by about a 1/3. Plus having access to do shows in the courtyard and Hope Hall really expands what we can do.

One of my favorite things about the new space is the courtyard. It seems like the place to hang out and talk about new bands (between sets) has been upgraded from a sketchy parking lot on Grand to fancy new digs. What’s your favorite thing about the new space? There’s been a lot of talk of this water fountain…

It is really hard to pick a favorite! There are a bunch of things I really love about the new space. I love the colors! Our friend Corey showed up with a bunch of miss matched paint that he donated to us, Seth [Kasselman] did a fantastic job mixing paint to make some really wonderful colors. I also love the drinking fountain! For years I thought it would be great if Trunk Space had a drinking fountain, and now we do. I love how the space feels like a mini legit venue. It’s a lot wider so more people will be able to be up front. The stage is bigger too. The courtyard is really beautiful, so far people really seem to enjoy sitting in the grass and in the breezeway between sets.

Josh Hill performing at the Trunk Space / Grace Church courtyard on Oct. 1, 2016
Josh Hill performing at the Trunk Space / Grace Church courtyard on Oct. 1, 2016

The new location seems like it makes it much more accessible for public transit. The Lightrail runs nearby and there are buses that also run in the area. What do you think of the new location in terms of accessibility?

I am so excited about how accessible the new space is. I really wanted to stay downtown, which the new space is even more centrally located then the old one, light rail is a block away, and there is a lot of parking.

Over the summer of reprieve or, as us Trunk Space fans called it, the summer of sorrow, you hosted a number of pop-up shows around town and even in Tucson. Do you plan on retiring the pop-up venture now that you have a new home or can we expect more Trunk Space pop-up events in the future?

I would love to continue to host pop up shows. Sometimes we want to put on a show that is in the spirit of Trunk Space but better suited for a different venue, I’d like to continue to host stuff like that at different venues. Also, we will pop-up in other parts of the church like the sanctuary, Hope Hall, and Basement.

I bet you didn’t expect The Trunk Space to have the sort of enduring longevity its enjoyed when you first undertook this venture. I also know it’s taken a lot of hard work to see it through this far. Has the bumpy road been worth the effort?

I have to confess I have been like the boy who cried wolf when it comes to wanting to quit. It’s a lot of work. Sometimes when people get really critical it doesn’t feel like it is worth it. But for every one person who puts down what Trunk Space does there are 100 people praising it, so I try to stay focused on the positive.

Do I think it’s worth it? Today I do, but if you ask me again in a week I may say it’s not :). I think people need a place to be able to be creative and take risks with their creative work. I think it is how artists grow. You have to have a place to work towards your 10,000 hours. Also, I feel people are happier when they have a sense of community. My hope is that Trunk Space provides that too.

Scaups performing in Grace Hall on Oct. 7, 2016
Scaups performing in Grace Hall on Oct. 7, 2016

Not only do you have the new Trunk Space space, but rumor has it, you’ll also be able to make use of other buildings on the church property on occasion. Any bands you have in mind that could make use of the extra occupancy? I, of course, am thinking first and foremost of AJJ.

Yes! We are going to pop-up in other locations in the church. Some of the performers I have been fantasizing about are Jeph Jerman, and Lucky Dragons in the Sanctuary, and The Music Tapes, AJJ, Lightning Bolt, Kimya Dawson, Harry and The Potters, in Hope Hall. Maybe we can finally talk They Might Be Giants into playing Trunk Space. That’s been the dream since Trunk Space opened.

The Trunk Space currently has a fundraiser underway for the new accommodations. Any plans for the new funding you can share?

We have started a Razoo to try and raise funds for the new space (more here). Torch Theater has agreed to be our fiscal sponsor until our non-profit is set up so any donations are tax deductible, plus there are some cool perks such as a limited Jim Ether print, and your name on our sponsor wall. All funds raised will go towards the remodeling of the space, the rent for the first couple months until we get our footing, and fees associated with getting the non-profit set up.

It seems like it’s already been a big year: leaving Grand, pop-up shows, and now the big move. What’s next for Trunk Space? Or, now that you have a new space, are you just looking to settle and get back to business as usual for a while?

I want to the new Trunk Space to be the best D.I.T. (do-it-together instead of do-it-yourself) art space possible. I want it to be the apotheosis of 12 years of learning from the original Trunk Space. My hope is with the non-profit Trunk Space will feel like a community space in a whole new way. I want it to be something we can all be proud of.

~

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7 Pop Music Videos from Indie to Electro

Luna Aura
“Madhouse”

FYOHNA
“Ghost Heart”

Anna Renee
“Addicted to Heartbreak”

Cody Vavrik
“F*ck You Want”

Le Boeuf
“Waiting For You”

Nisha
“Hard Liquor”

Dama Scout
“Forget It’s Good”

YabYum Seven: Abe Zucca

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All photos courtesy of Abe Zucca

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Abe Zucca;  I use everything I am capable of using to create paintings of people, places, and things. Sometime to form a narrative, sometimes to suspend an object in its simplicity.

How did you get your start?

I never got a start, although I have had my hand outstretched for a long time hoping for someone to pull me up on stage.  So I flipped the script and admired those creative people around me and created my own stage. Abe Zucca Galley 1301 Grand.

abe zucca 06What inspires you?

What inspires me, is youthful individual wonderment.

What do you like about AZ?

What I love about AZ is that when someone talks a big game of status connections, opportunity to make some major cash – 99% of the time they are full of it. Why this makes me love AZ is that I know no one is going to black list me cause they got no list.


Where can we see you(r) work?

You can see my work at 1301 Grand Ave, and Red Thai Asian Bistro in consistent rotation throughout the year.

abe zucca 03What would like to accomplish before you die?

I just want to accomplish something so consuming that this death thing is forgotten about.

What is your mantra?

My mantra is: I might have cancer.

~

Check out Abe Zucca’s latest show Perspectival 4.5 this upcoming First Friday Nov. 4 from 6-11 PM at his Gallery. You can also peep his Instagram.

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7 Fabu Folk Songs

fabu folk songs 00Canyon City

“Fireworks”

This dreamy number from Nashville-based indie/folk musician/producer Paul Johnson, who performs under the name Canyon City, will enter your ears and soothe your soul with its gentle musicality and thoughtful lyricism. Intricate guitar work gives “Fireworks” a lavish, melodic sound despite the minimal approach. The single comes to us from the band’s debut full-length, Midnight Waves. Sink into the soft-spoken soundscape of “Fireworks” by Canyon City below and, if you love this song like I do, then move into the fullness of Midnight Waves (available here).

River Kittens

“Mama” 

The sassy band outta St. Louis known as River Kittens creates a sound they describe alternately as “Raunch Folk” and “Smartass Bluegrass” – amongst other terms. Whatever it is, I’m quite taken with the earthy sounding snark that comes through on “Mama”, a new single from the band. One might say it’s both salty and salt-of-the-Earth. The track comes to us from the River Kittens’ s/t EP which came out earlier this year. Give “Mama” a spin below then head over to Bandcamp for the full EP if you, like me, love what you’re hearing.

Jackie Venson

“Back to Earth”

Jackie Venson, an Austin-born guitarist and vocalist that infuses indie folk and blues for a sound all her own, recently released a collection of live tracks to follow-up her 2015 full-length studio album. Venson combines nimble coffee-pop vocals with a bluesy, stripped-down guitar on “Back to Earth”. I don’t know what secured my Jackie Venson fandom first: that voice or that guitar. In truth, it’s probably the interaction between the two that makes Venson’s music magic. Listen to “Back to Earth” below and, if you like what you’re hearing, check out Venson’s new release, Live at Strange Brew, here.

The Arcadian Wild

“Rain Clouds”

The indie-folk trio known as The Arcadian Wild hail from Nashville and you can hear some of the salt-of-the-earth sounds of that city in their new single, “Rain Clouds”. Two vocalists blend vivid harmonies while the strings of both guitar and violins lull the listener. Combining the talents of Lincoln Mick, Isaac Horn, and Sarah Wood, The Arcadian Wild is a band to keep an ear on. Listen to “Rain Clouds” here…

Cecil John

“Let Go”

Originally from Hawaii, Cecil John now makes music out of L.A. and you can hear those Pacific breezes in his new single, “Let Go”. The single has a chill, stripped-down sound that carries with it a tinge of the ebbing summer. Cecil John is sort of a musical jack-of-all-trades who produces, writes, records, mixes, and masters all of his own music. “Let Go” demonstrates the artist’s tendency toward fusing varying styles and influences from hiphop and folk to R&B and indie rock. Give the single a spin below…

little state

“Come With Your Friends”

This Philly-based trio has a lithe and innocent sound that reminds me of poolside popsicles and first days of class. “Come With Your Friends” is the first track on a collection of demos little state released back in June. The easygoing bedroom pop of little state is unrefined and enamoring. Listen to “Come With Your Friends” below and, if you dig it, consider checking out more of little state’s demo release through their Bandcamp page.

Eric & Happie

“It’s Yours”

Eric & Happie, the Austin-based duo, craft glowing harmonies set to an equally vibrant melody on the title track from their debut release, It’s Yours. “It’s Yours” combines earthy folk with effervescent indie for a song that will warm the cockles of your heart.  The two vocalists of Eric & Happie create a lyrical dialogue that continues beyond this track into the rest of the release; each song a duet that fuses the sweet with the somber. Check out “It’s Yours” below then delve into the complete release by the same title (available here).

Radio Phoenix Podcast: Citrus Clouds

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Citrus Clouds: Erick Pineda, Stacie Huttleston, Angelica Pedrego (l to r)

Earlier this month Maryvale’s own Citrus Clouds joined us in the Radio Phoenix Studios for another edition of Rise. Not only did they bring some tracks off their new record, Imagination, they brought along some stellar picks of artists they enjoy as well. Make sure and head to Valley Bar on Nov. 2 to catch the Imagination Release Party when the music will start at 7:30 PM. More on that event here.

Complete Playlist:

Citrus Clouds “The Sun is in My Eyes”

Fatigo “The Golf Cart Preacher”

Depeche Mode “Strange Love”

The Nix “Diamond Eyes”

Nanami Ozone “Be Cool to Me”

Citrus Clouds “Imagination”

Tierra Firme “Populous 2”

The Echo Bombs “Biter”

Factories “Story Like Yours”

Dadadoh “What I Got”

The Lonesome Wilderness “Wasted”

Ego Tripping “Impression”

Recorded live on October 19, 2016

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7 Mellow Music Videos

This Wild Life
“Falling Down”

Aesthetically Sound
“In My Feelings”

The End of America
“Russian Fortune”

Citrus Clouds
“Imagination”

Foreign Fields
“I”

The Smoking Trees
“Seen in a Scene”

Molly Moore
“Blood. Sweat. Tears.”

7 Singles to Get You Dancing

dancing 00Spencer Ludwig

“Diggy”

Los Angeles singer/songwriter/trumpeter Spencer Ludwig lays out a sweet jam in his single, “Diggy”. Channeling a touch of Off The Wall era Michael Jackson with sick contemporary stylings, Ludwig crafts a funky ditty that will have you shuffling and shimmying from the get-go. Check out “Diggy” by Spencer Ludwig or head here to download the track for your personal stash.

Iyeoka

“Black Coffee”

Boston-based musician Iyeoka combines honeyed vocals with a dance beat that will get your morning moving faster than any caffeine source. “Black Coffee” tempers the mellow vocal layers against a high-energy soundscape for just the right mix of chill and charged. Listen to “Black Coffee” below or head here for your own digi-download.

Holiday Mountain

“Cómo te Llamas”

Holiday Mountain is the undertaking of songwriter/keyboardist Laura Patiño and drummer/producer Zander Kagle who met while attending Berklee College of Music. Together, they crafted the explosive (and infectious) single “Cómo te Llamas”. The track, which features the Mexican Institute of Sound, will dance its way into your earholes and burrow into your brain. This one is definitely going on my gym mix. Listen to “Cómo te Llamas” by Holiday Mountain below. And, you can get your own digital copy here.

Outasight

“Do Something Crazy”

Richard Andrews is not someone you want to take advice from, at least, not when he’s in his musical alter-ego of Outasight. “Do Something Crazy” is funky, fresh, and encourages all kinds of debauchery. And, probably for the reasons I just mentioned, this single is featured in the new Zac Efron/Anna Kendrick comedy, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Get ready to get rowdy with Outasight. Add the single to your personal collection for all future party mixes (available here).

MARK

“#LA”

This chill dancehall number from the artist known simply as MARK will get you moving with its West Coast vibe. But don’t let the uplifting musicality and glitzy production confuse you, MARK is Boston-based. Although MARK is only 21-years-old, his credits already include The Voice (Hong Kong) in 2011 and Berklee College of Music before signing with Warner Brother’s Music.  This single comes to us from MARK’s debut EP under that label. Get into the groove of “#LA” below.

N2N

“Come to LA”

This funky number from N2N might encourage a different kind of dancing. The, uh, horizontal kind. I guess, when you’re refrain is “Come to L.A. and fuck me,” we’re long past subtlety. N2N places their request with style and humor set to a chillax beat that will have you adding some shoulder action to your head bob. Listen to “Come to LA” but don’t listen to it at the workplace. Save this one for the off-hours.

Steve Apollo

“Got Yo Back”

Bass. In. Your. Face. That’s exactly what you get with Steve Apollo’s new heavy-bottom hitter, “Got Yo Back”.  It seemed like Apollo was pretty new to the game (under this moniker anyway) when this single first came our way, but since that time he’s released quite a few new tracks. If serious bass inspires your best moves, check out “Got Yo Back” by Steve Apollo below. What can I say? I’m a sucker for low-end.

 

 

 

7 Eclectic Singles from Alt to Indie

7 Eclectic Singles 00Feli and the LemonShakers

“Blood in My Veins”

Having a bad day? Feli and the Lemonshakers can cold crush any negative feelings with their tropical-indie sound and vivify your spirits. The L.A.-based band brings to mind palm trees and beaches and rum with their single, “Blood in My Veins”, off their latest release. Feli’s supple voice pairs perfectly with the band’s island sound. “Blood in My Veins” will set your hips to shimmy as your worries melt. This is the kind of song you want to jam to on your drive home from work so consider scoring your own copy of Naïve, the new EP by Feli and the Lemonshakers (available here).  But first, check out “Blood in My Veins” below…

Van William

“Fourth of July”

The debut single from L.A.’s Van William dropped just in time for the holiday in its title, but we’re just getting around to sharing it today… alas. That’s okay. This summery single can still get plenty of playtime around here. William says the song is “about losing your faith and walking away from all the judgement and restriction that comes with it. It’s about the bittersweet feeling of breaking free even though it comes at the expense of losing so much you’ve held dear.” That’s a pretty heavy topic for such an uplifting tune, but the two work together splendidly. Give “Fourth of  July” a listen here…

Arms Akimbo

“Michigan”

This mellow number from the L.A.-based, four-piece known as Arms Akimbo combines breezy harmonies and an ascending energy. “Michigan” offers pensive lyrics tinged with a sense of personal loss and offsets the heartache with powerful guitar work certain to lift even the weariest of souls. Arms Akimbo is quite the enterprising act. Following the release of “Michigan” earlier this year, the band also put out an EP called Vignettes over the summer and dropped another brand-spanking-new single in October. Check out “Michigan” below and, if you like what you’re hearing, consider delving further in the complete body of work from Arms Akimbo.

Luke Rathborne

“You Let Me In”

This single comes to us all the way from Brunswick, ME. Luke Rathborne has a weathered voice that delivers soulful, indie-folk tunes. “You Let Me In” has a crisp, New York chill embedded in the music and lyrics. It’s refreshing in this blistering Arizona heat. Rathborne carries a promise of Autumn in his voice. Listen to “You Let Me In” here…

Sans Genetic

“Heartbeat Louder”

There is an enchanting minimalism that kicks off “Hearbeat Louder”, the latest single from Sans Genetic. The Seattle act crafts a mellow but moving number that falls to the pop side of the indie-spectrum. Rich harmonies merge with an expanding musicality that combines such disparate elements as synth and world music on “Heartbeat Louder”. Listen to the new single from Sans Genetic here…

Castle Pines

“Hollow Cause”

This alt-indie-rock band out of Corona, CA doesn’t have that simpering indie vibe. No, Castle Pines is definitely feistier than that. They’re more for those of you who still harbor a bit of Emo in your heart, perhaps those fans of Arcade Fire or Kings of Leon. That kind of indie. “Hollow Cause” will draw you in with its honest lyricism and crisp guitar work set against a dreamy soundscape. But, be warned, Castle Pines throws down. The energy amps up later in the track. Check out “Hollow Cause” from Castle Pines below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, delve further into the band’s Soundcloud offerings.

Gatsby’s Fiddle 

“Spin Around the Earth”

The West Coast act known as Gatsby’s Fiddle released this single in prelude to the unveiling of their sophomore album, Coincidence Lottery. “Spin Around the Earth” pairs Morrissey-esque vocals with steel drums and an upbeat indie rock sound. The single has an Indian summer feel, ideal for the comfortingly warm, late-October days. Take “Spin Around the Earth” for a spin below (sorry, I couldn’t stop myself)…