6 Live Music Videos: Experimental Sounds Edition

Moon Bandits
“Sleeping Giants”

from The Trundle Sessions

My bubba
“Big Bad Good”

Live on KEXP

Michelle Blades
“New Friends”

from Sofar Paris

Bob  Log III
“Look at That”

from Sung King King’s Reserve Session Live

Slingshot Dakota

Live at Little Elephant

Tracy Bryant

from Live Studio Lesage

5 Mellow Singles

mellow singles 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Karima Walker


Ever have one of those days where every song sounds the same? That was my day and then I heard “Lullaby” from Tucson’s Karima Walker. The song had a way of soothing my weary soul (and ears). Mellow and meditative, “Lullaby” is just that, a lullaby. Not the kind you sing your child to sleep with, but maybe. Walker creates soundscapes as painters create landscapes. Her songs belong in a gallery. Drift away with “Lulllaby” then stick around to listen to more offerings from Karima Walker.

Michelle Blades

Te Recuerdo Amanda

You might be thinking, didn’t Michelle Blades move to Paris? Yes, she did, but she often visits and on one such trip she recorded this breathtaking number with Phoenix’s own Eamon Ford this past May. “Te Recuerdo Amanda” is a cover of a Victor Jara song and Michelle Blades brings her own experimental undertones to this rendition. This track is a must-hear single. Listen to it. Listen to it now. And, if you missed her last performance at The Trunk Space, you missed out. Let’s hope this globe trotter has plans on another pass through Phoenix sometime soon.


“Lavender Ghost”

If Saydi’s been around since 2010, how come I’m only discovering her now? How did this not get to us through the appropriate channels? Considering this is her first single, I will allow it to pass, but we should have been told. Tempe’s Saydi creates a dreamy dancepop that is totally enamoring on “Lavender Ghost”. If this single is any indication of what’s to come, I would keep an eye (or ear) on Saydi.

Scattered Melodies


For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Scattered Melodies (for shame), the “band” is actually the musical pairing of Josh Montag (percussion) and Jake Johnston (bass) and a variable cast of musical guests from the local music scene. For their latest single, “Legacy”, Scattered Melodies joined forces with Laura Hamlin (vocals) and Jack Howell (piano/guitar/strings). Josh Montag wrote this song for his mother and debuted it at his wedding for the mother-son dance. If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you are cold, downright cold. The song is a divergence from the band’s usual hippie groove to something a little more sentimental. Give it a listen.


Tragedy Sells

The coffee-pop act known as gillwire is the brainchild of Jonathan Gil Thwaits. The Chandler band is preparing for the impending release of their debut album by sharing a few rough cuts including the single, “Tragedy Sells”. Combining Ben Folds-esque vocal stylings with an airy alt-pop. Don’t let the name of the track fool you, “Tragedy Sells” is an upbeat number with a bit of lyrical bite. Keep in mind, these tracks are unmastered, but they offer a little sampling of what’s to come. For the finished product, you’ll have to head to Sozo Coffee in Chandler on July 8th (or wait for the digital release).

5 Live & Local Music Videos

Bogan Via

Live Session at La Communa Rooftop

“Real Thing”

Live at Saltmine Studios

Coyote Mustache
“Just Cause”

Live at Bon Iverson

Logan & Lucille

from Folk-O-Rama Sessions

Michelle Blades
“Water is Wide”

from POPnews

5 Live & Local Music Videos

Asian Fred
“Jonestown Shuffle”

Cillie Barnes

from SoulPancake Sidewalk Sessions

“Bedroom Bars Ep. 1”

Emby Alexander
“Behaves Like Beehives”

from La Comuna Rooftop

Michelle Blades
“Subtropical Suburban”

from POPnews

5 May Releases to Look Forward to

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

Unhealthy Decisions

Release Show: May 16th at Rogue Bar

The Woodworks put out one of our favorite albums last year, Safe Mode. So we were more than a little surprised (and delighted) to find out the band already has a new album set for release this month. Despite the speedy turn around, Unhealthy Decisions doesn’t disappoint. Seven stellar tracks of spaced-out, bluesy rocknroll await listeners on May 16th when the band will be releasing Unhealthy Decisions at Rogue Bar. The Woodworks have assembled a lineup to properly celebrate the launch of this release into the aural atmosphere including The Haymarket Squares, Fairy Bones, After Nations, Rolling Blackouts, Larkspurs and Deadfoxx. The band has offered up a sample off the new album through their Bandcamp page here. My favorite track thus far is the 8+ minute track, “The Greatest Circus of All Time”, but you’ll just have to get the album.


There is Danger - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogThere is Danger

Gold Mine

Release Show: May 29th at Valley Bar

There is Danger’s debut release Living Dreams was my personal favorite of 2013 albums (actual proof of this statement here). Much like their first release, Gold Mine is a record that sneaks up on you, improving with each listening. The album’s subtlety, a trademark of There is Danger, will prove one of its purest strengths once it takes hold of you. Recorded by Jalipaz over at Audioconfusion, Gold Mine is dreampop innovation to be added to any collector’s library. Rubber Brother Records will be releasing the album on cassette, but other formats will be available for those of you no longer in possession of a tape player. The release show happens May 29th at Valley Bar with Underground Cities and Bear State. For a preview of what’s to come, you can hear “Youth”, the six-minute closer from Gold Mine and a personal favorite, here. For more information on the release show, head here.


Sun Bones - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogSun Bones

Sun Bones

Release Show: May 13th at 191 Toole

The harmonious Americana indie rockers known as Sun Bones are ready to release their first full-length since adding Laura Kepner-Adney to their roster. The self-titled release exemplifies Sun Bones’ unique style: pop-tinged, desert indie rock with the added flair of four-part harmonies. You can check out “Pet” from the forthcoming album here if you’re in need of a sample to secure your release show attendance. Sun Bones will be releasing their self-titled album on May 13th in Tucson at 191 Toole with locals Best Dog Award and Kithkin out of Washington. For more information on the release show, head here. Fear not, Phoenicians. They’ll be coming up to Phoenix on May 17th to perform at Crescent Ballroom with Head Over Heart so all you folks in the Valley of the Sun have your chance to catch Sun Bones live as well.


Michelle Blades - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music BlogMichelle Blades


Release Date: May 18th

The newest album from Michelle Blades, and her first official release written and recorded in Paris, is due out on May 18th, but the fortunate folks who made it out to her Phoenix performance at The Trunk Space on April 25th had an early opportunity to score the new album. AZ fans who remember-her-when will find Blades’ music much changed since those earlier days. First of all, she’s traded in her ukulele for an electric guitar and, in turn, discarded any residual cutesy-ness for an experimental sound that must be taken seriously. Blades released a music video in prelude to the album’s release which can be viewed here. Definitely check it out. The video features the tryptic “Crush! (I Went to your Party) / Obession (Fever Song) / Crushed (Operator!)”, a favorite from ATARAXIA. The complete album will be available from Midnight Special Records on May 18th… or you can scroll through your friends to see who caught the Phoenix release show. Maybe they’ll share their copy of ATARAXIA before it becomes available to the general public.


r.ariel - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blogr.ariel


Release Date: May 27th

Rachel Crocker who performs under the moniker r.ariel is quite the prolific songwriter. She released two albums in 2014 and it looks like this year is also off to a great start for the musician. Currently, she is on a four month tour through the U.S. and Canada. And, later this month, she’ll be releasing a new collection of songs on the album Changer. Mellow and reflective, r.ariel provides lo-fi listening for pensive souls partial to the confines of their own bedrooms. “Inside”, the opening track from Changer, is available as a preview through r.ariel’s Soundcloud page here. She’ll be celebrating the release while on tour – at the Palisades in New York – but she’ll be back on home turf in July. She’ll be performing on July 1st at The Trunk Space and on July 4th at The Lost Leaf.

5 Fabu Fundraisers – Support the Arts!!

Miami Loco or Bust!

The annual music and arts festival will be celebrating its 6th year, but the musicians & artists that really make this party happen can use a little extra help getting to and from Miami, AZ. According to the event’s organizers, this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever with more than 40 acts, 32 poets and performers and 50 visual artists. Kicking up for some gas means some super cool returns for your investment like posters designed by Nxoeed or comemorative t-shirts. More here

YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blog

Help Michelle Blades Record Ataraxia

Though our dusty desert only counted Michelle Blades in residence but a short time, we’ll always consider her one of us. It helps that she always makes time for local gigs when she finds herself stateside. Well, it’s been almost three years since her last full-length release and we’re ready for the next installment, her first official release since relocating to Paris. Blades is raising funds through the international crowd-source option, Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, and offering fans early copies of the album and other rad rewards. More here..

Help Jillian & the Giants’ Debut Album

Tucson’s Jillian and the Giants are ready to record their debut album, Mr. Airplane, but they could use a little help covering the recording and production cost. You might remember Jillian Bessett who we covered last year when she released her solo album Electric Moon (which we loved and you can read about here). Contributing to the cause can land you some signed merch and other rewards. More info here!

Art & Advocacy. I Have A Name.

The I Have A Name project has brought the issue of homelessness to the attention of many and pushed the topic to the forefront of our arts community. Described as “a humble gesture to restore humanity and dignity to those less fortunate among us”, I Have A Name is looking to expand its range of communication through two new murals that will appear on the MonOrchid Gallery in downtown Phoenix. Contribute to the cause (and learn more) here.

Mary Coyle Ice Cream Food Truck

Who misses Mary Coyle Ol’ Fashion Ice Cream? We do. Mary Coyle’s ice cream has been part of Valley life for 63 years and has been noticably absentee since they shut their doors last year. Hopefully, our favorite ice cream will be making a resurgence in food truck form. And here’s the best part… Backers can earn free scoops or even an ice cream party. What’s not to love? Make your contributions here.

Mary Coyle - YabYum Music & Arts - AZ Music Blog

2 New Albums from the Pond Hopppers

Cold Shoulders cover art
Michelle Blades

Cold Shoulders

This collection of songs from Michelle Blades was recorded in her three most common cities of port: Phoenix, Miami, and Paris. Tracks like “Deep Kiss” and “Intimidated” show Blades at her more experimental moments while songs like “The Basket” remind me more of my earliest live encounters with the musician on her desert stomping grounds. Blades has carved out a sound entirely her own in the world of weird folk and by distancing herself from her signature ukulele after Mariana I was pleased to discover that this signature sound is entirely organic and in no way static. Cold Shoulders represents late night musings and warm, sleepless nights. It toys with the boundaries of traditional song structure in the (unfortunately) rare package of enjoyable listening. It also gives fans of Blades an opportunity to delve the artist in development as it spans three years of her creative process. Moving between ambient and pop, there is a sobriety to be found in the lyrical reflections so don’t let the music’s intangibility draw you into a dream state, as it just might do if you’re not careful. Listen to Cold Shoulders here. Purchase the album while you’re there. More dollars for Michelle Blades means a greater likelihood she’ll visit the Valley more often and, then, you can catch her live.

The Cat. Not Me. (2014) cover art
Marianne Dissard 

The Cat. Not Me. 

Known as the Tucson chanteuse, Marianne Dissard released her first album since returning to her home continent of Europe earlier this year. That being said, The Cat. Not Me.  was recorded in Tucson at Waterworks, mixed in Minneapolis, and then mastered out of Bristol in the U.K. so the album itself is an international undertaking rather than a claim any one locale can make. Two of the tracks from the album are available online here. “Mouton Bercail” offers the jazzy, sultry Dissard who might be mistaken for the cat in the title while “Oiseau” reveals the songstress at a more plaintive moment. I must confess I don’t speak French. She could be saying she bathes kittens in battery acid and I wouldn’t know it, but it sounds so lovely I can’t believe any kittens were harmed in the making of this album. The Cat. Not Me. can be purchased through Bandcamp here for €7.50. It’s in Euros, how cool is that?

The Music Video Awards: Best of 2013!!

Best Band Gone Wild Video:
Bogan Via “Kanye”

We love the video for “Kanye” by Bogan Via (directed by Freddie Paull) but it does offer a disturbing look at the band’s career should the whole music thing not work out.

Best Debut Video:
Sara Robinson & the Midnight Special “Down by the Water”

Sara Robinson & the Midnight Special launched their music video career with this stellar number just back in December. Directed by Matty Steinkamp of Sundawg Media, “Down by the Water” delivers a powerful performance.

Best HipHop Video:
Hexs & Miranda “Down”

Directed by Michael Cardoza of Glasswork Media, “Down” has some of that style and pizzazz that you want to see in a HipHop video… minus the nearly naked honeys (good job, boys). We’re about it.

Best Collaborative Project:
Future Loves Past “Grow Up Tall”

Eric Palmer worked on illustrations and production design, Tristan Dede added animation and editing, and even some photographs of clouds by Bill Goodman and S. Cole Kiburz got thrown into the mix. Together, it became “Grow Up Tall” from Future Loves Past.

Trippiest Video: 
Mergence “The Nerve”

We’re not even entirely sure what’s taking place here; something occult, maybe involving the consumption of devil drugs. Whatever it is, we’re about this video made entirely by the band.

 Best Transplant Video:
Michelle Blades “Lava Boy”

Gone but not forgotten, we like to keep tabs on the folks that have passed our way here in Arizona. Directed by Chloé Bourgès, the video for “Lava Boy” enchanted us from across the big blue.

Best Party Video:
Wolvves “Live Forever”

Wolvves makes for a great house party and the spirit of which can be found in their video for “Live Forever”.  Directed by frontman Aydin the Immortal. Good times had by all.

Happiest Sad Song:
Human Behavior “Crag”

We’re totally enamored with this video from Human Behavior.  The problem with repeated listenings is that we began to really hear how truly depressing this upbeat number really is. Beautiful but depressing. “Crag” was directed by MJ Watz.

 Best Continuing Saga:
decker. “Killing Me” / “Weight in Gold Pt. 2”

decker. has put out some stellar videos this year including this two-parter we can’t seem to get enough of. Another masterful undertaking from Matty Steinkamp with the aid of six cameramen. We love all the appearances from local rockstars like PC and Melody.

Best Animation:
Brian Lopez “Montjuic”

This was a surprisingly contentious category this year, but the video created by Gary Dumbill for Brian Lopez’s “Montjuic” came out ahead as our pick for Best Animation. Eerie and imaginative.

Strangest Video:
Emby Alexander “Drag the Long Way Home”

From its Lynchian opening to its sudden submersion in water, “Drag the Long Way Home” directed by Trevvor Riley is definitely one of the strangest videos we’ve seen in a long time. Definitely the Strangest Video of 2013.