Top 5 Shows of the Week: May 19 – 25

Lots of rad shows happening this week in addition to what we got here. You can check out more shows happening in the Phoenix Metro Area on our Upcoming Shows page here! You can also click on the show flyers below for more information about those events!

7 Eclectic Summertime Singles

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by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Exxxtra Crispy

“Scumbag” 

Exxxtra Crispy might be a new band on the Tempe scene, but this rowdy bunch is comprised of some pretty prominent players. The band just dropped their debut album, They Don’t Think It Be Like It Is But It Do, on 4/20 which includes this sweet single. “Scumbag” kicks off with Latarian Milton talking up that hoodrat life before some “totally danceable minimalist-pop-power-funk/punk” takes over. This single is a superb example of that Exxxtra Crispy sound: smart sample selection, horns, and some seriously riotous punk vocals all smushed together. This band might just be for you if your idea of summer fun includes late nights, loud music, recreational drugs, and, well, you get it…. Smash that play button below and don’t forget to delve into the full Exxtra Crispy experience here.

moonweather

“Drying Out”

Moonweather might only count three official members amongst their ranks, but for the making of the new album, they called upon friends near and far until the list of participating artists and musicians became a bit too long to print. The band describes their sound as “kind of like Sufjan Stevens and Modest Mouse had a child they’re both disappointed in,” but I think moonweather harkens back to even earlier indie. “Drying Out” has a bit of a Pavement feel to me, particularly during the early part of the song. The single has a bit of a listless feel – you know, that lazy hazy feeling that you get on a sticky summer afternoon when you have nothing to do bit listen to records and stare at the ceiling fan. That is this song.

Call Me Karizma

“Zombie”

If you missed Call Me Karizma when they passed through Tempe back in March, you missed out but you can correct that with a little at-home listening. Call Me Karizma opts for a more pharmaceutical application of the term “Zombie” on their chill new single. This “emo-pop” number has a slouchy feel but the production is tight. That just might be the modern mode of psychedelia for the pill-poppin’ generation. Danceable and sometimes depressing. I dig it. Zone out to “Zombie” from Call Me Karizma below…

Cooper Claire

“Pedaling”

Michigan musician Cooper Claire wrote this indie ditty about riding a bike with a friend. How cute and summertime is that?! Claire takes us back to a a time “when friendship was effortless” and bicycles were our sole means of transport. There’s a lot of variance within the soundscape here so make sure you park it for the long-haul with “Pedaling” or, at the very least, hold out past the 90-second-mark when we catch that downhill speed.

Amariszi

“Va T’en Fou”

This riotous act from the Netherlands combines Balkan influences with klezmer, folk, pop, and even a touch of reggae. Yes, folks, you read that right. Their new single “Va T’en Fou” is just a taste of what can be expected from their new album, Babel Fish. I just love this track. “Va T’en Fou” feels like a gypsy riverboat party on the Seine in Paris. Amariszi is definitely one of those bands I want to see live so let’s hope they’re ready to talk U.S. tour.

Syntax Club

“Mississippi, Come and Take Me”

Despite the carcinogenic amount of sunlight in my early days, there’s a little bubble of nostalgia that gains extra glow when the weather warms. The Oklahoma City duo known as Syntax Club manages to capture that seasonal buoyancy in their beach pop sound on “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” despite their distance from the ocean. There’s carefree school-vacation feel on this single that calls for flipflops, cutoffs, and a boombox down by the river. Check out “Mississippi, Come and Take Me” by Syntax Club below…

The Apaches

“Pistoleros”

When it comes to The Apaches, don’t just stop at one song. My suggestion is to start with “Pistoleros” and then work your way through all of Musica Surfica Vol. III & IV; the followup to 2016’s Musica Surfica Vol. I & II, of course. In fact, you could just go all the way back to Vol. I  & II to partake of the complete set (thus far). The Apaches add a splash of desert garage to their beachy surf sound. If you’re getting ready to light the tiki torches and grill up some Sonoran dogs, The Apaches have your playlist covered. You can sample “Pistoleros”, the opening track from Vol. III & IV, or you can just head here to score that complete album.

Saying Goodbye to Good Friends

good friends great enemies 001by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

It was a sad, sad day when Phoenix had to bid farewell to Good Friends Great Enemies. Mourners gathered at The Trunk Space for one last show before the band parted ways. The celebratory event was only somewhat marred by the funereal atmosphere – like an amicable breakup or an anniversary of sobriety. There was that resolve to stick to the motto, “We’re celebrating this!,” but you just can’t ignore the sorrow sulking in the corner.

As a longtime participant in local music life, I’ve come to recognize the ongoing pattern of little deaths that happen as we move through the years. Bands come and go. Musicians move away or move on. And, as we gathered one last time with Good Friends, people lingered outside to trade remembrances of the band and, ultimately, of their time spent on the scene.

Of course, all of that stopped with Good Friends Great Enemies took to the stage. The audience remained captivated throughout the extended set, trying to stay present for as long as the moment allowed before its passing. It was a night for a community to celebrate the end of an era.

Of course, while Good Friends Great Enemies might be no more, the musicians involved have not actually, you know, died. They are alive and well and ready to pursue new havens for their talents. And, what’s more, they left behind one last collection of musical musings for fans and friends (and maybe enemies) alike.

I had a chance to chat with Evan Bisbee about the new album, , what adventures lie ahead, and the life and death of Good Friends Great Enemies.  Check out our interview below, but I also suggest you hit play to start listening to Esoterotica (assuming you aren’t at work or standing in line at the MVD)…

YabYum: One last rad album before parting ways? Was that the plan all along? Mainly, I’m just curious if you went into this album knowing that it was going to be the last.

Evan Bisbee: Glad to hear you think the album is rad, I’m hoping people are listening to it. It was not the plan to end with it, we went into the record wanting to do something special but didn’t have plans to end the band until we were well into the process.

So where are you living these days? What led to your decision to change area codes?

I’m living in downtown Phoenix these days! I will be moving to the Bay Area in a few months, however. Mostly for personal reasons (general change of scenery, spend more time with my partner who lives out there) and, with the band ending, it seemed like the right time. We decided to end the band before I made the choice to move.

I caught the band’s final show at The Trunk Space (from the merch table). There was an almost tangible sense of camaraderie in the room that evening. Do you feel that the local music community has been supportive one?

I saw most of the show from the merch table as well that night, great acoustics. The local community has been very supportive, and we were humbled by the amount of people who came out to say goodbye (great memories) and stood there for all 75 minutes of our set. I think we’ve connected with our audience over the years and I’m grateful for those who have seen us in all our various forms or for those who clocked in at certain times, and I think it’s awesome that there was a handful of people whose first Good Friends show was literally the last!

I really am heartbroken that this band has come to its conclusion. I guess we’ve been covering you for five years now. And five years, in Phoenix music terms, can be a lifetime. We watched Long Wongs come and go (again). Parliament popped up and passed. What are some of the memorable people/places/moments that will live on in your heart/mind as you venture to new locales?

Yeah, five years in Phoenix can feel like a long time. What was especially wild for me and Max [Greenwald, bass/guitar] and Bryce [Broome, percussion] was thinking about the amount of time we played together before even being officially Good Friends Great Enemies. When you factor in the Sweeps and a handful of other iterations we’ve been playing some of those songs (“Fool’s Ghost”, for instance) since 2009 basically. Big ol’ Dang.

Long Wong’s was kind of when the three of us started hitting our stride and meeting people we would end up playing with or around for the rest of our time. Prior to that I surfed Craigslist and we’d play ripoff pay-to-play shows with random shady out of town promoters or literally go to open mics and shred to a handful of dads.

If I’m not mistaken we met the Sundressed boys, Kristina Moore, All My Friends (Thin Bloods), North Dakota, Playboy Manbaby, Man-Cat, Huckleberry, Treasure Mammal, St. Ranger, Jerusafunk, Sunn Trio and many others during that period. Given, that also included shows at the Fixx and house shows (several at our place). We had already played with Dylan Pratt and Boss Frog because of our Cave Creek Connection. Beside a couple house shows we mostly have the Walkingstick Presents dudes and Robbie Pfeffer to thank for booking us!

Parliament was sort of an extension of this period and we also started getting more familiar with the Lolipop Records crew, as well as sort of see all those bands above evolve or die. We morphed to a four piece around this time, with Isaac Parker joining to play keys. I remember one show we played at Crescent called the Paper Knife Potpourri with Roar, Wolvves, and Pictures of Cake. What a weird bill!

We went on a memorable tour with Mr. Elevator to Florida during that time. We drove all the way from St. Augustine, Florida and back home to Phoenix in one go to get Max back home in time to take a final on Monday morning, and we left Florida Saturday night. Those were also the only five shows we played with a substitute drummer. We staged this thing at our kickoff so that it looked like Soup was quitting the band and then Matt Tanner magically knew the rest of the set and sat in. We played it too dry though so I’m not sure the audience really gathered that it was staged. Andy Kaufman would be proud! That’s around when we started switching up the original line up and for a minute we were playing with me on guitar, Ike on baritone, Max on bass, but we would switch around during shows too.

We went to SXSW for the second time shortly after we made this transition and looking back I feel like those were some awesome shaky confused sets. I had no idea what a guitar pedal was. It was awesome. It’s like our band was constantly going through puberty or something.

Our next evolution was to get Joseph Amos in the group. We played with him as a four piece for about a year. And, if I’m not mistaken, we played the opening night of Valley Bar with Roar and Treasure Mammal. It was cool having a horn in the mix, and Joe was more than capable at handling any leads. He really makes Cautiously Poptimistic [previous Good Friends album] shine, if you ask me. Not to mention all the hours that Corey Dillier put into mixing that bad boy. After we released that record we changed again and that’s when Zack [Parker, guitar] and Eamon [Ford, keys] joined. For one beautiful four-minute song during our Cautiously Poptimistic release show we had six people on stage to play “Similar Things”.

What’s up next for you and the other members of Good Friends Great Enemies? 

Okay let’s see…

Eamon will likely continue to record all your favorite bands in town at Audile Collective and shred the guitar in Pro Teens.

Zack will continue to humbly hold it down in all your other favorite bands in town, currently playing in Jfunk, Pro Teens, Roar, and Sunn Trio. He’s also got some material up his sleeve but it’s not my place to share that with you so I’ll leave it mysterious.

Max will continue to play with Sunn Trio; and he and his partner, Mariah Brown, have been playing in their own (mellow and feely and technical and awesome) project called Malta. I believe they’re recording right now so you can expect some good tunes from them at some point. He will also be working toward his masters in music therapy at ASU starting this Fall.

Bryce (Peasoup) is joining the Peace Corps and moving to Vanuatu for the next two years where he will be doing his part to make the world a better place! I’m under the impression he’s gonna miss playing drums but I wouldn’t put it past him to fasten a kit together with twine and palm husks out there in the Pacific.

My immediate future entails touring with Mr. Elevator and moving to the Bay. I’m writing new songs but I don’t really know when or in what shape they’ll be released, but you better believe I’m channeling my existential dread into music.

Isaac is living and playing in NYC, and Joe is raising his son to be the best King he can be right here in Phoenix.

~

YabYum Seven: Mignon Gould

mignon gould 01Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Mignon Gould and I am the founder and Agent-in-Chief of TheChicSpy.com, an online style and entertainment publication featuring the works of creatives in fashion, film, and pop culture.

How did you get your start?

Several years ago I worked for The Arizona Republic. I wrote for their weekly style publication called “Yes”, as well as a few of their other magazines. After leaving the newspaper, I went to graduate school in San Francisco, received an MFA in Fashion Journalism with an emphasis in Multimedia Studies. I used my publication as my thesis and decided to launch it into a business.

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All photos courtesy of Mignon Gould

What inspires you?

I’m so inspired by my family in all that I do. Creatively my mother was inspirational. She is a clarinetist and performed for the Phoenix Symphony. She also enjoyed pottery. She created this amazing chess set when she was 16 and it’s mine now. It’s beautiful and the details on the pieces are amazing.

As a publisher, writer and entrepreneur, I’m also inspired by my 3rd great uncle John James Neimore, who in 1879 founded The California Eagle, one of the first African-American newspapers in California. He was in his teens. I can’t imagine how super focused he had to be to do something so groundbreaking at that age, and in that era.

What do you like about AZ?

I love the arts community and how unpretentious and enriching it is here. After all, we have one of the leading fashion collections in this country at Phoenix Art Museum, and we have one of the most attended art events in the nation with Artlink’s First Friday Art Walk. In the Valley, art is accessible for everyone.

mignon gould 03Where can we see you(r) work?

You can view my work at thechicspy.com and mignongould.com. You can read my featured commentary on fashion and pop culture topics here.

What would you like to accomplish before you die?

I would like to have helped others achieve their professional goals. I’m currently preparing to launch Chic Spy Studio, a virtual internship program for college students and recent graduates in journalism, fashion, media, marketing, and design. I piloted the program in 2013 with students from around the country including Arizona State University in Tempe, Syracuse University in New York, and Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I originally launched my website to create a portfolio of my written work. I was able to get a job at a newspaper with that portfolio. Now, I want to create a platform that helps others land their dream job.

What is your mantra?

Carpe Diem. I wrote a poem in the 90s, and keep it with me always. It keeps me marching on, knowing no mission is impossible:

Have you ever wanted to create a new version of you
Someone who’d always know what to do
A feeling of strength and power divine
No limits or boundaries to draw the line
Carpe Diem is to seize the day
Become who you want
Make your own way
It’s now or never, I’ve heard some say
Now is the time, to seize the day

~

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Why You Should Listen: Pent Up

pent up 01by Frank Ippolito
Staff Writer

Believe it or not, I’ve seen my share of hardcore punk shows. From JFA to The Crucifucks, and in later years, even the Meat Puppets. So, when I saw Pent Up on the super duper oh so secret music list posted by the mighty mighty YabYum, I immediately snatched it up to see what the kids are listening and playing these days.

And you know what? I’m very pleasantly angered. In a good way.

In Jail takes me back, and then, pushes me forward. Back, in that, the boys of Pent Up – Seth, Micah, Tim, and Alex – have this Circle Jerks quality without aping the sound to sound like them.

And forward because it is stupid easy to roll out of bed, throw three chords together, shout at the top of your lungs (Seth does that very well by the way), and throw together meaningless lyrics, and call it a recording session. This 7-track record goes from opener “Throw Me In” to closer “Free” in a little over 9 minutes – well played gentlemen, well played.

Why you should listen: Because I believe every word and note the band plays. Maybe you will, too.

What you should listen for: Listen for the track, “Feed”. They may fucking hate this, but the lead guitar line is a punk homage to the lead from Nirvana’s “Heart Shape Box” and I loved it. It’s a compliment, guys, trust me.

What they sound like: A jackhammer relentlessly pounding against a steel wall, inside an echo chamber. Magic.

Perfect listening for: When really want to beat the shit out of a politician, not naming names. Or boxing. (I’ll be using it for the latter.)

My favorite part: That hardcore punk is alive and well and hopefully there’s more from Pent up, as well as the other bands on Tempe’s Blacksmith’s Blood Inc. label.

Check out In Jail by Pent Up below.

Grammy Winning La Santa Cecilia Takes Center Stage At Tempe Center for the Arts

la santa cecilia 03by Nicole Royse
Arts Editor

La Santa Cecilia’s new album is a unique contemporary blend of traditional Mexican and Latin American music titled Amar y Vivir.

Ditching the traditional recording studio, they decided to pay tribute to their musical heroes by recording the entire album over a 5 day period live on the streets, in the bars, and at the parks of Mexico City.

Amar y Vivir is a brilliant 12-song album that truly captures the essence of Mexico, important musical collaborations, as well as its band members and their love for music. The band states that, “The visual album is an exploration of the bands roots and counts with the collaboration of the iconic Mexican singer Eugenia Leon, Chilean star Mon Laferte and the legendary Mariachi America amongst others.”

Kicking off the release of their new album is a brief tour this coming May including stops in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico. They will make their first stop however in Arizona at the beautiful Tempe Center for the Arts on Friday, April 14 at 7:30 PM.

la santa cecilia 01Featuring vocalist La Marisoul, accordionist/ requinto player Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendaña and percussionist Miguel “Oso” Ramirez and named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia seamlessly blend their Mexican and Latin influences with American Culture, creating a sound all their own and highlighting their tremendous pride and respect for Mexico and its culture.

Making powerful songs that are diverse, engaging, and vibrant showcasing captivating musical arrangements and commanding lyrics, this band understands the power and influence of music, not shying away from difficult topics such as immigration, migrant workers, environmental consciousness, and anti-violence. A beautiful example of this is their poignant rendition of “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

Their last album Buenaventura, showcased the band’s “gratitude for making music, traveling and performing throughout the world, and living a life filled with love and music” and went on to be nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Best Pop/Rock Album category. They also won a Grammy in 2014 in the “Best Latin Urban, Rock or Alternative” category for their full-length studio album Treinta Días.

Promising to be an unforgettable show, don’t miss an incredible evening with the talented band La Santa Cecilia this Friday, April 14 at Tempe Center for the Arts! Get your tickets here and check out a sneak peak of what to expect from La Santa Cecilia’s latest album Amar y Vivir and the creative process behind it with this recently released trailer below.

~

Tempe Center for the Arts is Located at 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe 85251. All images are courtesy and copyright of La Santa Cecilia.

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