Radio Phoenix Podcast: Foresteater

foresteater 01Mikey Pro of FORESTEATER joined us down in the Radio Phoenix studios and now that broadcast is available for all. We discuss the vibrant Phoenix music scene, recording an album before having a band, and their show at The Rebel Lounge TOMORROW NIGHT opening for Valley Queen along with Dirty Sunset. We even have a special podcast only Wyves track to close out the show!

Tune into the YabYum Hour live at 7 PM every first and third Wednesday of the month only on Radio Phoenix!

Complete Playlist

Foresteater “Very Friendly People”

Saddles “Comfort”

Charly Bliss “Percolator”

El West “Cuba Gooding Jr.”

decker. “Matchstick Man”

Valley Queen “Stars Align”

Foresteater “Big Deceiver”

Dråpe “Pie in the Sky”

The Anodynes “The Lovin’ Path”

House of Stairs “Silence Won’t You Come Back”

Holy Fawn “Reykur”

Dirty Sunset “Take It Slow”

Wyves “Jump Into the Water (Boogie Woogie)

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Recorded live on July 19, 2017

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YabYum Seven: Andrea Zakrzewski

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Andrea Zakrzewski poses with her piece, “Overwhelming Love”
Who are you and what do you do?

Andrea Zakrzewski: Fine artist who specializes in impressionist floral paintings, I design clothing that features my artwork and I am a freelance Journalist.

How did you get your start?

I have been painting since I was a child with my mother Andrea de Kerpely-Zak. My first teacher was Ted Degrazia who gave me private instruction.

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“African Daisies Blowing in the Wind”
What inspires you?

My mother Andrea de Kerpely-Zak is well known floral artist and most of my inspiration stems from her. I also love all the impressionists like Monet and Van Gogh. I also like to spread joy with my art and spread positive healing vibes to others.

What do you like about AZ?

My favorite things about Arizona are the amazing views of nature, the sky, mountains, and flowers. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do in my spare time. Arizona is a great place to live because there is such an amazing arts community and we do have culture.

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“Life is a Gift”
Where can we see you(r) work?

My work is featured at Gallery Andrea located at 7019 E. Main Street Scottsdale, AZ 85251 and open Monday -Saturday 11 – 5 PM or online at artandrea.com.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I am happy with everything that God has blessed me with. I will continue to use my skills as an artist and freelance journalist to support the arts. If I could have the opportunity to get our works in some museums and have a segment like Samantha Brown on the Travel channel that would be some extra icing to the cake!

What is your mantra?

Everyday is a Blessing and Celebration of Life…

~

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“Celebration”
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“Beautiful Journey”

Red Tank! Ready to Hit the Road [interview with Clipper Arnold]

red tank! 04
photo by Mario Miguel

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The PHX outfit known as Red Tank! takes just the right amount of rowdy and arty and smashes them together for a Postmodern sound that will delight punks both new and old. In fact, we liked the band’s 2016 release, BIO/FEEDBACK, so much we gave it our “Best Punk Album” award.

And it looks like Red Tank! has no plans of slowing down this year. In fact, they’re gearing up for an East Coast tour and the band produced (and released) a zine this year to help with tour support.

Moreover, while band was busy getting ready to escape the summer heat of the Sonoran Desert on tour, frontman Clipper Arnold took time out of his schedule to *chat* with me about the band, the impending tour, and what the future holds for Red Tank! Check out our Q&A below and don’t forget to head to The Lunchbox a week from today for the Red Tank! tour kickoff (more info on that event here).

YabYum: First off, I was hoping you’d go a bit into the story behind the name Red Tank! because I like how it correlates to the experience of seeing the band perform live..?

Clipper Arnold: Well, it’s kind of a silly thing, actually. Red Tank! was originally just a handful of more energetic/frenetic songs I had written while I was a part of another band. The name is just alluding to the power and presence they were supposed to evoke (i.e. “red” being a “power color”, “tank” being a large military vehicle, and “!” for added emphasis). Tristan from Dogbreth has told me he thought it referred to the freaked out feeling you get when your gas tank is in the red, which I think I like better. Sometimes I wonder if it was a play on Wire’s “Pink Flag” or an allusion to some of the Marxist theory I was reading at the time, but I’m not quite sure to be honest. Most succinctly, I think it’s just supposed to allude to the band’s energetic tone and performances.

There have been some changes to the Red Tank! lineup since its inception. Who is currently part of Team Red Tank!?

Yes, lately I’ve been referring to former Red Tank! members as “alumni” which maybe sounds a little nicer. I’ve been heading this project for a long time, but there have been a lot of people in and out who have contributed a lot and made it something more in their own ways. I’ve recently had to take more responsibility in it explicitly as my own thing, so I’m mostly going to be working with people who are available instead of focusing on developing a cohesive/consistent lineup. For the Summer tour, Nate Ray (Rotting Yellow, James Band) will be playing drums, Nick Rennemann (Go Outside) will be playing bass, and Daniel Pogue (Future Ghost, Coffee Pot) will be playing guitar. My friend Joseph will also be coming to do merch stuff and help us take photos/video.

So, you fellas are planning on heading out for an East Coast tour. That seems like quite the undertaking. First, give me the run down. How many shows? In how many cities? In how many days?

Honestly, it’s got a couple of dates to still be fully nailed down, but we’re looking at about 12-14 shows over the course of 2.5 weeks. We should have a tour flier and events up sooner rather than later. There’s about three NY dates I think, and the others are going to be mostly around the New England area. I think there’s also a Chicago date in there and some stuff on the way there and back.

Have you played “Back East” before?

No, this is going to be the first time. I’ve personally been to a few of these cities before, but most of them will be new. We’d planned on doing some East Coast dates once or twice, but something always fell through. It’ll be nice to play in new places, but that’s kind of going to be the difficult part as well – not knowing what to expect audience-wise, venue-wise, etc.

Is this the longest tour you’ve done to date? Where else has Red Tank! ventured to seeking musical adventures?

We’ve done four full West Coast tours (up to Seattle and back), and played a handful of shows around Austin for SXSW. We’ve also played Tucson and Flagstaff and done a few mini-tours to California. Usually the West Coast ones run from about 10-14 dates, so this is about par for the course.

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photo by Isaac Emmons

I know the band likes to keep it DIY. Any house shows or unusual venues lined up on this journey?

There’s someone who’s helping us with the booking, so I’m not sure exactly what to expect – I think one of the houses we’re staying at in Bushwick is populated by a bunch of experimental musicians and Mac DeMarco used to live there and throw shows there – which is something. We were trying to set up a show there too, but apparently the roommates vetoed it since they know how nuts it can get.

And, keeping with DIY theme, you’ve pulled together some innovative band merch options for this tour. Can you tell me a little about the Red Tank! zine?

Sure, I like zines and have a small collection. It’s kind of a common thing for punk bands I’ve heard, though maybe not so much anymore. The first issue just has a lot of flier art, updates about the band, and there’s a reprinting of the tour diaries I kept from our very first full West Coast tour. I guess I just realized it was a fun project to do, and that a band with a nearly 7-year history probably has a lot to talk about that most people aren’t aware of.

Really, when that whole ordeal happened with our stolen van, I just realized how many people really loved and cared about this band. You can feel kind of alienated and delusional for caring so much about something sometimes, but we just had this massive outpouring of support from people I hadn’t heard from in years…people who used to play in the band, people who we had met on tour, fans I had never met, or old friends who told me they really dug the new record. It was just this really disorienting outpouring of support in a really shitty moment that was kind strangely validating. It made me realize how many people cared about something that I often worry I might care too much about. Or, at least, people cared enough to make sure that we were okay and that it wouldn’t stop us. It was pretty life-changing.

I guess the zine is kind of this idea of making that world more accessible to people – like, letting them know how much history this little band has, why we do it, and all that goes into it. It’s also, I guess, kind of a weird way of reconciling zine culture with a relatively new digital world–we put the first issue up for free online and we’ll have some at our merch table, but people can also subscribe on our Patreon to get mailed copies and other goodies, help cover costs of printing, and ideally help us fund some of our activities.

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Mario Miguel

You’ve obviously had some rough and tumble times on the road. Any of your previous tours leave you with some life lessons you’ll be taking along with you this time?

I think there’s a lot about being in a DIY band on the road that you probably couldn’t learn from most other places. It’s just this really strange, stressful ordeal where you see the most bizarre corner of peoples’ existence in weird cities for a really brief period of time – which makes everyone even more enthused to share it with you.

Life lessons might be that you probably can’t afford to eat breakfast food at a nice restaurant every day in a different city, don’t drive through snowstorms, and that there are few circumstances where you aren’t best served to be calm, kind, considerate, and empathetic. It’s important to take responsibility for your actions and how they affect others – especially in close quarters when physical and mental states are likely on the fragile verge of complete exhaustion. I guess I’ve also learned that touring can be tough, but it’s also one of the best things in the world.

What’s next for Red Tank! once you’re back on home turf? New music in the works? More zines? Local gigs? Tell me everything.

Uhhhhhh… Well, there’s a lot going on that’s hard to keep track of. I’ve been writing a lot of material (too much) for a new full-length that needs to be whittled down, sorted through, and recorded. We cut some demos of a few songs a little while back, but those will likely never see the light of day in that incarnation. There will be more zines and anywhere from 1-3 music videos debuting in the next few months. I’m thinking about moving to Los Angeles in the Fall, so things might get pretty hectic. I’d also like to buy a van and do a national tour in the next year.

A lot of people say that we play too many local shows, but as a musician, one of the only things I ever want to do is play music and share it with a room full of people – so I can’t bring myself to compromise much even if it means we might be splitting our draw by playing 3-4 shows a month instead of once a month. With that in mind, I think we’ll still be playing too many live shows until we can’t anymore, so I’d encourage people to come see those especially if the band won’t be in Phoenix too much longer.

~

For more Red Tank! check their Facebook.

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Radio Phoenix Podcast: No Volcano

no volcano 03No Volcano joined us in the Radio Phoenix studios at the Phoenix Center for the Arts for our latest edition of The YabYum Hour! They brought an eruption of tasty tunes for the YabYum hosts, who became consumed with (no) lava. We also talked Phoenix rock history (like Kimber Lanning playing drums!), the brand new record being worked on right now, and the merit of releasing full albums. There also wasn’t quite enough time to play all their tracks so we’ve included them as a special podcast bonus!

Tune into The YabYum Hour live every first and third Wednesday of the month, only on radiophoenix.org

Complete Playlist

No Volcano “Blackout”

The Father Figures “m7 Loop”

The Lonesome Wilderness “Alright”

The Echo Bombs “Creeper”

Shovel “Dweeb”

JJCnV “Tickle Bait”

Less Pain Forever “Throw Your Babies”

No Volcano “Walk Into A Wall”

Weird Radicals “Medea”

The Breakup Society “This Little Tragedy”

French Girls “Couple’s Skate”

Scorpion vs Tarantula “(My Baby Left Me For) The American Way”

Soft Deadlines “Wanna Lose”

Serene Dominic & the GemSeekers “My Secret Life”

Whispering Wires “By the Light”

Field Tripp “John Wayne”

Source Victoria “Once I’m Dead”

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Recorded live on June 21, 2017 

For the Record: Levity by The SunPunchers

sunpunchers 01by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The SunPunchers released their much-anticipated debut LP last month and I’ve been entrenched in Levity pretty regularly since then. There’s something about the band’s vintage sound that takes the listener back to a more hardscrabble time. So, the longer I listen to this album, the more stoic I become. Levity reminds me of the beauty in the struggle for honest and simple living.

From the start of the opening track, “Brown Metal Box”, the listener will realize they’re in for something special. The arrangements are subtly exquisite beneath a warm, front-porch veneer. “Screwtop Head”, one of my personal favorites, comes next with its haunting grace and ruminating lyricism.

In all honesty, every track on Levity is unique and enchanting. There are all these tender moments of aural beauty that sit nicely next to the wry, unflappable humor interwoven into the lyrics.

In keeping with the series, I had a chance to ask Betsy Ganz of The SunPunchers some questions about Levity, influences, what’s next for the band, and more. Check out our Q&A below, but first, maybe hit play while you’re reading…

Carly Schorman: So, to get us started, who are The (official) SunPunchers? And who else joined in for the recording of Levity?

Betsy Ganz: The official Sunpunchers are myself, Lindsay Cates, Dominic Armstrong and honorary member Jon Rauhouse. Great and giant thanks to the amazing musicians Jon Rauhouse, Robin Vining, Jeff Schnuck, Megyn Neff, Mike Wolfe, Aldy Montufar, and Rachel Ludeman who lent their mighty badassery to the record.

How did The SunPunchers first start playing together?

I started playing as a duo with a mandolin player named Jeff Schnuck and recorded an EP in 2013 and played with Lindsay Cates on bass, Jon Rauhouse on pedal steel and banjo when he was off tour, Henri Benard on drums and Fred Reyes on bass clarinet/alto sax. We met Dom when we were recording the record at 513 Recording and he was available moving forward.

The lyricism in this album is so vibrant, as is the instrumental arrangement. Just curious what the songwriting process is like for The SunPunchers? Do you work on songs together or do different band members assume different roles until you achieve your end?

I wrote the lyrics and melodies and had some of the instrumental parts layed out (see attached photo of road map). Jon Rauhouse came in and has this intuitive gift to create and play a part that cements the feel and intention of the song. Thanks forever to Jon and his sense of humor and practical advice.

Dominic, Lindsay and I improvised a lot in the studio- Dom is really good at production , helping to trim down or build up the song to reveal it’s essence. He played more than a few instruments himself to get to the heart of things and mixed the record with input from the band and Catherine Vericolli of 513 Recording. Lindsay improvised some bass hooks that are so unexpected and killer. She knew what she wanted to play and why and had a clear eye on the direction we were going.

There’s a vintage charm to the sound of The SunPunchers that I think contemporary listeners will really love. What musicians do you draw inspiration from to give shape to The SunPunchers’ sound? Does that list vary considerably from band-mate to band-mate?

In the middle of the Venn Diagram is John Prine, Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Lucinda Williams, Fleetwood Mac, Calexico, Neko Case, Feist, Gillian Welsh and Dave Rawlings, to name just a few.

I love the image that was used for the cover art on this album. Where did you find the artwork? (I hear it might be a thrift store find.)

Indeed! I found that etching in a thrift store on Mohave Ave. I took it apart and found that it was drawn in Germany in the early 1900s. The artist name and title is illegible, but beyond that we thank the thrift store goddesses for their generosity, and we hope to someday track the artist down. It’s an amazing image and captures the mood and feel of the record.

The SunPunchers hosts a weekly jam (and toast) session at The Lost Leaf. Can you clue in our readers as to what they might expect at Tuesday Toast?

We host Toast Tuesdays at The Lost Leaf every second Tuesday of the month starting around 9 PM. We invite and encourage singer songwriter’s to air out their new song undies in a safe environment, while we prepare and serve free Nutella Toast to the people! We received a sponsorship from Dave’s Killer Bread for this community building event and encourage everyone who shows up to donate new underwear/socks for the men and women of Circle the City, healthcare for the homeless.

Now, that the album is out, any plans for a short respite or are you right back to working on new material? I also hear the band will be participating in some fun festivals in the post-summer months.

Getting gigs on the books as we speak, and demo-ing new material. We’ll add dates as they are confirmed onto facebooktwitter, and insta.

~

Treasure Mammal Music Video Premiere: Selfie Stick [premiere + interview]

Treasure Mammal teamed up with local creative Robbie Pfeffer to craft a brand new music video and we’re stoked to be the first to share that video with you today!  Of course, we had a few questions for the team about the making of “Selfie Stick”, the prize pairing of T-Mammal and Pfeffer on this project, and what’s next for the rambunctious bunch of music makers.

Check out the new music video for Treasure Mammal’s and then continue on to our Q&A with Treasure Mammal and Robbie!

So, you teamed up with Robbie Pfeffer to animate this new music video. I have to say that the T-Mammal/Pfeffer combo seems like the dream team. What brought these two forces together for this new visual project?

Treasure Mammal: After seeing several of the animations that Robbie had created, I definitely thought he was the right person to create the video for “Selfie Stick”. The TMammal/ Pfeffer combo is a lot like Kobe and Shaq. Unbeatable when using the triangle offense against any team.

Robbie: Abe brought up the idea a while back and now that I’m trying to do more animation I hit him up earlier this year and said I think I can swing it. Animation is a super slow process so I’m glad it worked out!

Where does this track come to us from? New album in the works?

TM: A new album is in the works and it is tentatively titled, Honey, I Crunked the Kids.

Where was the single/album recorded and is there an ETA for the release?

TM: We recorded at my house with Glob and at Glob Headquarters aka Slime Castle. I think the album will be done in early 2018.

Treasure Mammal has taken on many forms over the years through the inclusion of various players. Who is currently on Team T-Mammal? And, of those players, who is including in the music-making process as opposed to the live experience?

TM: The current roster for Treasure Mammal is Jef Wright, Jef Wrong, Audra Carlisle, Roddy Nikpour, Ryan Stephenson, Taylour Geiss, Matthew Scholtz, Yuri Choo, and Mike Hissong. This list doesn’t include the peeps that are in other cities. I would say the only people involved in the music making process are Jef Wright, Jef Wrong, Mike Hissong, myself, and the environment I’m in.

Treasure Mammal often hits on the kitschy points of pop culture and this new video is no different. It has everything from Faygo to Furbies. I have to ask the question… is the music meant as a joke or as cultural commentary? Or is there no real difference in your view?

Robbie: I’ve always thought Treasure Mammal was an unashamed celebration of societies most garish elements. It’s the musical equivalent of a person who watches “The Bachelor” to make fun of “The Bachelor” and then ends up becoming a huge fan of “The Bachelor.” It’s obviously self-aware but not as simple as just a joke or as straight forward as just cultural commentary. If you stare into the bro culture abyss, the bro culture abyss stares back at you.

TM: It’s definitely more of a cultural commentary type thing.. I like to wrap certain things/ products/ ideas that are jumping out at me at the time. For some reason, Selfie Sticks just kinda popped out at me. What made it really come to my attention was the fact that I read an article about someone falling to their death in the Grand Canyon because they were taking a selfie on the edge.

And, since you brought up the subject, what’s your stance on “selfie culture”? Narcissism run rampart or a component of self-exploration and greater connectivity in the Internet Age?

TM: It’s not so much the narcissistic culture we have a problem with, it’s the proliferation of “hands free” culture, enabled by technology, that’s encouraging us to disengage from the physical world. Years ago, if you needed an answer to an important question, you had to boot up Windows Vista, wait for Internet Explorer to open, type in www.google.com into the address bar, and only then could you get an answer. Physically interacting with technology gives you time to refine your question – maybe answer it yourself, or if you’re with other people maybe someone could answer it for you. Now all we have to do is ask Siri who the last person on the moon was or tell Google to turn on the bidet.

Robbie: I’m personally uncomfortable taking pictures of myself and I’m one of those people who huffs and complains about how dumb it is to film a concert while you are at a concert, but at the end of the day if something makes someone happy and feeds the unquenchable thirst of our personal data absorbing tech overlords, who am I to protest?

So, what’s next for Treasure Mammal? More music videos? Tour? Upcoming Shows dates? Expanding the stage show to include pyrotechnics?

TM: We will be performing the new and improved Tiny Town Times release show at St. Charles Tavern in Tucson on July 7th. The Tiny Town Times is a hand made quarterly publication created at Tanline Printing in Tucson that features the work of local writers and artists in Tucson and beyond. I’m excited about that for sure…

We also have a tour coming up in late July / Early August with Glob.

We have a new song/ video in the works called “Team Work.” I specifically made this song to debut the Multi Suit that our band member Audra Carlisle has created. The Multi Suit is a spandex suit that can fit four people simultaneously. The suit is connected at the hip and is in the shape of a circle. The people that are inside of the suit can either face inward or outward. I am working on having these available for custom orders and I would like to include activities to partake in while you have the suit in your possession.

As far as pyrotechnics during the show goes…. I’d like to see Ryan Stephenson burn his pubic hair while we perform but nothing more than that…

~

For the Record: Prophecy by The Stakes

stakes prophecy 01by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

After years, the wait is finally over. The Stakes, Phoenix’s premiere live hiphop band, have released their debut full-length album, Prophecy.

And believe you me, the album was worth the wait. To quote a friend, “this shit is fire right here.”

After years of gigging here in Phoenix and all around the state, The Stakes have formed a solid line-up of “self-made rappers, university-educated performers, cover artists, and lifelong gospel musicians” for a roster that truly does impress.

Marah Armenta (vocals), Lord Kash (emcee), Zeedubb (emcee), Ben Scolaro (piano), Luis Martinez (guitar), Paul McAfee (Moog synthesizer – droppin’ those fat basslines), and Kevin Phillips (drums) form the core group but the addition of Alan Acosta & Tyler Bauer on saxophone and Jimmy Barrios & Danny Torgerson on trumpet add an extra cool dimension to the Stakes smooth sound on Prophecy.

“5 Minutes of Gold” opens the album and I honestly can’t argue with that song title at all. Luis’ guitar is soon joined by Ben’s keys and then the vocals pop in and Kevin’s drums and then >BOOM!< Stendhal syndrome takes full effect.

The hits keep coming with “Then And Now”, Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” and the title track, “Prophecy”.

With an intro featuring Amber Tabares, “Blue Jean Grey” opens the Stakes into some of their best, experimental arenas yet while “Crosseyed”, their excellent Michael Jackson cover of “I Can’t Help It” and “Requiem” prove the Stakes are the best at what they do.

Closing track, “Unified”, features I-Dee and is a straight head-banger. Make sure to stay tuned for that secret track too…

The Stakes took some time out their day to answer a few questions I had about the new album, their contemporaries, and what’s next for one of the hardest-working bands in town.

Mark Anderson: Prophecy is a couple years in the making right? Did any songs change over the course of making it? Please describe the feeling of being finished with and releasing it to all the long-time Stakes fans!

Ben Scolaro: We are truly grateful to all the Stakes fans who have followed us over the last 4 and a half years. So much has changed as we’ve developed our sound. Not to mention the world around us has influenced our direction.

Take the title track, “Prophecy.” When we first started writing that song 4 years ago, it was inward-looking, about personal triumph. However, with the rise of Trump and White Nationalism, we rewrote some of the lyrics and added samples at the beginning, transforming it into a call to action against the running narrative, or “prophecy”.

Our focus is to constantly improve, so our songs evolve over time.

Paul McAfee: Absolutely. The songs have generally kept the the same structure, but the groove, feel, textures, riffs, etc. change a little bit each time. This is inevitable when every member of the group is so open and creative.

What is the Stakes songwriting process like? Does one of you come up with a main progression and everyone else elaborates? Or maybe you guys just jam and things develop themselves?

Ben: All of the above. Our greatest strength is our diversity as a group — we’ve got the full spectrum from completely self-taught to university-studied musicians, which allows us to approach songwriting from every direction.

Paul: Sometimes we just jam and develop a song as a group. Maybe somebody starts with a 4 or 8 bar groove and everyone joins in and develops their own contribution. Some of the more intricate songs were thoroughly written by a single band member, but sometimes the structure or feel is edited by the group depending on what makes sense for the vocalists and lyrics.

I consider you guys a pretty unique band but maybe I’m wrong in the sense that there may be more out there than I realize. Is there a solid hiphop/jazz/funk scene here in the Valley in your opinion? To me, your only contemporaries here seem to be House of Stairs!

ZeeDubb: I’m not a native of Phoenix but I know that it has a pretty rich history of underground rap bands through the years. I know Drunken Immortals are still going hard. When The Stakes had started, the only other band mixing in jazz was The Brother Cosmos, but they broke up.

Currently there’s The Color 8, Nick Perkins Band, Ramses II, House of Stairs, The Geibral Elisha Movement, Deliyonne & Hudson… trust me, the fusion of hip-hop and other genres with live instrumentation is alive in Phoenix and The Stakes are honored to be in the forefront.

The scene is here, the promoters just have to catch up, or we’ll do it for them.

stakes 01Could you delve into the idea behind the album title some? I’m picturing multiple layers here…

Ben: Since you asked for layers…

Layer 1 — The Idea

It’s easy to fall into the trap of passively watching things happen, like a “prophecy” unfolding. But the future is not written; we all play a part in creating it, whether by acting or failing to act.

Layer 2 — The Image

Our actions today do become a type of prophecy for future generations by creating the world they will inherit. That’s why the album art features children — because their future is at stake in our actions today (that’s Lord Kash’s son on the cover).

Layer 3 — The Action

After the election last November, we found ourselves asking what we can do to help shape the future for the better. That’s why we’re collecting signatures at our shows to stop the expansion of Arizona’s private school vouchers.

This expansion would take money from public education and give it to wealthy people who send their kids to private school (you can read all about it at sosarizona.org). We’re part of a state-wide effort to put a referendum on the ballot so voters can reject this law. We’ve collected more than 70 signatures and will have more petitions at our shows until Aug. 1. If you come through, PLEASE take a moment to sign.

Paul: For me, Prophecy fulfills a top criterion: it sounds cool and mysterious.

Ben: That too.

I love the “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” cover. Is there a story behind that song getting picked to be covered?

ZeeDubb: It’s funny because we were suppose to do a full reggae show but only had time to crank out, maybe 3 reggae tunes, and “Master Blaster” stuck. Marah picked the song cause she loves Stevie with her heart and soul. You can really feel the purpose of the original lyrics when she sings it.

Paul: When we jammed on the groove, Kash dropped a killer verse with a flow that developed beautifully. We often work with a horn section, and I felt inspired to write horn parts for this song in particular.

What’s in store for the Stakes? Do you guys already have new songs in the works? Where would you like to see the band go from here both literally and figuratively?

Paul: We have old and new songs that haven’t been recorded yet, probably enough for an EP. We want to continue to write new songs until we have more than enough to select for for a new LP. We will be working on a music video soon and continue to keep the visibility up and play shows. My personal dream would be to open for the Roots.

ZeeDubb: In 2017 you’re going to see more videos, more loosies and singles, and another EP or album. Collaborations with other bands, musicians and artists are in the works. We have a lot of ideas and plans to execute. Some I wouldn’t share for the sake of the surprise.

Is there any thing else about Prophecy or the Stakes that you would like us to know about that I failed to ask?

Marah: It’s finally out now! Available on iTunes, as well as our website, TheStakesMusic.com, where you can see all of our upcoming shows.

~

For more info on The Stakes, check their Facebook page. Catch them live at A Stoneypie Pool Party with Paper Foxes, Haze that Saxy Rapper, Mr. UU, The Psychedelephants, Hostile Work Environment, the Bittersweet Way, De Leon & the Desert Beats Saturday July 1 at 4 PM.

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Dry Noise Zine & the Yuma Music Scene [Interview with Mat Crawford]

dry noise 02
All photos courtesy of Dry Noise

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Apparently, YabYum might be slacking on the Yuma front. Sure, we can rattle off Phoenix or Tucson bands or any one of a host of other Arizona cities, but Yuma, it seems we owe you an apology.

Thankfully, the good people of Dry Noise zine stepped forward to fill us in on the city that they call home. Mat Crawford, co-editor & co-creator, of Dry Noise was kind enough to talk to us about the scene, the zine, and all things musical in Yuma.

YabYum: Is Dry Noise staffed by a team or is more an effort of few/one with contributing writers?

Mat Crawford for Dry Noise: Dry Noise is run by myself and Trina Elam. Together we handle all of the transcribing, design, and curation of the content. All of the artwork for each issue comes from a different artist in our community. We do welcome all submissions from anyone who wants to contribute, and have published submitted poems and columns.

Mat and Trina
What is the area of focus for the zine? Music? More than music? Music specific to a location or genre?

We try to focus on topics related to mainly music and any kind of visual art. We knew there were a lot of very creative people and bands in our hometown and wanted to showcase them in a creative way.

As a musician who grew up in a kind of small town, I’ve always been really interested in how artistic types work, and how they relate to their communities. So we started talking to our friends and bands around us, and grew from there.

One of our main goals is to show how diverse the art and music is in our community, so we try to focus on anything generally music, art, and/or southwest related.

dry noise 04How many issues have you released thus far?

In May, we put out our 9th official issue of Dry Noise. We try to release an issue about once a month. We also put out our first compilation album in November 2016, and a special mini-issue on the annual In-Tents Festival, a punk-rock music festival out in the Picacho Desert.

Can you tell me a little about the Yuma music scene?

The overall community that exists here is fantastic. Though most groups kind of keep to themselves, almost everyone is incredibly supportive of each other. Since not a lot of larger acts come through here, people tend to really appreciate all the shows they do get.

dry noise crew 02Are certain genres more heavily represented than others?

While some genres come in waves (I think every community has experienced a ska phase at one time or another), there’s definitely a few that have stuck around.

The punk scene and metal/hardcore scene have stuck around for a while. They both have very tight communities who come out to almost every single show. I think Yuma is somewhat of a working-class town, and the people in those communities just like having a place to relax or relieve stress.

There is also a decent amount of reggae bands around, as well as cover/tribute bands.

dry noise 06What are your favorite spots to catch live music?

Currently, some of the best shows take place at Maverick Bar and The Alement. Us at Dry Noise are big supporters of all-ages shows, and we have started hosting our own all-ages shows at North End Coffeehouse, a really cool, small cafe in an old historic building. Littlewood Artist Co-op has also been hosting really great all-ages events lately too.

But some of the greatest shows that have ever happened in Yuma have been at Prison Hill, a small public park near the famous Yuma Territorial Prison. It has been the main source of the best DIY shows in Yuma for many years, and almost all genres have performed there.

Any stellar bands we should know about?

Honestly too many. Samsara, Venkman’s Ghost, Lazarus Threw The Fight, Plebeian Planet, Working Mutts, Glitterfoot – all really great bands still going strong from Yuma, AZ. We have a growing directory of bands and musicians that are active in our community at drynoise.tumblr.com/directory.

~

For more Dry Noise check out their Facebook page.

dry noise 06 dry noise best of 2016

YabYum Seven: Kaori Takamura

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“Between Shapes 0517″, Acrylic on Wood Panel, Silkscreen, Stitching, Lasercut, 40″ H x 48” W
Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Kaori Takamura. I am a visual artist. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan and now I live and work in Carefree, AZ.

I was a graphic designer for many years specializing in branding and packaging design. During my practice, I created many graphic symbols for brands or corporations and this experience heavily influenced what I am doing now.

My work is focused on graphical media painting combined with a hint of hand crafting. I paint on canvas or cut out pieces of wood either by hand or by laser then I stitch them together. I sketch on the computer working on technical drawings prior to painting and I believe that this process is a bit different from how most traditional painters work.

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Garakuta boxes, mixed media
How did you get your start?

I took a painting class at community college about 15 years ago just to learn the basics of painting since my education was mainly based on the graphic arts.

After I painted my first piece in this traditional oil painting class, I took it home and was suddenly compelled to apply stitching on the painted canvas with my sewing machine and brought it back to class. I felt that stitching could also be a part of my expression just like brush strokes.

Everyone was shocked about what I did but my instructor back then suggested that I take art seriously as my career. So I did and I have never looked back.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by artisans as a metaphor and I am interested in how artisans are influencing our culture by sending messages as a symbols in our everyday lifestyle.

Also, in my artwork I find influences from some of the Japanese graphic designers such as Ikko Tanaka who created Japanese modernism principles in the 80s. I am still a fan of their minimalistic yet bold approach.

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“Between Shapes0717″, Acrylic on Wood Panel, Laser cut, Silkscreen, Stitching, 45″ H x 43” W
What do you like about AZ?

I like the winter in Arizona. In terms of the art scene, I like the size of Arizona art community.

Where can we see you(r) work?

I am currently showing some of my paintings at Phoenix International Airport Terminal 4 until October 8th 2017. It is a curated group exhibition called Drawn to Pattern.

Locally in Arizona, I am represented by Gebert Contemporary. I am going to have my solo exhibition in February 2018.

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“Dots0715”, Acrylic on Canvas, Silk Screen, Machine and hand stitching
What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I always feel a slight gap between what I’d like to express through my art ( I guess you would call it “vision”) and what I am actually creating. I think this is because I am still in the process of searching it out and I’m trying to figure out how to achieve it. I believe that this is a dilemma that all artist’s have to go through.

Before I die, it will be wonderful if I can create things that match exactly what I visualize in my mind to my full satisfaction.

What is your mantra?

In terms of my art, my mantra is,

“Stitch-by-stitch I will express the tangled thoughts of our everyday lives.”

~

For more Kaori Takamura, visit her website.

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“Between Shapes0717 (Detail)”
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Untitled, Installation at DC Ranch, Scottsdale AZ

For the Record: The Hierophant by Jerusafunk

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The Hierophant, the new album by Phoenix megagroup Jerusafunk will add even more dots to your world-music map as you delve into the band’s sound. Jerusafunk isn’t confined to one region of the greater globe, but seems to draw a host of influences from Bossa Nova and Cumbia to Polka for their debut LP which comes out on Thursday at the Crescent Ballroom.

This band of troubadours draws inspiration from such disparate global points as to turn appropriation into appreciation with their pure and unifying love of music.

It’s been almost two years since Jerusafunk dropped their debut, Sweat & Glitter, so fans have just been itching for some new jams to help pass the time between shows. And, this week, the band is ready to oblige. That’s right, kids. The funky klezmer collective from the PHX will be unveiling their sophomore effort, The Hierophant, this coming Thursday.

I had a chance to ask Jessie and Chris of Jerusafunk some questions about the new album, J-Funk future plans, and, of course, klezmer. Read our Q&A below, but first, hit play on “Gateway Movement” from The Hierophant below…

For the record, who is part of the Jerusafunk cast of characters?

Chris “Chrispy Duck” Del Favero: guitar, vocals, percussion, melodica
Jessie “Juicie Duck” Demaree: clarinet, vocals, bass clarinet
Elliott “The Foxy Gemini” Fox: tenor sax, alto sax, bass clarinet, flute
Torrey “Jean Scone” McDannald: trumpet, flugel horn, piano
Austin “Ricky” Rickert: alto sax
Connor “Connie LeRoy” Sample: drums, percussion
Jeremy “Gilgamesh” Lentz: drums, percussion
Spencer “Spoonz Tambo” Hawley: djembe, saw, glock, shakers, vocals
Zack “Chip Tickler” Parker: guitar
Isaac “Time Wolf” Parker: bass
Caleb “Baylac” Michel: percussion
Alejandro Arboleda López: quena, charrango
Captain Smokey Joel Robinson: guitar
Bailey “Bagel Boy” Zick: double bass
Mike de la Torre: percussion
Bryce “Pea Soop” Broome: drums

Where did you record the album? And how did you fit everyone into the recording space? Or was it done in rounds?

We recorded the album all over the Valley. All of the rhythm section tracks and live full group tracks were done in schools, free studios and the J-Funk house. All of the overdubbing happened at the J-Funk house. We also recorded our friend Alejo in Guatapé, Colombia in his and our hostel rooms (you should Google that town… it’s something else, I’d move there in a heart beat) [Editor’s Note: Boom]. Some of the rooms were quite tight for the live recordings so we just recorded in a circle, more or less, and made it work.

I want to hear about J-Funk: the Inception. What initially spawned the idea for this musical collective?

To quickly sum up the first and second incarnations of Jerusafunk: Jessie and Chris met in Flagstaff and started the band with a lineup of guitar, clarinet, tenor sax, bari sax, accordion, and drums. After, Jessie graduated from NAU we moved to Phoenix and recreated the band. We plugged in and revamped the line up to electric guitar, bass, clarinet+pedal, tenor sax, percussion and drum set.

Then, after traveling through Central and South America for two years, Chris and Jessie returned with new material for the current incarnation. Chris and Jessie had always dreamed of playing and writing with a larger group of musicians to help realize these greater compositions, so they asked friends and friends of friends to fill out the band, and the intimacy of the group has really thrived because of everyone’s pasts with one another.

Okay, so the klezmer/funk thing… how did that come about? Were these musical styles you grew up listening to? Or something that you stumbled into as burgeoning musicians?

I think I can safely say no one in the band grew up with klezmer, except for maybe Jeremy, our drummer; his mom is Jewish. Jessie’s the one who picked up klezmer; her clarinet teacher encouraged her to listen to clarinetists from all over the world, and upon listening to two clarinetists in particular, David Krakauer and Giora Fiedman, she started focusing her efforts on playing klezmer.

Funk is an american pastime- we all love the classics and then some. More than half the band are jazz musicians, so we like get down to the cerebral psychedelic jazz funk of Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Sun Ra quite a bit.

When we first started the band Jessie was learning about ethics, identity and musical fusion in ethnomusicology, and was up to the challenge of modernizing an old dance genre (klezmer) with a new dance genre (funk) to see what kind of sounds would emerge. And, of course, then our travels to Latin America morphed the J-Funk sound even more as we discovered and learned Colombian and Andean music.

And we definitely need to know what the songwriting process is like. Is there a process? Do you get together and jam and see what emerges? Or is there a member (or a few) that shape out the songs and present them to the group for a full fleshing out?

Well, for the first album, Chris wrote a majority of the sketches for the songs. We usually create melodies for horns, chord progressions, and form ideas, then hash out the grooves and sections for improv. Luckily, everyone in the band has creative juices so they contribute their own voice in every song. Torrey (trumpet, not trombone) has a very modern writing approach in that he records a whole song, then brings it to the table and we try to further his ideas the best we can.

Now, you cats have been out on tour and I hear you might be planning for another adventure. What’s it like touring with, like, a million band members? Is there a caravan involved or do you all turn one van into a giant mobile cuddle puddle of moving chaos?

Bed time is where the real snugglin’ begins. For the last couple of tours, we’ve had to use around two to three vehicles. Which gives us all a little more space, but its a lot more awkward to coordinate arrival times. This tour in July we’ll be renting a 15-seater just to simplify things…

But traveling with a gang of 8-10 has been absolutely hysterical. We’re all very charismatic people and feelings rarely get hurt, thank goodness. Sure, there can be daily turmoil, but there is definitely safety in numbers. We take over any space once we arrive. Touring has grown less chaotic with experience, so if that pattern persists this first East Coast tour should be something amazing.

You seem like a band with a mission. Does Jerusafunk a mission statement?

Our mission is we want everyone to resonate and learn from the music we create, but what art doesn’t? We think that if people can latch onto the challenging musical and philosophical concepts we present, maybe then people may discover something new about themselves.

Or, if they prefer to just listen, they can feel sexy and dance to grooves they may have never heard before and hopefully dig deeper into a world of music and culture that seems to defy time and history. Culture is a construct; not as a wall but a bridge.

What’s next for J-Funk? Taking a break after the release show? Or moving forward with the sexual revolution of klezmer?

WHAT’S NEXT?!? WORLD TOUR!!! Really though, we want a company to pick us up so we can tour Europe and the rest of the Americas. There has been talk, no fixed plans, but talk, about PAO and J-Funk doing a little AZ/CA tour in the future! Go and freak Cali out with a 30 person funk entourage! We have about enough material for to start writing for the next album, so it’ll be back to the studio(s) and bedroom for the next big piece. Hopefully we’ll start discovering new grooves from other parts of the planet and weave them into our own nasty little hodgepodge. Maybe find the new groooooooove? Oh, and ya know, sexual revolution.

Make sure you head to the Crescent Ballroom on June 15th for the Jerusafunk release party with Nick Perkins, Zach Alwin & Duck Funk, and DJ Mitch Freedom. More info on that event here

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