The Tastemaker’s Ten: John Polle of Whispering Wires


Tucson musician John Polle of Whispering Wires and Discos took some time out of his schedule to participate in our Tastemaker’s Ten. As per usual, we asked him to select ten tracks that he feels everyone should hear. What came back was an eclectic mix of singles from Arizona and beyond; unconfined by time period or location. Enjoy.

Lenguas Largas
“Abba Daddy”

I closed my eyes and picked this track at random, because they’re all good. These soul-punk weirdos give you everything you need: sex, druggy hidden headphone treasures, sonic landscapes, and hooks. It’s rumored head Lengua Isaac Reyes can write hits and play Grand Theft Auto simultaneously. ¿Quíen es mejor? ¡Nadie!

*I have, on occasion, played with Lenguas Largas, but purely in a support role. I am first and foremost a fan.

Tommy Johnson
“I Want Someone to Love Me”

This guy sold his soul to the devil before Robert Johnson, drank Sterno when he couldn’t buy booze, and wrote this masterpiece.

Pre Fix

Early 80s noisemakers from the art-you-can-dance-to school of rock. Free your mind and your middle finger will follow.

Free Machines
“Different Shapes”

There is a spring in Nogales, AZ that bestows those who drink from it rock n’ roll superpowers (see also Isaac Reyes). Great riffs, smart lyrics, timeless sounds.

Pere Ubu
“Final Solution”

There’s a reason this song was released as a single, if you were to put it next to any other track on a record, said track would be reduced to ashes. Put on your headphones, turn it up, and experience the majesty. If I could cry, the guitar solo in this song would bring me to tears.

Liquor Boys
“Sex War”

One of these dudes worked at the local record store in my dinky hometown. He once refused to let me purchase a record he thought sucked, he was right to do so. The Liquor Boys played only one show, in a former post office, with Sacramento band Tales of Terror. Their cassette, released in 1984, was recorded in the 4-track home studio of some Christian dude who wouldn’t let them drink or smoke weed in his house. Smoke some weed in your house while listening to this.

“Stomach Baby”

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined Big Black and The Archies? Yeah, me neither… Well, it turns out you get a sticky, sweet, and vicious explosion. Check out any of their delightful recordings or see them live and get ready to join the cult. Bring a towel.

“Cretin Hop”

Most things that need to be said have been said.

DeZurik Sisters (AKA Cackle Sisters)
“Arizona Yodeler”

They developed their unique yodeling style by trying to mimic birds on their family farm in Minnesota. The end result is otherworldly. As psychedelic as anything a mountain of amps and wah-wah pedals could ever produce.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse

I don’t really know what it’s about, but I like the imagery. And considering what a heartless jerk he is, Neil sure can tug at the ole heartstrings.

And, just because we can, we included this one from John’s band, Whispering Wires, recorded live at Wooden Tooth Records down in Tucson. For more from Whispering Wires, head here.

The Tastemaker’s Ten: John Polle of Whispering Wires

00:00 /

‘Beyond the Bricks’ Kicks off in Downtown Tempe


by Nicole Royse
Arts Editor

The Downtown Tempe Authority (DTA) has answered the community’s call for more support of the local music community and created Beyond the Bricks.

This recently launched event offers great live music from local bands, beer + wine, food from downtown Tempe restaurants, and more – activating Hayden Square Amphitheater each week. Located in the heart of the Mill Avenue District, State Farm presents an all-ages concert, welcoming visitors to come and enjoy a free show downtown with great live music that kicks off at 6 PM.

beyond the bricks 02DTA has lined up a great first season of Beyond the Bricks featuring some wonderful local bands offering an eclectic array of music including: Rock Lobster on December 1, the Stanley Serrano Trio on December 8 and the Black Moods on December 15. The current line up is online and scheduled through the end of December with more bands to be announced for January through May.

“Tempe and the region are rich with creative talent and our goal is to make our downtown the go‐to one‐stop for free fun for all ages,” states DTA.

bricks 04Visitors can listen to great local music and enjoy delicious food from some of our favorite local eateries including Blasted Barley or Bacus Bros. Hotdogs and Beer. Wine and beer is available for purchase starting at 5:30 PM for those over the age of 21, being served up by Hackett Housepitality!

bricks 03
All photos courtesy of Beyond the Bricks

Grab a blanket or chairs for a night under the stars with amazing fall temperatures, delicious food and local music at the Hayden Square Amphitheater each week. Experience Beyond the Bricks and rediscover everything Mill Avenue has to offer! For more information about Beyond the Bricks visit them online.


Remember, scheduled acts are subject to change without notice. The Beyond the Bricks series will run weekly through May 25, 2017.

7 Groovy ElectroPop Music Videos

“Glitter McQueen”

Sleep State
“Making Up the Rules”

Glass Spells
“Danger Streets”

“Young for Life”

“This Isn’t Love”

Miss Krystle
“Focused All Night”

J Sutta


7 Stellar Indie Folk Singles

indie folk 00The Foster Family Band

“How Can I?”

This single is the opening track from the debut EP by The Foster Family. Now, this is a release that I’ve been waiting for. “How Can I?” offers up a bluesy introduction to the unique sounds of The Foster Family Band; a seven-piece outfit from Phoenix. The instrumentation on this track includes trumpet, viola, clarinet, and violin. A lot of orchestral folk acts should take a cue from The Foster Family Band. Every arrangement is tasteful and uncluttered; every player a competent of a single expression, not clamoring for presence in every moment. This 4-track release is stellar from start to finish so make sure you set aside some time to listen to the whole thing. You won’t be sorry you did. But, first, start with “How Can I?” below…

Fellow Hollow


The musical duo out of Columbus, OH known as Fellow Hollow creates mellow, moving pastoral folk that will soothe your weary soul. Their sweet-tempered single, “Clothesline”, is painted in nostalgic hues and combines rich harmonies with a simple finger-plucked guitar work. This track comes to us from the band’s 2016 EP, When You Love the Same People, You Love Each Other, which came out last month. Settle into the sound of Fellow Hollow with “Clothesline”, and if you dig what you’re hearing, check out the full EP here.



Phoenix’s Willetta released three tracks back earlier this year that were intended to be part of a split with another local act. “Aurora” was one of the singles planned for that release and, thankfully, the band went ahead and put them out online so fans, like myself, can hear them and love them. Willetta combines dreamy harmonies with ruminating melodies that provide the perfect vehicle for the thoughtful lyricism that lies at the center of these creations. “Aurora” is both beautiful and haunting. You should give it a listen below and then make sure you check out the full triptych from Willetta (available here).


“Cøde Red”

Nicholas SantoVasi is gearing up for the release of his second collection of tracks under the moniker andGATHER. By taking mellow indie folk and adding subtle permutations within the texturing of the track, andGATHER. arrives at a sound perhaps best described as “Melancholy Martian Folk”.  “Cøde Red”, the first single from Nøthing That Is Real Is Alien Tø Me., is like gently drifting through the distant reaches of your unexplored mindspace. Sink into the experience below and, if you love the single as I love the single, don’t forget to check out the full LP here.

Valley Shine

“Home Away”

Let’s diverge a little further from the sphere of traditional folk toward this folk-pop find from the L.A.-based act known as Valley Shine. In “Home Away”, this six-piece act creates a sound that will brighten the dark and dusty corners of your heart. Combining the down-home feel of folk with the power of orchestral pop, Valley Shine achieves a compelling musicality that will stay with you long after that first spin. Give “Home Away” an ear here…



Delafaye is the moniker of Kentucky-based musician Andrew Shockley. His debut single, “Dreamers”, has a sleepy, early-morning feel that reminds me of waking up in a warm bed on a cold morning. Those moments of calm reflection can give shape to your whole day. “Dreamers” is like that. It floats toward you in an ether of soft sounds as you cross the threshold that divides your dream-life from your waking world. This is a promising start for Delafaye. Listen to “Dreamers” below…

Sunny Pache

“A Song Called Garrett County”

Sunny Pache describes himself as an “outdoor enthusiast, musician, and student living in the Appalachian mountains of western Maryland.” In his latest single, “A Song Called Garrett County”, the listener can distill a nature-centric sensibility in Pache’s musical style. The track has a rustic feel that will refresh your world-weary soul like drinking sweet tea on a porch swing. Settle down with “A Song Called Garrett County” and make sure you check out Pache’s new EP, Indian Summers, available for pre-order through iTunes here.

7 Rowdy Music Videos

Okilly Dokilly
“White Wine Spritzer”

La Bête Blooms
“Breaking In”

Sonoran Chorus

Frequency Within

Red Tank!

Surviving the Era
“City Church”

Moth Wings
“I Used to Hate Myself”

YabYum Seven: Danielle Wood

danielle wood 09
All photos courtesy of Danielle Wood.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Danielle Wood, and I am a visual artist. I work predominately in ceramics and enjoy creating installations and individual sculptural forms inspired by nature.

How did you get your start?

The first show I participated in downtown Phoenix was at Made Art Boutique, which was an installation I created as a featured Mantel Artist.

The next show I did was in ARTELPHX at the Clarendon Hotel in Spring 2015. I created a two-room installation with porcelain clay installations attached to the wall with painted insulation foam and industrial strength Velcro. Both rooms were lit by black light with a trail of porcelain shards leading to the second room. I had a wonderful experience as an artist in that event and it was well populated with about 600 people each night throughout the hotel even though it was a rainy weekend.

danielle wood 02
“Baroque Sensibilities”

I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics at ASU in 2006 and my Master of Fine Arts at New Mexico State University in 2012 in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Ceramics.

danielle wood 06
“Microcosm 1”

What inspires you?

Nature and psychology, specifically social psychology inspires me.

I am also very interested in the symmetry, patterns, repetition, and beauty found in nature. The ocean environment intrigues me because it is a space that has not yet been completely discovered or explored. I am drawn to that environment for its beauty, mystery, intrigue, creative abstract forms, and endless possibility. Due to the space not being fully explored, anything is possible and many of the sculptures I create are inspired by ocean flora abstracted.

danielle wood 05
“Microcosm 2”

What do you like about AZ?

I like that Arizona is a growing art scene and is also growing in regards to its support of the arts with a variety of facets.

It has great opportunities in regards to public art, grant funding, and organizations/events to participate in the arts in Phoenix including Roosevelt Row, Third Fridays, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Curator Engine, and Artlink. As an artist, I feel the scene is supportive, welcoming, and will continue to grow.

danielle wood 04

Where can we see you(r) work?

My work can be seen in the lobby of the Illuminate Apartment Complex on 3rd street and Roosevelt, it received a Baron Purchase award.

I also have work at Tiny Works/Tiny Dances at {9} Gallery in December.

I have work at the ASU Art Museum store as well as in the upcoming fundraiser called Amid the Grid at the Eye Lounge in December.

I’m also on the ASU Ceramic Research Studio Tour in February and my work will be exhibited at Deborah Hodder’s studio in February 2017 with Deborah Hodder and Susan Risi. I am a member of Eye Lounge artist collective and will have a solo show at the Eye Lounge in July 2017.

danielle wood 07

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My artistic bucket list would be to complete several residencies, be a ceramics professor at a university or college, continue to exhibit locally as well as nationally.

I would like to travel more and Thailand would be at the top of my destination list. It seems like such a beautiful country and it is known for its beaches. The marine life would be very inspiring for my work.

danielle wood 03

What is your mantra?

A mantra that inspires me as an artist was quoted by Chuck Close: “Inspiration is for amateurs…ideas flow out of the working process, out of what you have already done.”

I agree with him in the way that sometimes you don’t feel inspired, but art is like a relationship, as long as the artist is in attendance, the inspiration comes from the working process, which is a wave of energy always in flux.


For more info, check out her website. You can also view her Facebook page.

danielle wood 01

7 Fun Fresh Singles

fun fresh singles 00Adejoké

“Dem A Say”

Usually, reggae is not my thing. I usually leave those submissions to the other senior editor on staff, but as soon as I heard “Dem A Say” by Adejoké, I was hooked. Combining elements of soul, indiepop, dancehall, and other disparate genres that fuse together seamlessly into one unified sound, Adejoké crafts a catchy number that will get you dancing and leave you smiling. The track is “written in her Nigerian “pidgin English” which is similar to Jamaican patois and speaks volumes for the impending debut release from Adejoké. Listen to “Dem A Say” below…

Special Thumbs

“Leave Home/Get High”

This single comes to us off the debut EP from Oklahoma City’s indie rock outfit known as Special Thumbs. “Leave Home/Get High” features lush vocals and feel-good energy that makes this the perfect single to blast on your way home from work. Special Thumbs concocts their own brand of indie by combining elements of blues, psych, and maybe a splash of alt-rock. Check out “Leave Home/Get High” here, and if you dig what you’re hearing, move on to the complete EP, Pollen, which is also available through Bandcamp or through iTunes here.

Whiskey Kiss

“I Wanna Know”

Phoenix’s Whiskey Kiss is known for taking a throwback style and makes it all their own. Once you hit play on their slinky new single, “I Wanna Know”, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The smokey vocals vacillate from coy to ploying as the jazz-tinged ensemble creates a 1940s barroom atmosphere that will bring the faint aroma of polished leather booths and gin to mind. “I Wanna Know” is the first single from the band’s forthcoming release, Retro. Revamped. An apropos name, if ever there was one. Listen to “I Wanna Know” below and keep your ears open for the full release next month.

Mateo Katsu

“One Day I’ll Be Your Ears”

It seems very appropriate that this single was recorded at a place called The Church of F.U.N. in Los Angeles. Mateo Katsu crafts a unique brand of quirky folk on “One Day I’ll Be Your Ears”, the opening track from his recent LP, Fourteen Weeks. Katsu achieves a sound that is simultaneously earthy and effervescent. Give “One Day I’ll Be Your Ears” a spin below and, if you dig what you’re hearing, check out the complete LP (available here).

Allen French

“Nova Vida”

L.A.-based artist Allen French takes a multi-cultural approach in crafting a unique sound. “Nova Vida” comes to us from the EP, Novo Mundo, and, for those of us who need to brush up on our Spanish language skills, both names promises the listener some new. French opts for a multi-cultural approach to music-making and adds a Latin spin to his own brand of pop. “Nova Vida” features the vocal stylings of Jessie Clemens and can be heard below. I also recommend checking out Novo Mundo which is available in digi-download form here.

Smokey Brights

“In Demand”

Smokey Brights out of Seattle just released their latest album, Hot Candy, and this ditty comes to us from that LP. “In Demand” combines pop-rock with some funky prog rock for a catchy sound. Pay particular attention to the stellar guitar work on this track that provides grounding for the vaporous vocals. The band is currently out on tour (maybe you caught one of their AZ stops) to promote Hot Candy so check their schedule to see if they might be landing in your city soon. If not, you can listen to “In Demand” below before throwing some support to the band by purchasing their new album (available here).

Color You

“Shine Through”

The L.A.-based act known as Color You shapes out a psych-tinged indie rock sound that surrounds the listener like a warm, ocean-scented breeze. “Shine Through” comes to us from the band’s 8-track release, The Grand Trine, and captivated our interest with its summertime vibe. Give the single a listen below and shake of some of that autumn chill. If you like what you’re hearing, check out The Grand Trine from Color You here.

We Stand with Standing Rock.

standing rock 04by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

We decided to take a moment out of our regularly scheduled music programming to bring you a special holiday message this Thanksgiving.

Sure, a few weeks ago I would have said that most of the people in this country are horrified by the atrocities committed by colonists against the Native people of the Americas. In the wake of our recent election, I am beginning to have my doubts that those sentiments are as widely felt as I initially suspected.

Some might want to push responsibility for that genocide on long-since-deceased ancestors so they can approach the holiday with guilt-free gluttony. But, in the wake of recent events taking place at Standing Rock, I have to say that Thanksgiving feasting while our country continues to trample the rights of Native peoples (while putting our nation’s very life blood – water – in serious jeopardy) is a little bit tacky.

Does this mean you should smash all the pies on the floor of your grandmother’s kitchen today? Not necessarily.

I suggest instead that we use our family gatherings for what President Obama would term “a learning opportunity.” Maybe print out the phone numbers provided below and take turns making calls to voice your opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and the abhorrent treatment of our Water Protectors. Or maybe talk to your family about skipping (or skimping) on presents this year and making a donation to aid the Water Protectors instead (donations can be made here). Or maybe both.

Also, on December 8th there is a supply drive planned to assist Stand Rock Sioux activists and allies get ready for Winter camp. There is quite a list of supplies that are needed so maybe you can talk to your family about what they might have sitting around that could aid the cause. Information about the supply drive and the complete list of requested items can be found here.

And you can do all of this while eating pumpkin pie with those you love… or, at least, tolerate on these “special” occasions. The best way to gain distance from the crimes of our nation’s past is to stop the same atrocities from repeating in our present.


Phone Numbers:
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple: (701) 328-2200
Army Corps: (202) 761-5903
Morton County Sheriff: (701) 667-3330

#NoDAPL Winter Camp Fund
Supply Drive for Standing Rock Sioux Activists and Allies

One More: 

And, as I’ve always been a fan of a strongly worded letter, you can write to Gov. Dalrymple here…

600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505

7 Superb Indie Rock Singles

indie rock 00Grandpa Grew Trees

“Your Song”

This single from Grandpa Grew Trees starts of like a gentle breeze that whispers of a brewing storm. “Your Song” gains force, and angst, as the music progresses. Elijah Poston, songwriter for Grandpa Grew Trees, demonstrates real emotive energy on “Your Song”, something I look forward to hearing more of when the band drops their debut album this coming January. Grandpa Grew Trees is originally from Memphis but they are currently based out of New Orleans. Give “Your Song” a listen below and join me in the wait for the full release early next year.

The Georgia Flood

“Whistle King”

Brooks Mason and Lane Kelly are two brothers who grew up playing together in (of course) Georgia. And now the pair create dynamic indie-tinged alt-rock as The Georgia Flood. “Whistle King” is the first single from their latest EP, People Like Ourselves, due out in early December. This track is high-energy with its driving guitars and changing soundscape, but it achieves just the right level of rowdy. Listen to “Whistle King” below and join us in the (short) wait for the rest of the new EP from The Georgia Flood.

The Real Fits


The band known as The Real Fits is gearing up for the release of their debut EP next month. In anticipation of that grand event, they released their single, “Sundown”, which fuses vibrant vocals with intentionally restrained instrumentation. The reason for the restraint? To give central focus to the powerhouse vocals, obviously. Give “Sundown” a spin below and get ready for the EP release show at Crescent Ballroom on December 30th (more info here). Don’t live in the Phoenix area? Don’t worry. The Real Fits will be heading out on tour in January so keep watch for shows in your city.

Bravo Max

“Salt Stones”

Dallas’ Bravo Max just dropped their much-anticipated sophomore effort, Bullfighter Blues, this month.  “Salt Stones”, the first single from that release, combines a gritty garage rock with an Americana hue and throws in a splash of psychedelia to achieve what we in Arizona like to call a real desert sound. Bullfighter Blues clocks in with a hefty 15-tracks so if you dig “Salt Stones” consider making that album purchase here. You won’t be sorry you did. But, first, listen to the single here…


“Keep Talking” 

The Phoenix band known as Luau released a two-track release back in October. “Keep Talking”, the second single from the band’s Cassingle, combines a radio-ready indie sound with anxious vocals. Don’t let the mellow intro lull you into a false security. The calm quickly gives way to a restless vibe that Luau pulls off by churning up a sea of sound. Listen to “Keep Talking” below and then head here to score your own limited-edition cassette copy of the two track single from Luau.

Mute Swan

“Just Like Weeds”

Tucson’s Mute Swan released a 5-song EP, Ultraviolet, earlier this Fall and it’s a real gem. “Just Like Weeds” is the first track from that release and, as soon as you hit play, a sea of slow-moving sounds will start to encompass you. This single is a bit more experimental than our previous selections with its shoegaze fuzz and heavy texturing. That’s part of the reason I like it so much. It’s strange, ethereal, and a little psychedelic. Check out “Just Like Weeds” below and then move on to the complete EP (available here).

Jim Platt Rhythm Innovation

“Looking Back” 

The Jim Platt Rhythm Innovation is a rather grandiose name, but I kind of like that. Go bold or go home, right? This musical undertaking by Jim Platt (obviously) and others has a bit of a Britpop vibe that can be heard on their single, “Looking Back”. You might find your mind wandering back to the days of Oasis and Blur as the song plays on, but that’s not to say the track lacks contemporary relevance. Quite the contrary. Jim Platt Rhythm Innovation is a refreshing shift from the inundation of vapid electropop that is funneled into our ears every day. Give “Looking Back” a listen below. And, if you want to delve further, the full EP from whence this single came is available here.