WHEN IN AZ Vol 2 Update!!

when in az vol 2Hey all you music-makers in Arizona!

Have you picked out your cover song yet?? We know the summer sort of got away from a lot of us so When In AZ decided to extend the deadline for submissions to it’s latest compilation.

So, stop panicking. The When In AZ Vol. 2 compilation project will be accepting tracks through October. You still have time if you want to be a part of this momentous piece of Arizona music history. Yes, our senior editors ARE part of the organizational effort behind the project so I get that it’s a little weird for us to call it momentous, but it really is, like, a big deal.

Go to the official When In AZ Vol. 2 website for more information and/or to submit your track right now.

Sidepony Express Ready to Ride into Bisbee

sidepony2by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

The 5th Annual Sidepony Express Music Festival is about to descend on Bisbee, AZ for a weekend of ruckus good times and music… lots and lots of music. Last year, Sidepony boasted “18 unique venues and over 85 bands” and this year’s event should be even bigger and better than ever.

In addition to the slew of Arizona artists and musicians that participate in the annual Sidepony Express Music Festival, the event has garnered some interest from the national scene so expect some new faces in the crowds and on the stages down in Bisbee.

I had a chance to chat with Anamieke, Sidepony Express founder and festival organizer, about the annual event, just who she’s excited to see perform this year, and where her must-stop-spots are down in Bisbee. Hopefully, you’ve already finagled a room for the weekend or you might be sleeping in Sierra Vista (or your car). Even if you can’t make it out from Friday through Sunday, consider popping in for a day of music and fun in quirky, lovable Bisbee.


YabYum: What made you choose Bisbee as your location for the festival?

Anamieke: The location is a huge part of the inspiration and the magic, it just wouldn’t be the same anywhere else. I’ve been going there for years, since I was a kid to see the mines (I used to want to be a geologist) and as a teen with my mom’s wine tasting group dreaming of being old enough to go out to the saloons and see bands, then with my different bands over the years on tours.

My husband and I basically fell in love there and have always wanted to make the move to Cochise County but it hasn’t been in the cards thus far with other professional obligations. We are as passionate and inspired by Bisbee as we are the Phoenix music scene, so we felt it was high-time to connect the two.

sidepony1So there are some bands that have been with the festival since the get-go? Who are some of the Sidepony regulars we can expect to see again this year?
Oh yes, we’ve got a good core group of veterans who have plenty of fans in the locals and fest regulars. Many traditions have formed over the years like the Sunday morning Haymarket Squares show on the OBBC (Old Bisbee Brewing Company) patio, or the Sunday night jam with Melissa Reaves at Elmo’s.

You can expect to see performances by Sidepony OG’s Pride Through Strife, The Pubes, Treasurefruit, The Lonesome Wilderness, Mister Lucky (fka The Low Men), Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers, Roethke (fka The Ice Waters), The Redemptions (Anthony Fama), Bisbee’s own Terry Wolf and Betsy Ganz (returning this year as The SunPunchers).

There also some killer bands who’ve been there since year two, like The Woodworks, Fairy Bones, The Psychedelephants, Tom Kumagai and more. Jerusafunk and Los Angeles power trio Olio return for another run as well as seminal Arizona bands Carlos Arzate and Fatigo.

I’ve also been introduced to quite a few local acts down through Sidepony that I hadn’t seen before. Any new folks from around the state on the bill this year?

Oh yes! We have over half of the roster filled with new blood. This year we welcome Sedona’s decker. to the lineup, as well as CooBee Coo, The Hourglass Cats, The Stakes, Sunn Trio, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold and many more.

I heard that Sidepony is gaining interest from national artists. Who are you looking forward to seeing from out of state?

We have folks coming from all over. Looking forward to seeing Peter Kingham and his twin brother from Seattle do their folk duo, the epic indie mini-orchestra of Community Center from Baltimore, the very talented singer/songwriter Matthew Azrieli from Montreal and the fantastic indie psych rock band, Fools Like Me, from Juarez.

Usually, when we see you in Bisbee, you’re running around at a devilish pace to make sure everything is on track. Are there some favorite Bisbee haunts you simply have to find some time for during the festival?

Oh absolutely! There are several rituals. I always have to get a pizza from the Screaming Banshee, a pint of Mountain Lime Lager from OBBC and a sample of Seth’s espresso roasts in peddler’s alley by POCO. I usually have to take a drive around the mine and back to clear my head at least once on Saturday afternoon, and you’ll usually find me having brunch at the Quarry on Sunday morning. This year I’m definitely going to work in a trip to the Copper Queen for their famous Sunday Bloody Marys.

~

For more info, visit their website.

sidepony 03
Graphics by Shannon Harden

3 Astounding EPs You Should Be Listening To

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogMike Montoya

KIND

Are you fucking kidding me? That was my very first thought as I starting listening to the new EP from Mike Montoya, formerly known as Fatigo. KIND is one of the best things I’ve heard this year. From the moment it starts through to the very end, Montoya proves his commitment to unique and thoughtful songcraft, delivered in distinctive, southwestern folk. The EP opens with the song “Trailboss” which features Nowhere Man and a Whisky Girl (as does the closing track). The duo’s posthumous appearance only add to the subtlety embedded mystical undercurrent felt throughout this completely unassuming EP. “Catch a Fly” has an easy-going summer feel that made it an early favorite. “Hold Mine” and “Copters” are shorter tracks, each clocking in under a minute and a half, but they are every bit as compelling as the longer songs heard on KIND. “Cactus Grave” closes the EP and offers listeners the second appearance of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl. I would say it’s my favorite song, but I realize that I’ve changed my mind on each and every listen. From beginning to end, KIND is my kind of album: a dusty, desert folk masterpiece. Find out for yourself here.

 

The Stakes - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThe Stakes

The Stakes Music Vol. 1

The hiphop-jazz-funk fusion of The Stakes has been making its way around the Valley scene for a few years now honing their skills and solidifying their sound. The release of The Stakes Music Vol. 1 earlier this year was the culmination of that work. The six-track EP offers the smoothly flowing hiphop that has defined the band’s live sound. Mixing the emcee styles of ZeeDubb and Lord Kash with vocal powerhouse Holly Pyle, The Stakes achieves a perfect symbiosis of sound. Ben Scolaro (keyboards), Caleb Veazey (guitar), Alex Meltzer (bass, MPC), and Kevin Phillips (drums) are the talented players that complete The Stakes’ lineup. The release opens with “Hi-Lo”, a super cool number that starts with a meandering pace but quickly gets amped up. Other emcees should take notes on lyrical prowess from The Stakes Music Vol. 1. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” offers a perfect example of the successful sharing of vocal duties that really sets The Stakes apart from other hiphop acts making their way around the Valley circuit. Holly Pyle’s move from smokey and sultry to an all-out flurry of energy and power. Fans of hiphop, jazz, and good music in general will enjoy this first collection of music from The Stakes. Let’s hope this is just the first of many releases to come. Listen for yourself here and get ahold of your very own copy.

 

Sunset Voodoo

Strange Things

The psychedelic indierockers known as Sunset Voodoo have been hard at work on new material. They released their EP, Strange Things, earlier this year. Sunset Voodoo has a sound made for those of us that kept our Incubus albums past 2003. Lots of folks beyond this grouping will find Sunset Voodoo jam worthy, but if you fall into this aforementioned category, Sunset Voodoo will be your new favorite locals. They have that same style of melody-heavy alt-rock, but with their own modern take. The EP opens with the title track; a song that dynamically shifts throughout, a signature move for the band. “Summer Haze”, one of the singles from the album, achieves that listless summer mellow that defines the season with its thoughtfully restrained rock. You can sample tracks from Strange Things here. The EP is also available for purchase through iTunes here. Sunset Voodoo is a band you have to see live. While you’re at it, I suggest checking out the music video for “Summer Haze” as well. You can view that here.

 

Chris Jamison Premieres “Juniper Blues”

chris jamison 01Accomplished Austin artist Chris Jamison has written, recorded, and released four albums to date including the Austin Chronicle’s 2013 Top Ten album Sleeping with the T.V. On. But it his latest work, due out later this month, that has us really excited. Jamison recently relocated to the northern ghost town of Jerome and it was from this mile-high vantage that he undertook the creation of Lovecraft, an album that shifts in color and tone while maintaining a charming blend folk and country. Chris Jamison is an artist to keep an eye on. His songcraft has a vibrance that sets him apart from others of his ilk.

Lovecraft was mixed by Sam Kassirer, mastered by Scott Hull, and produced by Jamison himself. You can get your hands on the full album at the end of the month. Fans new and old can also expect a new music video.  Jamison has two Arizona release shows this month, but Phoenicians will have to head north or south to attend. The first show is slated for March 20th down at the Bisbee Grand Hotel in (of course) Bisbee and a second show on Sunday, March 29th, at the Sedona Rouge Hotel. Free CDs will be available for attendees. Until then, Chris Jamison offered to share “Juniper Blues” from the forthcoming album with all of you today. Give it a listen right here…

For more information on Chris Jamison, head here.

2014 Awards Announcement!

It’s that time of year again… Awards’ Month!! January is our time to acknowledge the artists and albums that really defined 2014 for us so get ready for the action.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep posting our “Show Picks of the Week” so keep sending us those flyers! We’ll be returning to our regular publication schedule on Feb. 1st with all the music and arts coverage you’ve come to expect. Until then, enjoy our 2014 Awards this January!

Stay up-to-date on our awards by following up on social media. We appreciate your continued support!

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The Second Annual Nowhere Man and A Whiskey Girl Benefit

Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl - YabYum - Arizona Music Blogby Brent Miles
Contributing Writer

photos courtesy of Jimi Giannatti

In life, Amy and Derrick Ross of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl embodied the heart and soul of music in Arizona. They were the epicenter of a circle of friends, fellow musicians and fans that grew exponentially over the years as the band played across the state and beyond. Their legacy culminated into a spectacular outpouring of love, support and music at the recent “2nd Annual Benefit For Amy and Derrick Ross: A Celebration of the Lives, Love, and Music of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl,” with proceeds donated to the Southern Arizona Lupus Foundation.

After Amy’s death from a lifelong battle with lupus and Derrick’s subsequent suicide, the concept for a benefit concert came from Jimi Giannatti of Pop Narkotic Posters and Photography, who met the Ross’ after moving to Bisbee. Giannatti explains how he came to know them: “On my second night in Bisbee, my friends took me to a local joint named Hot Licks where Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl were playing and I experienced the same conversion that I would later witness hundreds of others like myself go through with their first Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl show.”

He soon became one of their closest friends and a tireless champion of their music, saying “I was knocked out by Amy’s world class voice, impressed by their musicianship, captivated by their between songs banter, and wowed by their effortless ability to hopscotch their way through their set mixing originals with any number of different genres.”

It’s easy to see why the Ross’ became fast friends with Giannatti, an affable gentleman, wise beyond his years, with a knack for making the most insane plan seem feasible, a quality that became useful when putting on a benefit concert of this scale.

Giannatti was inspired to create the 1st annual benefit concert last year as a way to deal with the sudden loss of Amy and Derrick. “Looking back I realize now that it was a mixture of needing a way to focus my grief, anger, confusion and shock from their sudden departure into something that made sense and that also could bring comfort to so many of their friends and fans that I knew were feeling the same sense of tragic loss.”

This year’s event was even bigger than the last, with Café Passe hosting the acoustic sets and Flycatcher hosting the electric sets. 2With almost 30 musicians playing between both clubs, what could have been a logistical nightmare ran like a well-oiled machine. Giannatti was quick to point out that planning the benefit was “a huge collaborative effort that involved a number of people. I really have to single out Keli Carpenter, Bryan Sanders and Sarah Megga for their work. Almost everybody we’ve reached out to has said, ‘Yes, what can we do to help?’”

The extensive lineup covered every facet of Derrick and Amy’s musical legacy, from briefcase to Bisbee Slim. Before Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, they were in the Phoenix-based quartet briefcase. briefcase’s set at Flycatcher was the first time they had played since the band split up in 2002. Original members Mark Breen and Josh McFarland were joined by Breen’s wife Jessica and special guests such as Sweetbleeders’ Robin Vining and Fatigo’s Mike Montoya and Anjalynn Carlson. Their set echoed a common theme of the night with different bands sharing many of the same musicians, fulfilling one of Amy and Derrick’s dreams of bringing musicians together, no matter their genre or locale, all united through music.

In his downtime, Derrick created an alter ego, Bisbee Slim, which showcased Derrick’s sublime humor through walloping hip-hop, in which he hilariously professed his love, bordering on obsession, for Beyonce. But Derrick was always sincere in everything he did and according to Giannatti, who was present during the inception of the Bisbee Slim persona, said there was so much more to it. “Almost all of the songs have semi-autobiographical references. Most of them have clips from home recordings and audio taken from videos of NMWG and their friends. He talks about break-ups and lost dreams, while also addressing his critics.”

At Flycatcher, Bryan Sanders channeled Bisbee Slim and led the band – Calexico’s Ryan Alfred on keyboards and samples, Brian Green from Leila Lopez’s band on bass and Flynn Salisbury on guitar – through a raucous set that would’ve have made Derrick proud.

1Over at Café Passe, Snow Songs performed one of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl’s most beloved songs, “Tumbleweed,” with Yoli Bejarano and Genet Klasek trading off verses. They ended their set with a haunting cover of Gillian Welch’s “Whiskey Girl.” The song that gave the band its namesake starts off with the eerily prescient verse, “Nowhere man and the whiskey girl/They loaded up for a weekend in the underworld.”

The most poignant performance of the night came courtesy of Amy’s sister, Lindy Minick Nielsen, also performing “Tumbleweed,” but made even more special as it’s a song she co-wrote with Amy. Lindy related how the song came about through a ramshackle serendipity, a trait that punctuated the Ross’ life, explaining, “I wrote the words and then called in the heavy hitter (Amy) for the melody. She was driving and annoyed, but agreed to listen through it. I played the cassette on my stereo and held a hand held recorder up to the phone and captured the melody that she sang into the phone. She only went through the song one time.”

And now, even in death, people are still discovering the music of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl, and by default becoming a part of their ever growing circle of friends. Due to the dedication of musicians, friends, family and fans, the Ross’ legacy keeps growing and concerts such as this will keep their memory alive, while raising money to help fight that insidious disease lupus, which took Amy and Derrick from us too soon.

For more information about upcoming Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl-related fundraising events, check out the Pop Narkotic Facebook page here or to make a donation in Amy and Derrick’s name to the Lupus of Southern Arizona, head here.

Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl - YabYum - Arizona Music Blog

Radio Phoenix Podcast with Anamieke

anamieke

Anamieke of Sidepony Express Music and the band Treasurefruit joined us on the air for Rise! on Radio Phoenix. We have the podcast now available right here! Complete playlist is located down below!

Yab Yum on Rise 10-01-14 by Radio Phoenix on Mixcloud

Playlist:

Fairy Bones “Duka”

Where Are All the Buffalo? “Hold On”

Bad Neighbors “Once Upon a Planet”

Paper Foxes “Marz Attacks”

Dadadoh “Teach You a Lesson”

Treasurefruit “Giddy Up”

Genre “East Coast Sunshine Blues”

Head Over Heart “You and Me”

Field Tripp “Generous Folks”

Catfish Mustache “Last Call”

Day Before Plastics “Watch You Walk Away”

Pride Through Strife “Music”

5 Live Music Videos That Will Rock Your Socks Off

Good Friends Great Enemies
“Through My Window Pane”
This is a stellar band. So good in fact that we’re not totally weirded out that they seem to dress up in their practice space to play. Just a little weirded out. Panama hats and panda masks aside, this is a rad band delivering a solid tune with the addition of some very snappy visual effects. Enjoy.

Dogbreth
“Blueprints”

The Trundle Sessions records artists performing stripped down songs when they pass through Tucson. Phoenix’s Dogbreth stopped into to record this number. For a complete list of performances recorded by the Trundle Sessions, head here.

Playboy Manbaby

“Minivan” Live at the Crescent Ballroom
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Robbie perform so unencumbered by, well, fans. Every time I’ve seen him perform, he is encased in a throng of thrashing, fun-loving show-goers. Hats off to Jeff Moses for being at the Crescent Ballroom to snag this live video of one of Phoenix’s favorites working the stage. I’m mean, just look at that freeze-frame below. Good times.
Ruca
“Valerie” by the Zutons unplugged in BisbeeFlashback to Bisbee for the Sidepony Express Music Festival and you get this great cover of “Valerie” from the talented folk of Ruca. Notice how fast that room goes quiet once Haley’s voice kicks off. I know because I was in that very room, but, thankfully, I was not the one filming or you would have heard me singing along. Dear god.

Boss Frog
“Arachnid Rousseau” live at Revolver Records

So the video might go a little fuzzy here and there, but any opportunity we have to post about Boss Frog we’re going to seize. We also love these little outdoors shows that Revolver Records has been known to host on First Fridays and other special occasions.

Sidepony Express Music Festival in Bisbee 2013

It just so happens that Bisbee is probably the coolest small town Arizona has to offer. It’s artsy and funky and adorable sorta like the woman of the hour: Anamieke Quinn.

Anamieke is the force behind Sidepony and its offspring gathering, the Sidepony Express Music Festival. Two years in a row now, this festival has lured most of our staff to the town’s quaint quarters.

With more than seventy acts performing over three days, Sidepony offers a crash course in some of the best local music has to offer. With staggered sets all happening in short proximity of one another, we were able to catch up with a lot of musicians and discover what everyone is up to these days. There were even a few local celebrity sightings, like Manny from the Rogue and Laura Fischer from RAW Artists.

I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say there was an air of magic that encompassed the entire event. Anytime you can walk across the street after listening to the Haymarket Squares and find yourself at a Fairy Bones show, there is magic at work. You can’t help but feel a part of something greater than one’s self; a transformative era in the arts community happening right now. And we’re all part of it: the musicians, artists, organizers, and, of course, the fans.

As with any road trip, there was the inevitable question: What did we forget? Our answer? The camera. So, that being said, please enjoy our less than professional-quality re-cap of one the best weekends in Arizona music history.

Sun Ghost was the highlight of my trip. The band has long been a favorite amongst staffers and we were sad to see them come to an end, but what an end it was! They performed their last set of Sun Ghost originals at the Bisbee Grand Saloon to a wiley crowd. Folks sang and danced until the music stopped then they grew wild with demands for more songs. You still have one last chance to catch the fellas of Sun Ghost together as when they perform at their annual Beatles Tribute at the Rogue this December.
Here’s the lovelost performing at The Stock Exchange. That dude on the left looks strangely familiar… 
Anthony Fama led the crowd at the Copper Queen in a moving sing-a-long to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. I hate to be the one to say it, but I guess I’ll say it. I love Anthony Fama and I love Doctor Bones, but I miss the old Doctor Bones. And, I’m not alone.
A small town tucked into the mountains, Bisbee embodies all the spirited weirdness that makes Arizona truly unique and wondrous. Last year we enjoyed the hospitality of the Copper Queen but this year we opted for the Inn at Castle Rock which boasts the Apache Spring Well right in the lobby. As an added bonus, the musicians from Frequent Kings & WuT were staying there too so we were often greeted on returning with some rad music on the porch or in the lounge.
The folks of Bisbee are so nice the local PD even helped Catfish Mustache carry their equipment between gigs.
Super cute maps of the downtown were included in the Sidepony Express Music Festival brochure. Now, just imagine music everywhere! Props to Haley Grigaitis of Ruca fame for drawing the commemorative map that now hangs in YabYum HQ.
Everywhere art and color and interesting things to look at. And listen to.
The smallest bar in the state is tucked away in Room 4 of the Silver King Hotel. A must-see spot on any trip to Bisbee.
We love that the folks of Bisbee love music enough open up their town to Anamieke’s rabble of musicians and their friends. Some, admittedly, had more fun than others like this gentleman who could not contain his love of Fairy Bones. I totally know the feeling. 
An intimate performance from Former Friends of Young Americans was a welcome prelude to their impending record release show happening this December.
Fairy Bones at The Bisbee Grand Saloon rocking out for only the first time on Saturday. They absolutely killed it at their St. Elmo’s set later that night, but anytime you get to see Chelsey perform twice in the same day is a good day.

See you next year!

Goodbye to Sun Ghost

Sun Ghost has become a favorite of more than one of the YabYum staffers which is why we’re extra sad to say farewell to the band. The group recently announced that they will be going their separate ways this year but Sun Ghost assures us there are no hard feelings. The bandmates are just ready to move on to other projects.

Don’t start crying just yet, however. There are still a couple more chances to log some Sun Ghost time in before all is lost. This Sunday, Sun Ghost will be performing their LAST Phoenix set at the Crescent Ballroom. Genre and The Shivereens share the bill which promises an evening of musical good times for all involved.

Prior to the great dissolution, Sun Ghost is also set to perform at two of the upcoming Fall Festivals happening around this fine state: the Apache Lake Music Festival (Oct. 18-19) and the Sidepony Music Festival in Bisbee (Nov. 15-17).

Finally, their last hurrah will serve as a fitting end. Sun Ghost will be offering fans their annual Beatles’ tribute on December 20th and performing only Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band songs.

Make sure you head out this Sunday for your last chance to hear Sun Ghost performing their own songs on their own turf. The end of an era is upon us but we’ll go out celebrating. We look forward to hearing more from the members of Sun Ghost as they move on to new projects. Nick will be continuing to perform with his band Deer Leader and Trevor will continue to write songs on his own…

Come to think of it, maybe we should just view this breakup as a positive. Consider the possibility of expotentionally increasing the rad-ness of AZ music by dividing the members of a rad band into new streams of potential music making. Or, maybe I’m trying to identify the good thing in a sea of sadness in the face of no more Sun Ghost. Only time will tell.