YabYum Seven: Fausto Fernandez

faustoWho are you and what do you do?

Fausto Fernandez: I am a fine artist. My works include a variety of mixed-media collages, paintings, public art, and community engagement projects. My studio creations are colorful, geometric, mixed-media collages on canvas, photo transfers of people and crowds and aviation renderings.

How did you get your start?

I studied graphic design and painting at the University of Texas in El Paso. A year after graduating in 2002, I moved to Phoenix where I continued to make art and completed a non-paid internship at the Scottsdale Public Art program. Thereafter, I was hired to install exhibitions as a contract museum preparator at The Heard Museum and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). I later became an employee at the Arizona State University Art Museum for 5 years.

Working at the museums was my introduction to the Phoenix art scene, where I met other artists and worked alongside curators with whom I learned professional museum skills. I had the privilege of installing art shows for friends and other artists I admire, and this is how I received insight into the art world and started participating in shows. I moved into my first art studio at The Lodge on Grand Ave in 2002 where I was able to maintain my artist studio for 10 years. I later moved to Los Angeles and I currently live in Anthony, New Mexico.

What inspires you?

Living vicariously through the experiences and challenges of the people I’ve met. They challenge me and provide me with opportunities I didn’t think I was capable of achieving.

What do you like about Arizona?fausto3

The Arizona landscapes are beautiful. Arizona is my home away from home; It is where I was able to grow up independently from my family and where I have cultivated a good family of friends. Arizona has seen me fail and succeed, so I owe much of my experience to the 10 years I lived in Phoenix and I love it.

Where can we see you(r) work?

The floor at the Sky Harbor International Airport Sky Train Station in Phoenix, AZ; Turner Carroll Gallery and The Bataan Memorial Building in Santa Fe, NM; City Hall in El Paso, TX; East Rancho Dominguez park Installation in East Compton, CA and my Website and Instagram.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I’d like to own a classic car and go on a road trip, build a house with a studio to use as my home base, and travel to find a passion for something new and unexpected.

What is your mantra?

Make a lot of friends everywhere.


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Good Old Shoulder: The Birdhouse EP

Birdhouseby Matt Klassen

Contributing Writer

The Birdhouse EP from Albuquerque-based Good Old Shoulder sounds a lot like what you might imagine a birdhouse would sound like, if it were a five song EP. It’s lovingly, if crudely crafted from rustic materials. It’s something I could picture small birds lighting into for shelter and pecking at flax seeds before flitting away for something more interesting. Also, the album art looks like wood.

The opening track of this five song EP is actually called “Little Birdie,” and it begins, appropriately, with a recording of (presumably) little birds singing. What follows is a very typical and traditional folk ditty that begins with an old-timey filter on the vocals and lapses into a drawl when pronouncing the word “hollow” as “holler.” It wasn’t until the second verse that I realized this song might not literally be about an actual bird.

“Smaller Things,” to quote its own lyrics, sounds like it could be “rearranged by steadier hands.” The melody and lyrics are unsure of themselves. They finally find their focus when the chorus rolls around. Unfortunately they’re wrapped around the four oldest chords in history.

On “Down By the Salley Gardens” the EP starts to get its footing thanks to a lush, lo-fi electric guitar tone that explores the scale and underpins the melody nicely. Lyrically it suffers from a Yoda-esque, awkwardly-striving dedication to its rhyming meter.

It’s not until the best song on the EP, “Trips,” that I began to see the potential in the band’s songwriting. The production brings some depth to the record that’s missing on this overly mid-rangey EP. The chorus plays to vocalist Jonathan Mouchet’s strengths as he lets his voice do the heavy lifting. He sounds more confident in his melody than he does on some of the other tracks. The open-hearted sincerity that runs through the EP wears this song well, whereas it’s at odds with the determined folksiness of the rest of the album. The album should end here.

Sadly, we’re treated to a painfully unfunny ode to bacon in the form of a banjo hoedown, complete with a fake hillbilly affect. It’s called (and I sigh) “The Name of This Song Is So Long You’d Think We Were in a Pop Punk Band But We’re Not.” To the credit of this song, it ditches its strict rhyme scheme at one point to use the words “sumptuous eggs.” That’s clever compared to the opening line: “There once was a boy in the land of Nantucket/Who had a nice frame, and of money had buckets/One day he met Sally, sweet as could be/And they settled down and stuff.” I have no beef with funny songs, but humor is harder than it looks. A little wit goes a long way. This song is not worth the time it took to record, which probably wasn’t much. I bet it’s popular live.

The title of the last song actually counterpoints the main problem with The Birdhouse EP: it might as well be titled “The Name of This Album Is So Precious and Folksy You’d Think We Were in a Precious, Folksy Band And We Are.” It gives exactly what you would expect at almost every given moment. At a few points it manages to fulfill those expectations in a pleasing way, but then I’m let down again, wondering what this birdhouse would look like in the hands of a seasoned pro.

I don’t recommend this EP, but I am curious to see which way the band develops. The more effort this trio spends on fashioning their front-porch aesthetic, the poorer they’ll be. Hopefully their next record will build itself around strong, singable melodies, solid production and audacious moments. Also, you’re not fooling anyone with your slang, boys: we know you’re not from 1920’s Appalachia.

The Birdhouse EP is available on Bandcamp. Good Old Shoulder is offering a “pay-what-you-want” deal on the EP. You can find out more about the band, including show dates on their Facebook page.

Short and Sweet: 4 New EPs

1Field Tripp

Woeful Common Terry

I haven’t even had time to grow tired of Field Tripp’s last album, Les is Mormon, when already I have a new EP available for my listening pleasure. Thanks, Field Tripp, for considering my needs as a fan. Two releases in one year? And it’s only July! At this rate, the band still has time to put out one (or two) more before the new year. Alternative rock with a Tripp-y core, the band’s music provides the perfect accompaniment for those lazy, chemical-infused evenings wherein your thoughts are free to meander through the squishy crags of your own brain. Opening Woeful Common Terry is the track “Generous Folks” and vocalist Dan Tripp establishes himself as the perfect voice to navigate those hallucinatory hallways of Field Tripp’s alt-country psychedelia. “Shotgun in the Hole” has that acid flashback level disorientation before giving into the fuzzy fields of sound that engulf the listener on “Good Ideas”.  Cassidy Hilgers of Sister Lip fame joins the band for the closing track, “The Awards Ceremony”; a stellar number which has thus far proven to be my favorite song from the new EP. Woeful Common Terry was released this past weekend at the Rogue so if you missed the show, you missed a party, but don’t panic just yet. You can still score your copy of the EP here where it is also available for streaming.

RuderSpaceRuder & The Shockwaves


If you’re looking for a great record to sit back to as it takes you for a ride, Space, from Ruder & The Shockwaves will take you to wherever you want to go. This 5-piece outfit from Santa Fe, New Mexico comprised of Matt Ruder (guitar), Dan Mench-Thurlow (tenor saxophone), Nicholas Quintero (bass), Darrell Luther (keyboards) and Marcus DiFillippo (drums), can really lay a groove that I simply could not get enough of – quite frankly. OK OK OK, yeah yeah yeah, I hear you, progressive rock/jazz fusion might be running all over the fret board and keyboard with dizzying scales, and yes, with tracks as long as 5+ minutes, it can get a bit tedious for the ear, but these guys have a take on the genre all their own. The opening track, “Leaving The Planet”, is a terrific arrangement that evokes bands like Yes and early Emerson, Lake and Palmer, (holy cripes did I just date myself or what? [Sen. Eds. note: No, Frank, you didn’t, kids of all ages love these bands. YES and ELP forever!!]), but listen closely, there’s a modern twist – and it’s these twists and turns that kept me interested. “Cobalt Blue” is my favorite track as it pays homage to the great Frank Zappa with its very quirky lead guitar and very spot-on horns. Then, it’s busts into a lounge keyboard riff that comes out of nowhere to turn the song into something else entirely, and then the guys bring it back again. Now, that’s Jazz.“Roseburn”, the last track, gives us that classic Jazz sound led by some wonderful keyboards and brass. Add the grungy guitar and then blazing lead and back again, and you’re ready for take-off. Great job, guys. You can stream and buy Space here.



Garage surf pop just goes along with summer like rocket pops and carcinogenic sunburns. Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m super enjoying this upbeat, punk-tinged EP from Lawnchair. The band’s self-titled EP, released earlier this year in June, is fun and feisty and, right about now, I’m kicking myself in the ass for not making it out to the show. The four-piece comprised of Anthony Thrailkill (guitar/vocals, CJ McNichols (drums), Nick McKee (bass), and Nathan Elizondo (guitar) create a buoyant summer grunge sound. Opening with “Generator”, Lawnchair sets an energetic pace that will bludgeon those indoor blues as temperatures continue to rise. “Lunchtime” keeps the momentum going. You won’t find any slowed down ballads on EP. Each track dedicated to “girls, food, Arizona and self-loathing” found on this debut release packs a powerful pop punch. The band will be performing live on August 12th at Yucca Tap Room with Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet, both out of Nashville. For more info on that show, head here. You can purchase/preview the EP by Lawnchair here.


Fuzzy DazeThe Fuzzy Daze

Primitive Noise

There’s a lot to like about this 3-track EP by The Fuzzy Daze from Dallas, Texas. I mean a lot. But unfortunately, it’s not enough to win me over. I really dig the whole “Lo-fi” thing they’ve got going on, but, come on now, are we not over that yet? Haven’t The White Stripes and The Black Keys got this genre covered? I’ve been upfront about this style of music: I like it, but the old blues Masters did it over a half of a century ago before modern bands got a hold of it, including legends like The Yardbirds, et al, and did it better. Back to what I like about The Fuzzy Daze: They have put themselves out there. Wrote some tunes, recorded those tunes and sent them into the world. And, you know what? That’s half the battle. Wait, that’s the whole battle. Dear TFD, It’s not that the stuff is bad, it’s that it isn’t original – you got the huevos, now it’s time to find your voice. Get back to writing, get back into the recording studio and show us what you got. Judge for yourself here.


3 Indie Albums

by YabYum Staff




Antennae is an appropriate name for the long-awaited new album from PRMR (formerly The Premiere). It sounds like the product of an alien race’s attempts to emulate the best of  our hip-hop radio and indie rock blogs. The result, with its off-kilter mix of elements, is hugely compelling. And catchy as hell.

David Jackman and Adam Wilkey took their time with this album, and we’re the better for it. Antennae has something to get your ass moving anytime you need it, from anxiety-ridden opener “Killing The Langoliers,” to the Reagan-era dance party “Spacebar.”

Give Antennae a shot. It will feel alien at first, but you’ll wake up one day to find it’s in heavy rotation in your playlist, and you can’t imagine it anywhere else. Beam Antennae here. –Mike McQuillian



Albuquerque has quite the secret music scene if word on the street is to be believed. And New Mexico band You is set to dispel the rumor that Albuquerque is anything but rad with the release their first full-length Ambivalence before bringing their “DANCE JAMS OF ENCHANTMENT” to more than 15+ states starting June 25.

I must say You is pretty badass, although I had my doubts when I first started listening to Ambivalence. They definitely have their own sound going, but starting the album with an extended jam clocking in at over 5 minutes doesn’t cut it for me (however, the orchestral string arrangements found on “Anesadora” were quite nice).  The fourth track “Young Witch/Eternal Gliss” takes the cake as the ultimate jam however at 13 minutes and 50 seconds.

With tracks like “Saturday Night”, “Soul Eater”, and “I Should Be Drunk Right Now”, you have the makings of something fabulous. The final two tracks – “Circle In The Trees” with its sweet National sound and “Altar Call” with it’s undeniable rocking awesomeness – are my personal favorites and really marked the album for me as one worth remembering. You should listen to You here. –Mark Anderson


4The Porch Horses


Americaneris marks the first full-length release from the Flagstaff duo known as The Porch Horses: Jeff Breshears and Michael Regan. For the latest album, they were joined by Eddie Horn on bass, rounding out this trio. The group has a lofi indie rock style better suited to the bar than the coffee shop. Rustic and rowdy, The Porch Horses has a raw sound that can occasionally be a little grating (especially with the vocals) but ultimately comes through with a warmth and charm all its own. Remember that even the vocal stylings of Bob Dylan and even Stephen Malkmus have been met with initial distaste for many. There is something definitely authentic about the untrained ballad belt-er behind The Porch Horses, but for many of us it might take some getting used to.

The ten-tracks of Americaneris kicks off with “Not Coming Down” and I was instantly reminded of the rockers that defined the Tempe scene in the 90s like Dead Hot Workshop. A power trio in their heart of hearts, The Porch Horses are not afraid to lay it all out for a feisty jam which you can hear on songs like “30 Pack” and “Danny”. The Porch Horses offer more of a kickback style on songs like “Creek Song” and “Cigarettes Butts & Chewing Gum”. Closing out Americaneris is my favorite track from the album, “Mia”. Mellow and sing-songy, “Mia” has a campfire feel that will have you clapping along.

Listen (and purchase) Americaneris here for some Flagstaff, bar-band flavor. –Lenore Lanova