Radio Phoenix Podcast: When in AZ

when in az vol 2Nick Kizer, founder of the When In AZ project, dropped into the Radio Phoenix studios for an installment of the YabYum Hour and now the show is available in podcast form!

He brought along some tracks from that first When in AZ compliation as well as a few exclusive, brand-new, you-can’t-hear-’em-anywhere-else tracks to play over the air. For more info on the When in AZ Project, visit their website. And remember, the deadline to submit your song for Volume 2 is October 31!!

And, on a sadder note, we also want to take a moment to thank and congratulate Roddy Nikpour for all the help he’s done for our show as we bid him adieu. We wish him all the best with his new gig at Maine Public Radio! Stay trill, friend.

Tune in to The YabYum Hour LIVE every first and third Wednesday of the month, only on RadioPhoenix.org!

Complete Playlist

Source Victoria “Slowburner” | Originally by Traindead

The Blood Feud Family Singers “Everybody Dies” | Originally Travis James & The Acrimonious Assembly of Arsonists

Marc Pedraza “On A Freeway Overpass” | Originally by Matthew Reveles

Joshua Hill “Mugger” | Originally by Twin Ponies

Dry River Yacht Club “Sheep” | Originally by Black Carl

Midnight Vitals “Canada” | Originally by Factories

Terminal 11 “Poor Bird / The Rivers Entrails” | Originally by Colorstore

No Volcano  “Heart Breaking Machine” | Originally by Serene Dominic

The Liars Handshake “Let’s Get Murdered” | Originally by Andrew Jackson Jihad

tk and the Irresistibles “Not That Good” | The Okmoniks

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Recorded live on August 2, 2017

5 Hawt HipHop Singles

 

Point Nine

“Gotham City”

Ryan Klein aka “Point9” divides his time between PHX and LAX but his latest single is aimed at a bigger metropolis, i.e. Gotham City. Alright, so this song might not really be just about Batman. Point Nine addresses the daily grind aspiring artists face on the day to day in the big hustle we call The Music Industry. “Gotham City” features Masta Ace and is the first single from Point Nine’s forthcoming album, Return Of The Point. You can give the single a spin below…

Woes

“Last Call”

A quick search of YabYum reveals that I seem to have a bit of a thing for the music of Woes. That probably has something to do with the artist’s sharp lyrical sense and rapid-fire delivery. The Chicago emcee has a lot of good things going which you can hear on his latest single, “Last Call”, from his slick rhyme style to the smart supporting production. Addressing the discrepancy that exists (for many of us) between our thoughts and our actions, “Last Call” seems more like a call to action than a last chance to snag a drink before the bar closes. Woes is an artist we should all be paying attention to. Check out “Last Call” below…

Frescotoldya

“Throwed”

Phoenix’s Frescotoldya dropped his fresh new LP last month and this single comes to us from that release. The Great White Shark LP features a hefty 15 tracks. Definitely a worthwhile wait for fans who jumped on the Fresco bandwagon last summer when he dropped his Bait EP. “Throwed” features that silver tongued speed Fresco likes flash on those tricky turns of phrase and a steady beat that leaves the most of the flash and focus on the vocals. Give “Throwed” a spin below and then head to Bandcamp to preview/purchase Great White Shark from Frescotoldya.

Dzy Rae

“Distance”

Dzy Rae comes to us from Tacoma and you can hear some of that Pacific Northwest Chill on his latest single, “Distance”. This track has a slinky vibe that will make you want to turn down the lights, light up, and mellow out. For realz. Beatjoven and Dayglo helped on the production end of “Distance” which also feature some additional vocal layers, compliments of Leslie Alice. Dzy Rae is a pretty prolific emcee so I recommend checking out other tracks he has online if you’re down with “Distance”. Give the new single from Dzy Rae a listen below…

MILK$

Side A

Okay, so this really is an album and not a single, but when the DC-based HipHop collective MILK$ dropped their latest cassette, SIDE A was released as an extended 13+ minute track. And, frankly, we thought MILK$ [pronounced “Milk Money”… not milks] warranted a feature even if they couldn’t confine their “single” to under five minutes. What’s more, each track on Side A seems to flow seamlessly together so it feels like one complete thought. A flow is a resounding theme in the music style of MILK$ which incorporates elements of vintage soul as well as modern chillwave into their soundscape. Check out Side A below or head here for your own cassette copy of the new release from MILK$.

 

7 Mellow Music Videos

Magana
“Inches Apart”

Celeste
“The Milk & The Honey”

Banfi
“She Comes Home”

The Naked Eye
“Burned”

JONAH
“Wicked Fever”

Queen Alaska
“Under My Skin”

Super Pyramid
“The Road to Tyranny”

The Tastemaker’s Ten: A Claire Slattery

photo by Chris Weir

A Claire Slattery has been an innovative force for community building ever since she first showed up in our sunny state for college all those years ago (ahem, we have pictures). Maybe you first saw her performing as a Treasure Mammal dancer. I mean, remember that night she let the audience cut off her hair? We do… and we have pictures.

And we can’t forget her Mixtape project or the many events she helped organize for the MAFW community of Tempe where Slattery resides. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re memories of “a claire slattery” extend even further back to a sticker you might have seen plastered on a light pole or maybe a restroom stall door.

These days, you can catch A Claire Slattery DJing around town. In fact, this very weekend you can her spinning at Valley Bar downtown for D.A.N.C.E., an indie dance party, along with musical guests Warbly Jets and Mute Swan.

As a DJ, Slattery’s adding Valley Tastemaker to her CV so we thought it apropos to ask her to tackle our Tastemaker’s Ten by selecting 10 songs she thinks everyone should hear. Check out A Claire Slattery’s selections below and don’t forget to head to Valley Bar on Saturday Aug 19 for D.A.N.C.E. Bring your best moves.

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The Faint
“Some Incriminating Photographs”

Being from Omaha has a couple perks — one of them is sharing the same city as this electronic rock group. It also meant DJs played them at prom and other school dances. I was introduced to them in 2002 shortly after the release of Danse Macabre when my sister’s friend downloaded a couple tracks from the record onto my computer from Limewire. I was instantly hooked. While my favorite record is their sophomore one Blank Wave Arcade, “Some Incriminating Photographs” is a hidden gem from their first record, Media.

Mo-Dettes
“White Mice”

Super solid post-punk group from the late 70s / early 80s. A very recent find for me, but better late than never.

The Death Set
“Negative Thinking”

I was introduced to The Death Set by my friend Michael Kraft. We saw them at Trunk Space together shortly after the release of their second record and were 2 of the 6 audience members. We freaked out the entire time and it got to the point where they just started playing whatever we requested. I saw them two more times at SXSW with Michael before they broke up. I didn’t think anyone else actually liked them except for us, but I must have been wrong because this song ended up in a Chromebook commercial.

The Juan Maclean
“Give Me Every Little Thing”

Hands down one of my favorite tracks to dance to. Extra bonus: James Murphy chants a lot with Nancy Whang.

Archers of Loaf
“Harnessed in Slums”

I discovered this band in quite possibly the dumbest way possible: I was listening to an interview with My Chemical Romance in 2005 and one of the members said they dated a girl who liked Archers of Loaf. Naturally I had to find out who they were because I was a SUPERFAN. I couldn’t find their music anywhere except this one track, “Harnessed in Slums”. A few years later, I found a White Trash Heroes CD at a local record store, but largely forgot about them until they reunited and repressed all their records. Anyways, that guy’s girlfriend was right, they rule.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
“In This Home On Ice”

My sister burned me a copy of the record this song is off of for my 16th birthday, but I really didn’t get them at all until 2007. Though now that I’m older, I kind of think Alec Ounsworth tries too hard to sing like David Byrne, but I mostly don’t care. I love every song off of this record, but I picked this one because there is a soft beep that happens around 2:45 and it faintly sounds like the beep my Civic makes when there is an open door, so I jump every time I listen to it in the car.

Computer Magic
“Fuzz”

I try and throw this song in any set I can squeeze it in. Computer Magic is a one-woman cosmic-pop producer who is very underrated.

Delta 5
“You”

There is a gouge in my copy of this sassy single and every time I play it at home, it works, but whenever I play it live, it skips. It is very sad. Delta 5 is one of the first female-fronted post-punk groups I was ever introduced to. I associate this song with that one time I dropped Erin Caldwell off at a car dealership while we were both dealing with end-of-relationship garbage.

Tom Vek
“Sherman (Animals in the Jungle)”

Tom Vek is a recent find for me. While the record this track is off of is kind of hit and miss, this song is super strong.

Complete
“Hot As Hell”

I’m going to ask them to play the Vanishing Show in 2018, but they’ll probably want both a guarantee (money) and a guarantee to play, but I can’t give them either. Thank you Steve Jansen for introducing me to Complete, the best worst band in Texas.

Citrus Clouds Premiere “Life Happens” From New EP Ultra Sound

citrus clouds ultra sound life happens 01We are super beyond excited to premiere the brand new Citrus Clouds single, “Life Happens”, right here, right now.

Citrus Clouds features couple Erick Pineda on vocals/guitars/lyrics and Stacie Huttleston on bass/vocals [more on that here], along with Angelica Pedrego on drums.

Featuring their trademark desertgaze sound, “Life Happens” is an airy, honest, epitaph and an ode for those of us still living to push on — living out our days under the Sun’s watchful, unconscious eye.

Erick took some time out of his busy schedule (you’ll read why below) to answer some questions about the new track, the haps currently, and what’s upcoming for the Citrus Clouds crew!

But first, check out “Life Happens” below.

YabYum: First off, the basics, where did you record this track, who engineered it, and is it for an EP, LP, or just a stand alone single?

Erick Pineda: We recorded it April 29th and 30th with Jalipaz at Audioconfusion. It’s the first single from our new EP titled Ultra Sound.

This is the current line-up of you, Stacie, and Angelica right? Are these the first recordings featuring Angelica? (Or maybe that was “Come In Alone”?)
This is our first record with Angelica. Our first recording with her on drums was “Come In Alone”.
To me it seems obvious that this track deals with some very personal issues you’ve experienced within the last year. Was this song a cathartic release for you in the ‘c’est la vie’ sense, or was it much more heart-wrenching and self-aware than that?
“Life Happens” was the last song written for Ultra Sound. We had initially been scheduled to record the last week of March but that had to be postponed a month. In that time, my dad Heriberto Pineda passed away and the song changed to reflect that. At its core, it is a song about everything ending and being OK with it. Acceptance if you will.
When is Ultra Sound due to come out? Is there a release show in the works?

Ultra Sound is due to come out in mid-September on shoegaze/dream pop label Custom Made Music. We plan on having a local release at the Rogue on October 7th. It will also be our first show back after the birth of our son Solomon.

What’s next for Citrus Clouds? More music videos, shows?

We’re in the process of shooting a video for “Life Happens” in West Phoenix right now. We’re also going on a west coast tour in November with fellow shoegazers and Custom Made Music label mates Death Valley Rally.

Is there anything about this song or the band I failed to ask that you would want our readers to know?

We’re really excited for everyone to hear Ultra Sound. We worked really hard to write the songs and I feel this is the maturation of the Citrus Clouds sound. The EP is dedicated to Heriberto Pineda and Solomon Pineda.

~

YabYum Seven: Swapna Das

swapna das 01
All photos courtesy of Swapna Das
Who are you and what do you do?

I am Swapna Das, a visual artist living in Phoenix, Arizona for the past six years. I was born and raised in New Delhi, India.

How did you get your start?

Ever since my childhood, the innate creativity came naturally to me and I have always had an ever-growing desire to explore my talent. My high school art teacher encouraged me to study Art and earn a Bachelors in Fine Art (BFA) degree. I realized that art is not merely about the tools used in its making, but also a medium of expression. Doing my MFA from Arizona State University also fostered my passion and opened me up to the infinite number of creative minds and possible artistic avenues.

swapna das 09What inspires you?

My work reflects the values of Indian narrative art and has always been a mirror image of my internal and external environment. I get inspired by the current social and political environment and how it affects my personal life. I derive my inspiration from the works of Julie Heffernan, William Kantridge, Aneesh Kapoor and Indian contemporary artists like Jamini Roy, Jogen Chowdhury, Vivan Sundaram and many more.

What do you like about AZ?

Arizona has been my home for the last six years. I like the warm and sunny weather which reminds me of my birth place and at the same time I love the winters in Arizona as I have never been a fan of bulky winter coats. I love the dramatic beautiful silhouette in the sky during sunrise and sunset and the desert landscape of pastel colors. Phoenix has transformed into an art hub of various opportunities for upcoming artists, art communities, culture and creative practice. I see the city has great potential for the future art world.

swapna das 02
“Ordeal” | charcoal on paper | 30″ x 22″ | 2015
Where can we see you(r) work?

swapnadas-art.com

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

My goal is to showcase a unique blend of eastern and western culture through my artwork based on my personal and professional experience in life. I learnt that art is not merely for artist and art appreciators but can also play a role in creating harmony and peace in society. Before I die, my dream is to open an Art school for under privileged kids because my mission as an artist is to grow beyond my niche and establish my identity; and touch human lives.

swapna das 1What is your mantra?

My spiritual practice of Buddhism is my mantra which helps me to experience the deeper understanding about my work. The spiritual practice has made me believe in my life’s greater purpose and to pursue a path which can bring happiness into lives of every human being who becomes a part of it, directly or indirectly.

~

swapna das 03
“Instinct” | charcoal on paper | 22″ x 30″ | 2015

swapna das 13

7 Rad Music Videos: The Eclectic Indie Edition

Lauren Ruth Ward
“Did I Offend You”

The Cold Seas
“Where is My Head”

Cotillon
“I Like People”

Carroll
“Red Giant”

The Brevet
“Upholder”

Malory
“Rapture”

John Dylan
“Get Beyond”

 

Lessons Learned: Show Offers

Show Offers 01by Brandon Kellum
Staff Writer

Grab an adult beverage and pull up a seat because in today’s Lessons Learned I’m going to share some possibly unpopular opinions about show offers. If you’re new to the Lessons Learned series, please feel free to check out my past articles on Starting A Band, Recording, Promoting, and Touring!

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Make It Easy

Before we get into the nitty gritty let’s establish the basics. Where are you located, where can people listen to your music and how do you prefer to be contacted? It’s kind of like the “A/S/L” of social media for bands and it should be at the forefront of every online platform that you’re on.

I can’t tell you how often bands have missed opportunities due to the dreaded Facebook “other” box. If you’re taking longer than a day or two to respond, I can guarantee the offer will go to the next band in line.

On the side of proactively reaching out for shows, you should be checking the local venue’s and promoter’s concert calendars weekly if not daily. Know your audience and what concerts they’d like to see you on. You don’t want to pester promoters to play everything but when the right lineup is announced, be the first to express your interest. The early bird gets the worm… the worm in this case being a support spot on that cool touring bands show.

Pick The Right Shows

(Bands- Everything, Or At Least Almost Everything Is Your Fault…)

Before you take a swing at me, let me explain. You just played an intimate show exclusively to the members of the other bands that stuck around. If you’re lucky, a few of them also had significant others that felt obligated to stand inside. It sucks but it happens to all of us. After it does, it’s easy to shift the blame externally but let’s take a minute to stop to think about what’s truly in your control… because let’s face it, at the end of the day you’re the one that accepted the show offer.

Bottom line, don’t play shows that you wouldn’t pay ticket price to go see. This means not playing with bands that you don’t care for, at venues that you’d never go to or during less than favorable days/times. I know it’s hard to turn down something offered from one of the towns hot shot promoters but trust me, you’re not doing anyone any favors.

It’ll ultimately be a hit to your morale when you’re only playing to the sound guy. It’s also not fair to the promoter, venue or other bands since you’re not fully committed to the success of the show. When you play shows that you’re stoked on, bringing friends and fans should be easy. The only exception to this would be if you’re band is just starting off or you’re playing a new city where you don’t have that kind of insight or pull. Otherwise, respectfully decline the offer and let another band play that’s 100% behind it.

Paying To Play

There’s few things in the local music scene that stir up stronger feelings than the words “pay to play”. Let’s first understand what it really is though.

Pay to play is a tactic used by promoters to minimize financial risk if the show flops. It’s like a safety net for bad decisions. We all understand what it looks like when it comes in the form of being asked to pay “$XXX.XX” to play with a band.

When a local does this, they’re doing it for exposure, banking on getting some kind of return from merch sales or maybe their parents are just super wealthy and supportive.

More often than not though, pay to play takes a much more deceptive form. Instead, a band is asked to purchase a set number of non refundable tickets up front or sell a minimum amount to get stage time. If they don’t sell that amount, the money is either paid out of pocket or they simply don’t play.

So does this mean you should never accept a show where you’re asked to sell tickets? Absolutely not. Tickets are a great way to gauge how the turnout at the show will be. They also give your fans a little incentive to commit early so they get the discount off door.

The truth of the matter is that if you’re playing a place that’s exclusively a music venue, that venue needs bands to bring people in order to pay their staff and keep the doors open. The door guy isn’t working just to hear your mediocre Nirvana cover. If your favorite touring band didn’t bring people, you can guarantee that they’re either not getting booked again or at minimum they’re not being paid enough for the band to be anything more than a hobby.

So as a band, be up front about your draw. If you’ve determined that it’s the right show for you, consider what external factors may effect it? Playing too many shows in the same area too close together is a prime example. Once you’ve established all this, promote the hell out of the show and assuming your music is awesome, ticket sales should come naturally without annoying your friends.

Getting Paid To Play

Hopefully I haven’t turned every reader off by this point because here’s something we can all agree on: if you do the work, you deserve to be compensated.

Now, it’s no secret that bands in most genres aren’t Scrooge McDuck’n it into large pools of gold coins but if you want to continue to fund that nasty recording and touring habit, you definitely need to be start saving some money. So how does it all work?

Payouts outs at music venues generally go one of three ways –

The traditional guarantee: This is where prior to the show the promoter and the artist agree upon a set amount to be paid regardless of show turnout. The key factor in this negotiation is if the artist has already demonstrated a history of drawing fans. Otherwise, no promoter is going to jump at the opportunity to pay you out of pocket since they bear all the risk.

The door split: Quite simply, the promoter and artist split a percentage of money made off door also regardless of turnout. Equal risk on both parties. A staple of the DIY scene.

The percentage of sales deal: This one is fairly common for locals. It’s where the promoter pays a percentage from tickets sold by the artist. This means the more you sell, the more everyone makes. Kind of like a low key pyramid scheme minus the anti-aging cream.

You’re goal as the artist is obviously to get the best offer but sometimes the best offer has nothing to do with the money. Building exposure and establishing relationships with new promoters/venues can be equally as important. So go out there and own your success. Pick the right show, set the right expectations and in the end everyone wins. Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid.

Offer Checklist:

Do I like the other bands?
Do I like the venue?
Do I like the day/time?
Do I have music that people enjoy?
Do I have a live show that people enjoy?
Did I do my part promote the show?

If you answered yes to all of these, there’s no doubt in my mind that people will be at your show. If you answered no to any of these and you accepted the show anyways, stop complaining.

~

brandon kellum 0002Brandon Kellum is the singer of the band your mother warned you about, American Standards. They play August 8th at Pub Rock in Scottsdale with Hundred Suns (Members of Every Time I Die + Norma Jean) and Cons (Members of The Bled).