Songs From the Reading Room: Couples Fight

couples fight 01A & TJ were joined by Rick for this kick ass Couples Fight acoustic session of Songs From the Reading Room! Jokes were cracked, a superb banner was hung and no one broke out the machete. Big thanks as always goes out to Burning Empire Media for making ’em happen!

Whatever You Want

Space

For more on Couples Fight, check out their Facebook and Bandcamp pages.

3 Mellow Indie Releases

indie 00by Lenore LaNova
Senior Editor

Things That Aren’t Words

Remember the Details

The Tucson five-piece known as Things That Aren’t Words released their 5-track debut in April. Remember the Details achieves that compelling combination of sweet and somber with an enchanting musicality and poetic lyrics. “Your Heart is an Ocean” opens the EP, drawing this listener in with a cheery, melodic indie rock that ends with the sentiment, “You were meant to drift away.” See what I mean about the sweet and somber? This juxtaposition continues throughout Remember the Details: uplifting melodies and contemplative lyrics.  “Those Who Try” combines a dreamy indie sound with lines like “You’re a glutton, you’re a fiend,” sorta like a warm blanket of dark thoughts. I like it. I definitely suggest checking out Things That Aren’t Words for all you indiepop fans. Think Travis or The Decemberists.

Casey Wayne Smith

Suicide Dreams, Cigarette Magazines

Casey Wayne Smith out of Denver falls to the folk side of the indie spectrum. His April release – Suicide Dreams, Cigarette Magazines – is pensive; stripped down to its singer-songwriter core. The title track opens the album with a circus hue that does not persist throughout the album. That was probably a wise decision. Casey Wayne Smith showcases his talents as a songwriter in the tradition of Iron & Wine and Elliott Smith: brooding and meditative. The only near-miss for me was “Truth in Me” which toys with rocknroll without stepping beyond the indie-folk format. While it’s a decent song, it just doesn’t fit cohesively with the rest of the album. Beyond that minor issue, I enjoyed Suicide Dreams, Cigarette Magazines thoroughly. “Jesus Take Me Home” and “Suicide Dreams, Cigarette Magazines” are my two favorite tracks on the album. I recommend checking out Casey Wayne Smith’s Suicide Dreams, Cigarette Magazines, especially on those rare rainy days we get here in the Valley.

girl valley

soften up

Okay, I usually hate intros and interludes that are clipped from movies and television, but I was so excited to hear the Legend of Korra clip that kicked off girl valley’s latest release, that this rule went straight out the window. I’m not 100% sure how the clip ties into the rest of the album although it takes place in the spirit world rather than on this physical plane. Likewise, the delicate music of girl valley swims toward the listener like a tenuous vapor, more dream than reality. All nine tracks wrap up in roughly ten minutes, leaving the listener more with the impression of an album than a complete LP. What you have is the potential for a truly talented songwriter in the initial stages of emergence. soften up is both beautiful and brief. I look forward to hearing more from girl valley.

 

Radio Phoenix Podcast: Celebration Guns

celebration guns 02Celebration Guns joined us down at Radio Phoenix studios for our bi-monthly installment of Rise! They brought along some swell tunes to share. The complete playlist can be found below. Good job on the inclusion of crowd noises, sound editor.

Complete Playlist:

Celebration Guns “The Volunteer”

Twin Ponies “Willoughby”

Saddles “Comfort”

dent “Visit Us”

Underground Cities “Train Tracks Across the Sky”

Pro Teens “Control”

Celebration Guns “The Me that Used to Be”

Flower Festival “Shame on Me”

Luau “Arm’s Length”

Wet Lab “Weekend for Mom”

Diners “Half Moon”

Recorded Live on May 4, 2016.

3 Feisty New Releases You Need to Hear

feisty new releases 00by Lenore LaNova
Senior Editor

Lenguas Largas

Abba Daddy

Tucson’s Lenguas Largas is a longtime YabYum favorite. Over they years, they have crafted their own unique psychedelic punk sound. Their latest LP, Abba Daddy, is a summertime dream, the kind you might have while doing peyote with Brian Wilson. Abba Daddy features six brand-spanking-new tracks plus a few new renditions of previous recordings. I’m all about the new version of “Kawasaki Dreams” which I first heard in prelude to 2014’s Come On In (more here). The album, which was released through Red Lounge Records, comes in limited edition red vinyl so make sure you get your hands on a copy before they sell out. They will. And make sure you head out to the Crescent Ballroom on May 29th to catch Lenguas Largas live as part of their tour. If you’re outside the Phoenix area, check the band’s website (here) to see if they have a gig schedule in your town. They just might. Until then, check out Abba Daddy from Lenguas Largas below.

Sad Kid

Illegitimate Son

The Phoenix DIY record collective known as Casa Butthole has been steadily putting out music since their inception. Through the label, I was made aware of the March release of Sad Kid’s DIY (or DIE) four-track EP. I’m totally enamored with this weird punk outfit. Illegitimate Son offers high-energy angst rather than the sad bastard music the band’s moniker might suggest. Their debut EP opens with “Confido” and I’m digging the inclusion of horns which add to the “party punk” atmosphere that carries through to the end. “Lefty Slapper” is a personal favorite from the EP, but I’ve played through Illegitimate Son a few times now and it’s solid from start to finish. One thing that grates on me with the weird-punk movement is the tendency to create short, quippy songs that have all the staying power of bubblegum’s flavor. Cute and clever, but not really a fully fleshed out composition. Sad Kid avoids all that. There’s a real understanding of song construction beneath all that rowdiness. Listen for yourself below.***

Detached Objects

Dirt Birth

Aggressive and intentionally discordant, Detached Objects digs into the grungy side of post-punk. Dirt Birth features four rambunctious tracks self-released on cassette and available through Gilgongo Records here. The cassette opens with “Stump”, filling your earholes with grimy, fuzzy garage rock. The title track follows without allowing the energy to falter for a moment. Prepare yourself for some thrashing about while listening to Dirt Birth. I suggest make sure your floor is clear and all fragile items are properly stowed. Get your own cassette copy of Dirt Birth. Detached Objects is an onslaught of sound you really should experience live. But first, listen to Dirt Birth…

*** Correction: We initially wrote that Casa Butthole released the Sad Kid’s EP, Illegitimate Son, but the band actually released the EP on their own. Our bad! However, the EP is currently available through Casa Butthole’s Bandcamp page.

Songs From The Reading Room: Fairy Bones

Those feisty individuals known as Fairy Bones came down to the YabYum HQ Reading Room and performed some new tracks for our listening pleasure. Acoustics were strummed, black bean burgers were consumed, and a Dadadoh doc was watched. Most excellent of times.

“Pink Plastic Cups”

“Two Tongues”

3 Stellar New DreamPop Releases

dreampop 00by Lenore LaNova
Senior Editor

Celebration Guns

the me that used to be

Celebration Guns, the Phoenix ambient indie pop act, released their much anticipated sophmore effort, the me that used to be, last month on limited edition black virgin vinyl. “The Volunteer” opens the EP with an expansive energy that will have you dancing around the confines of your listening space. The EP turns up the angst for “Have It Your Way” and “Ready to Go” while the pensive title track closes the EP. My favorite track is a toss up between “The Volunteer” and “Thank You for Your Time”, but the me that used to be is solid from start to finish. My one complaint about the me that used to be is the lack of variance between tracks. The songs begin to blur together on repeated listens rather than standing out individually. But the EP certainly has cohesion, I’ll give it that. Despite this one issue, Celebration Guns crafted a thoughtful and dreamy experience in the new EP that I encourage you to sink your teeth in. Get your copy on vinyl while there are still copies to be had (LIMITED EDITION)!! I also suggest checking out the album below right now.

Pageantry

Influence

Pageantry out of Denton, TX us brings us another indie dream pop offering with their latest release, Influence. Get ready to sink into the soothing sounds that will fill your ear holes as “Girl Breath” opens the album. This whimsical tone will carry through the remainder of the album in both its somber and its cheerful moments. “Teenage Crime Wave”, the second track, is an early favorite of mine, but each song on Influence has its own charm from the slinking “Giving Up” to the uplifting “Taste for Kindness”. There is a delicate layering of sounds on Influence that other bands would be smart to take note of. Pageantry isn’t too heavy-handed with the effects yet the album is entrenched in subtly rich textures. I definitely recommend checking out Influence by Pageantry. And, if you’re like me, you’re probably going to want to procure your own limited edition gold cassette copy of the album for your collection.

Phosphene

Breaker

Oakland’s Phosphene definitely creates my kind of dream pop, the brooding kind. Breaker offers up six lulling tracks, stripped down without any elaborate orchestrations. Once again, I have to address the tendency amongst shoegaze artists to allow for a bit too much placidity which can give a homogenized sound to their albums. I think Phosphene skirts close to this line, but pulls through in the end by including tracks like “Rogue” and “Ride” which demonstrate the band’s ability to flex its willingness to explore the range of sounds that fall into the shoegaze arena. Intentionally understated vocals and subtle yet powerful guitar work make Breaker an EP worth hearing. If you dig what you hear, I suggest getting a copy  before they run out. Phosphene’s debut s/t sold-out so new fans are out of luck on the back catalog. Don’t let the same thing happen with Breaker.

Radio Phoenix Podcast: Scorpion vs. Tarantula

Scorpion vs. Tarantula 01

Phoenix rockers Scorpion vs. Tarantula came down to Phoenix Center for the Arts for another installment of Rise on Radio Phoenix. They assembled a superb playlist including a track of their new self-titled EP. Listen to the podcast here and don’t forget to check out the complete playlist below!

Playlist:

Scorpion vs. Tarantula “C’mon”

Margie Hendricks “Nothin’ but a Tramp”

Peaches “Do You”

Thee Headcoatees “Ballad of the Insolent Pup”

Etta James “In the Basement”

Bikini Kill “Capri Pants”

The Muffs “Crush Me”

Scorpion vs. Tarantula “Goodbye Fighter”

Tina & Ike Turner “I Can’t Believe What You Say”

Vernon Girls “Dat’s Love”

The Breeders “Safari”

The Pretenders “Boots of Chinese Plastic”

The Avengers “Crazy Homicide”

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts “Push and Stomp”

Recorded live on April 6, 2016.

5 Eclectic Singles

eclecticby Lenore LaNova
Senior Editor

Ohioan

“Bad Attitude”

Tucson’s Ohioan is preparing for their release of a limited edition tape through Baby Tooth, a cassette label. “Bad Attitude” is the first single from the forthcoming EMPTY // EVERY MT. I was just about halfway through my first listen (which, btw, is four minutes into this almost eight minute song) when I knew this was a tape I needed to own. “Bad Attitude” moves from meditative moments of desert drone to a rustic ruckus of psychedelic Americana and back again. I love it. I have to have it. The cassette from Ohioan is currently available for pre-order through Baby Tooth here. Place your order early before they sell out and you can join me in the wait for the official May 13th release.

Snailmate

“Radio DJ”

The strange and wondrous musical combo of Ariel Monet and Kalen Lander, also known as Snailmate, has a feisty new track available for fans on a 7″ split with Austin act, The Buglies. “Radio DJ” is funky, convivial, and a little bit dirty. Snailmate combines drumming with synths and a spunky lyricism for an electro-hiphop sensation. If you like things weird and ruckus, look no further. Check out “Radio DJ” and place your order for the split, due out next month.

Please

“Hey Hey What Can I Do”

The latest release from the Phoenix power trio known as Please has an easygoing garage rock sound that I can easily see becoming a staple in the local bar circuit. “Hey Hey What Can I Do” brings to mind beat-up blue jeans and summer radio jams. The track will have you bobbing your head on the first listen and singing along by round two. The song deals with the topic of the infidelity so maybe that means it’s time for the band to focus on the music-making for a while. That’s a win-win. Fans get more tunes from Please and the band gets away from whatever problem lady (or lad) that inspired “Hey Hey What Can I Do”.  Give it a listen.

Soft Deadlines

Triplicate / Means Everything

Soft Deadlines released their LP, Critic, in November of 2014, but a couple of tracks got left on the cutting room floor that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the album. Now fans of Soft Deadlines can hear those songs because the band put them out as a single last month. The band describes their sound as “Dance-Punk” and I can definitely follow that thread through these two songs, but I find them more alternative than punk. There is definitely an aggression that drives the music and that’s punk so I’ll get behind the term. Check out “Triplicate” and “Means Everything”. If you dig what you’re hearing, I suggest delving into the band’s full-length, Critic, available through 56th Street Records here.

Christopher Shayne

Give A Damn

Christopher Shayne, former front-man of the now defunct Whiskey Six, released his first single as a solo act “Give A Damn” in February. Leaving some of the metal behind with his former project, Christopher Shayne delivers southern-inspired, dirty blues rocknroll with some country twang, perfect for the modern rock radio of KUPD. Although starting with a little banjo and the vocals, “I’m trying to remember if I give a damn”, the song quickly kicks in with heavy guitars and lickin’ riffs becoming the anthem for all who scream “I am just who I am.” Having already played some solid shows – including their debut at the Marquee and their recent Midway Stage performance at PIR for NASCAR, as well as opening in direct support for JACKYL at AZ Bike Week and playing the Jack Daniels Stage at Country Thunder – you should expect big things from Christopher Shayne, who truly does seem to give a damn.

 

Radio Phoenix Podcast: I Am Hologram

hologram 01

The talented musician who preforms under the moniker I Am Hologram came down to join us in the Radio Phoenix studio for our bi-monthly installment of RISE! We now have that show available in convenient podcast form. The complete playlist can be found below with additional links to all the artists featured!

Complete Playlist:

I Am Hologram “All The Lonely People”

The Woodworks “Skin Vs. Head”

Painting Fences “Pressure”

ghost island “The Stars In Your Eyes”

Joeseph Jaymes “Before I Could Swim”

I Am Hologram “Phantom Tree”

FITS “Commandment”

Torn At The Seam “Wish In One Hand”

K Dangerous & Sonny Morgan “Too Fast”

Dadadoh “Do It”

Snailmate “Jumper/Cable”

Zodiac Bash “Break Party”

Four Skin “Forever Plague”

Recorded live on March 16, 2016.

Songs from the Reading Room: Treasurefruit

Treasurefruit, those Southwestern Psychedelic Rockers themselves, came down to YabYum HQ to perform in the Reading Room. Anamieke, Matt, and Ehren laid down that desert dwelling groove and we are all the better for it. Special thanks as always to Burning Empire Media for producing this series with us!

“Darkside”

“Teddy Bears Picnic”

~

For more info on Treasurefruit, you should check out our Songbird Award 2016: Anamieke article, their Bandcamp and Facebook pages.