Feb
28
2010

Shelby James & Los Ghetto Sugar Things

Shelby @ Valley Fever

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, February 28, 2010 - 11:59:03 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Photobox ImageSo it's been a big music weekend, and quite a while since we've been to the Yucca. Tonight was Shelby's gig there. We'd expected it to be the new band, up until a few hours before. Instead Shelby was solo with DJ Dana spinning tracks between sets, which seemed like a good way to wind down from the weekend. Valley Fever, Sunday night, nothing too out of the ordinary can happen, can it?

Photobox ImageIt was a good turn out, and it was quite enjoyable seeing Shelby, and the set included a bunch of great new songs that not even we've heard yet. Great set and seemed like what I would have expected, a nice way to wrap up the rock n' roll weekend. We stuck around after Shelby's set (which we, and I think he also thought was his last set). I ducked outside for a smoke as Dana fired up the LP's again, and an influx of people, obviously from the Sunday Night Healers gig, including a good portion of the Healers. And hence followed one of those magical Yucca nights. What I'm dubbing this time as Shelby James & Los Ghetto Sugar Thieves. After a few more songs solo, up on the stage with Shelbs were Norman, Marc Zubia, PC, Mike, Merideth Moore, Corey Gloden, Terry Garvin and Pete Gonzales in several different configurations, resulting in an amazing jam. As is the case whenever that happens, it just left you in awe of what was going on on the stage in front of you.

So much for the gig to "wind down" from the weekend - the night turned out to be just as exciting as the other nights this week.
Feb
27
2010

I Have Been Rocked

Stellanova and Tramps & Thieves @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, February 27, 2010 - 11:27:55 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
As the subject implies, tonight was awesome. The biggest part of the night (at least for me) was getting to see Lawrence Zubia perform. Despite having listened to the Chimeras/Pistoleros since late 1996, I've never seen Lawrence perform, nor have I actually ever seen him in person before tonight. Which I blame on 2005 and a Pistoleros show happening while I was here but didn't know about until days later.

Photobox ImageWe were a little late, and were glad to hear them still finishing up the soundcheck when we walked into Teakwoods. For some context, Stellanova is basically the band for the last year that has been known as N.A.P.P (North American Power Phenomenon), and that we'd seen at Rock For Tots last year, billed as Rusty Buckles. A Tempe super group of sorts, with Jim Swafford (The Feedbags), Thomas Laufenberg and Scott Andrews (The Pistoleros) and Phil Rhodes (Gin Blossoms). Recently they added Lawrence Zubia and changed their name to Stellanova. The addition of Zubia pretty makes them The Persuaders (of a few years ago), plus Jim Swafford - that's if my memory that Jim wasn't in the Persuaders is correct.

Despite N.A.P.P having been fairly hard rocking, I was expected somewhat of a Pistoleros-esque jangle with the addition of Lawrence to the band (which seems funny to say, given he's the vocalist, not guitarist). But nope, things were as pretty much as balls to the wall as with N.A.P.P, which I like! By the third song, it was pretty obvious that we have something on our hands here!

Photobox ImageSo my impression of Lawrence? Every bit the rock star that I imagined. Funnily enough he's a much smaller frames guy than you picture having listened to those throaty vocals over the past - what is it - 14 years or so I guess, but has all the stage presence and rock star moves (leaning forwards over the stage straddlin' the mic stand, spinning away from the mic during solos) that you'd kinda picture. And that voice. Not that long ago, we'd been discussing how sad it was that I'd never seen Lawrence perform, and at the time, while agreeing totally, I also commented that it's okay, because Mark Zubia is so awesome, and having him fronting Los Guys makes up for things. Which it does, but seeing Lawrence on stage definitely confirms that having both Zubia's active is by far the preferred option. Which also highlighted the point that given that both Zubias are so great, together must really be something. And as such, I really hope that those two at some point put the Pistoleros back together, even if it's just a one time thing that I get to witness. One can only hope.

Photobox ImageLaufenberg wailed on the guitar, which had me pretty captivated. We'd actually had a chat about bass vs. guitar last night at Dead Hot, and while I really enjoy seeing him play bass with Dead Hot Workshop and Stephen Ashbrook when he comes through town, I must saw, more Laufenberg on guitar, thank you very much! He's just so great to watch play. The songs themselves were very rocky *insert rock fingers here*, and completely hook laden. That, combined with Lawrence's amazing vocals left you (or at least us) with one strong feeling - get this shit down on CD! Really, the songs were awesome, and it's obvious that they'll be favorites after only a few listens.

And Phil. I may have said it before, but I'll say it again. If I were a drum kit and saw Phil Rhodes walking towards me, I'd be afraid. Never let it be said that that guy can't pound those skin.

Tramps was fun, which isn't really news to anyone. Lawrence, who stuck around for most of the night got up with them ad did Dead Flowers which was really cool.
Feb
27
2010

Good Day

Good Music and Aussie Food

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, February 27, 2010 - 08:34:01 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
So it's been a pretty good day. Some cool events early on prompted me to dig out some old live shows that I haven't really listened to in years and rip them for my iPod. That in itself was pretty cool.

Photobox ImageLater this afternoon, Katie tried here hand at making sausage rolls and meat pies. To quite impressive and exciting results! Sadly, even making them herself didn't change her distaste for the Aussie meat pie. [smile] It's probably going to take some more work to perfect the pastry side of things (on both accounts), however the meat in both (particularly the pies) was amazingly good!

My wife is awesome. [smile]
Feb
26
2010

Pena & Workshop

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, February 26, 2010 - 11:57:09 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Another fun night at Teakwoods. That pretty much goes without saying.

Photobox ImageJoe was amazing. Watching him play blows my mind. He's so seemless, the guitar is really like an extension of his body. I can't get over the fact that he throws in all this finger picking, but there is nothing in his right hand motion that indicates anything but a strum. The sounds he coaxes out of that tiny guitar really blow my mind. We showed up a few minutes for his set, but caught most of it, including great versions of Midnight Radio, Laying Down Lost and Rain.

Photobox ImageDead Hot was great. The benefits of the new PA at Teakwoods was immediately obviously. Not only did it make everyone sound a lot better (not that there was a problem with the sound at Teakwoods necessarily previously) and also really opens up the view of the stage. No longer is Thomas almost hidden behind a PA speaker.

It was nice to get to the couch tonight. Setlist wise the show was quite similar to other shows we've seen recently. The 3 new songs were stand outs again. One thing that I love about Dead Hot at Teakwoods is that you get two fair decent sets. The night ended with an exit from the stage after Noam Chomsky that honesty was worthy of an Olympic gold medal. [smile]
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Hard Day's Night
Feb
25
2010

More On The Music Horizon

...Otherwise Known As This Weekend

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:16:56 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Well it's a great weekend a head at Teakwoods, as previously mentioned. Tomorrow night is Joe Pena and Dead Hot Workshop. Saturday night is Stellanova and Tramps & Thieves.

The exciting news about that, other than it being Tramps' first show at Teakwoods is the opener, Stellanova. Who you might remember from such billings as "NAPP" and "Rusty Buckles". Which is pretty cool in itself. But added to the new name is a new band member. Replacing Swafford on vocals is the one and only Lawrence Zubia! Sweet. It's come up several times since we moved out here that I need the Lawrence live experience, since I haven't ever seen him live. Actually, I don't think I've ever seen him in person. So the fact that he is now fronting Stellanova is pretty cool. I actually thought that Jim did a really good job of fronting the band the one time we saw them, but if this is what is required to have Zubia back on stage, I'm down with it! [smile]
Now Playing: Crushed - Love My Way
Feb
24
2010

Nothing Not New, Dead Hot Workshop and Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 10:16:01 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Nothing Not New in this week's music section of the Phoenix New Times instigated a long and heated discussion tonight about how neither of us need to try "avant garde" shit (despite that technically we kinda do on weekly-ish basis anyway). Our long rant about so many facets of the article is actually too in depth to get into here, but the conversation by the end turned to Dead Hot Workshop, as so many music conversations do [wink], which prompted some listening, with in turn prompted a longing to see them. Which was immediately greeted with the welcomed reminder that in two days that will happen.

Speaking of the Workshop, we sat with Curtis for a bit a Teaks tonight. I guess he was involved in the new PA, which I must saw is a rad addition. The roof mounted monitors definitely sounded better to me. And adds to Teakwoods further becoming such a good place for live music. He did pose quite a good question - with the winter Olympics, was I rooting for Australia, or the US? Of course, neither of has spent a single second's attention on the Olympics, but if we had it would be a compelling decision.

Fun night overall, and given that at 5pm we were tossing up whether or not we were going to go, we were both glad we decided to go. I think it's safe to call ourselves Teakwood regulars, especially since our server simply asked as whether we wanted "the usual", and at the end of the night "see you next Wednesday". We both enjoyed that our bill referred to us as "the couch couple". [smile]

On the way home we were listening to Shelby James, which prompted us (particularly Katie) to see Shelbs. Unfortunately he wasn't playing by that time.

Getting back to the New Times article - thanks, but no thanks. I think I'll happily remain a critic and a fan, and listen to much for a reason. (More on that later probably.)
Now Playing: Shelby James & The Crying Shames - Leaving In The Morning
Feb
21
2010

Another Of Life Goals Achieved

Finding The Infamous NME Brick

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 07:47:19 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Photobox ImageWhen I was out here in 2005, one of the things I really wanted to find was the Blossoms / Dead Hot brick that appears on in the sleeve of New Miserable Experience. It has always been a frustration and sore point to me that after a lengthy search, we got nowhere and I left Arizona having never seen the brick, despite spotting some other notable ones including the one for the Beat Angels.

On our second attempt today, we left victorious, which was very rewarding, especially after today's 45 minute search. Katie was the lucky one to spot it first. And such, finding it and seeing it person closes a long running chapter in the book of "things I must do before I die". [smile]
Feb
20
2010

Robin Wilson & Muddy Violets @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, February 20, 2010 - 11:12:02 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Photobox ImageTonight has been much anticipated all week, and didn't disappoint. Just looking around Teakwoods, there was no mistaking the draw that Robin Wilson has, with no shortage of familiar faces.

Photobox ImageI had somewhat expected Robin's set to be an opening set, however, it was nothing short of a full blown show. Although he was a bit late to hit the stage, it was a quite lengthy set, including quite a few new tunes, and dedicated songs to people that had shown up left right and center.

Photobox ImageMuddy Violets were acoustic, which isn't what I had expected, but it was a treat as the full band acoustic sounded great. Not the band you'd typically pick to work acoustic, however it really did and was an experience. I think they played pretty much everything off of Reclamation. I certainly enjoyed seeing Open Wide which I haven't seen on their set lists.

Awesome night, and Teakwoods was certainly the place to be tonight! As it will be all next weekend!
Feb
20
2010

Zia Records In Chandler

And Free Pretzels

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 04:32:23 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music)
Had a fun afternoon this afternoon. We hit up another valley Zia Records location. This time the Chandler store, which was quite impressive. The just leaves on in the valley we haven't been to, and the two in Tucson. And technically the two in Vegas I guess.

It's not difficult for me to loose hours at Zia, and this afternoon was no different. We did come across some cool old local vinyl which made the trip worthwhile.

The original reason for going out was free pretzels at Aunt Annie's, which we made the most of hitting up stores both in Tempe and Chandler, and getting $12 worth of pretzels for free. That's what I call a bargin.
Feb
18
2010

New Long Wongs @ The Firehouse

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:13:09 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
This week's issue of the New Times has a write up on the grand opening of the new Long Wongs on Apache.

This is one in a succession of positive press aimed at the restaurant. By all accounts I don't believe that those associated with the real Long Wongs in Tempe (the long gone Long Wongs on Mill) are too happy about the Firehouse location trading on the old Wongs' reputation. So reading the New Times suggestion that is going to be the new hang for the likes of Truckers On Speed, Los Guys and Gloritone makes me think that the New Times writers are out of the loop with what is going on. For my money, all bands are more likely to be found playing at the new Teakwoods in Phoenix. As a matter of fact, I've already seen Los Guys play there twice.

It's annoying too, since (and maybe I've just missed it) I haven't seen the New Times giving Teakwoods write ups, which is clearly the cool place to be if you're into the old Mill Avenue scene. It might not be called "Long Wongs", and it might not be in Tempe, but Teakwoods is everything that the new Long Wongs is claiming to be, and the New Times is giving it props for. Sad.
Feb
18
2010

Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 10:38:10 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Well, this is just damn spooky - in a good way!

On Saturday afternoon I'd mentioned how there were only two bands that haven't played at Teakwoods, but should. Strange Young Things and Domo.

So on Saturday night at Teakwoods we talking to Corey and Sara, who brought up the idea of Strange Young Things playing, and by the end of the night had them booked, which we found quite pleasing and can't wait for.

The latest news is that Domo's CD release party in April will be at - you guessed it - Teakwoods! Too cool.

With this sort of run, I should just think up a bunch of other bands that should play there! [smile]
Feb
14
2010

Valentines Day

Hiking Camelback and the Hard Rock Hotel

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, February 14, 2010 - 09:44:44 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
For Valentines Day we hiked Camelback Mountain, which was a wholly new experience for us. It actually looked like it wasn't going to happen, it taking us a long time to work out the parking situation. Given that Camelback is such a destination for hiking in Phoenix, it's quite a surprise how little parking there is. Either way, it was kinda nice driving around the Camelback area. We almost aborted and went to Papago instead, but ended up parking at 64th Street and walking up to the Cholla Trail head. Which was a bit of a hike itself.

Photobox ImageIn anycase, we got started around 4pm, with not much preconception about how far we were going to go, moreso with the idea to have a fun afternoon. it wasn't too long before we had some decent elevation behind us. Surprisingly the Cholla Trail wasn't that hard - though at the same time rewarding, as it was more that the usual drive up South Mountain. There were pretty good views of the valley pretty early on. We stopped for a while before deciding that we should push ahead. Pretty much right after I commented how easy the trail was, it got a bit more trepidatous. Oh how I love to eat my own words. Still completely doable by novices like us, but certainly requiring a bit more effort and climbing ability. The view continued to get better as we climbed higher and higher. When ended up getting about a mile across, where the trail crosses over the the north side of the mountain a bit. Which looked quite easy to do that bit, however with the sun starting to set, we decided to call it a day and head back, particularly because we weren't going to get any better views from where we were.

Photobox ImageWhile we were up there, there was a pretty cool sunset. Although it was mostly obscured by the summit (basically the peak of Camelback's front hump) it was still a decent site. Looking out to the north east valley (Scottsdale and beyond) it was pretty impressive the red tinge that was cast over it.

Despite the fact that we turned around before the end of the trail, we both had a sense of conquering Camelback, even though looking on the map it doesn't look like we went that far. Given that we didn't neccesarily set out to go intense with the hike, it was certainly an accomplishment. And a good thing that we did turn around when we did, as it was reasonable dark by the time we got back to the bottom. While if it weren't for the time I'd have wanted to continue on, very soon into the descent back down the trail I started to notice that the hike had been pretty hard work and all of a sudden was starting to feel it.

The walk back to the car was a bit cruel. [smile] But we made it the half mile or whatever it is back to the car, and headed to the Hard Rock Cafe in Phoenix for our traditional Valentine's Day dinner. This year it was a lot easier to make happen and not requiring any flights interstate. [wink] We had a great time, the food was great. We witnessed a marriage proposal on the Hard Rock stage, which was cute.

Overall it was a really great day!
Feb
13
2010

Gloden, Zubia & Pena @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 11:59:31 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Our crazy 4 day run of music continued tonight at Teakwoods. A very fun night. We had a cool chat with Corey before his set.

While I was expecting it to be just Zubs acoustic, Gary and PC were there, making it more of a Los Guys event.

I'd actually forgotton that Joe Pena was scheduled to play. Like Los Guys, the whole band played, so it was a Greyhound Soul gig, rather than Joe solo. I thought it was cool getting to see Winston Watson play (who I don't think was with them in 2006 when I saw them). They did a great gig, and a cool bonus given that I completely forgot that Pena was on the bill.

Afterwards I had a cool talk with Joe about moving out here from Australia. I meant to ask him what the deal with the night being recorded, but unfortunately the conversation got caught short. I do hope the recording of the whole night surfaces.
Feb
13
2010

Muddy Violets @ South Mountain Park

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, February 13, 2010 - 07:30:16 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Last night I saw that Muddy Violets were playing today at South Mountain Park. Without much details at all, we ventured out today to try and find the gig.

Thankfully, it wasn't that hard to find where they were playing. Equally thankfully, like us, the band was a bit late, and it appeared they were just finishing the sound check as we rocked up.

Photobox ImageThis was such a cool gig in my mind, great rock 'n roll in the middle of the desert. Nothing gets closer to 'desert rock' than something like this, if you ask me. [smile] The sun beating down was pretty warm, and the whole thing just made me think that I wish there were more gigs out here.

After their set we did some cruising around the bottom of South Mountain before heading home.
Feb
12
2010

Tramps & Thieves / Strange Young Things @ Hollywood Alley

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, February 12, 2010 - 11:59:02 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Sometime paying a cover is worth it, even when you're watching money. Tonight was one of those nights with Tramps & Thieves and Strange Young Things at Hollywood Alley.

The opening band, Quarter Inch Crown were pretty enjoyable. Although the set started out somewhat dissident and reminencent of the Meat Puppets (the comparison maybe somewhat influenced by Back Waters coming on before they played), the second half of their set was more poppy and melodic. Certainly there were a couple songs I wouldn't mind checking out on myspace.

Photobox ImageTramps were up next, and played a quite varied set including stuff fromm Mill Avenue Cowboys, Spittin' Into The Wind, Perinnals and also a new one, which was cool. Glodie was up on stage a few times, lending backup vocals, namely on Why Have You Been Gone So Long. Loved when Emmett announced that he'd be back on stage in 25 minutes and will be rolling around on the floor - funny, 'cause it's true! [smile]

Photobox ImageAnd as promised, Strange Young Things were up last. Not being at Yucca, the question of the night (for me anyway) was whether the different venue was going to mean less SYT ridiculous. Pretty soon, the resounding answer was 'no'. [smile] It didn't take long before Corey was off the stage, wandering around the tables, sitting down and helping himself to people's fries, pouring beer over himself, barely avoiding unplugging himself and generally all around being - well - Corey Gloden. [smile] We were actually sitting at the table front and center, and given that you can never tell at any minute what is going to happen at a SYT show we were right in the line of fire. Though, we didn't have Corey jump up on our table, which frankly seemed inevitable.

Great set by the guys, played all the new stuff, and some of the old ones. It was quite cool when Emmett jumped up for Left Breast Pocket. Dan wasn't present, and David from the Sugar Thieves filled in doing a good job of things (which is saying something, given how much of Dan's intense playing I am). Richard Pollman was there and got up to beat the skins on Get Your Fire For Free which was really cool to witness.

Since we were sitting up front, it was a rare opportunity to get some good shots (and some video) of the band. Generally that's just impossible due to the amount of rocking out that happens, making photo taking unfessable.

Anytime you see SYT, you're left with wishing they played every damn night! The upside is that we're seeing Corey at Teakwoods tomorrow night with Mark Zubia.
Now Playing: Gas Giants - Letter
Feb
12
2010

From The Cool Shows File

Robin Wilson Opening For Muddy Violets

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, February 12, 2010 - 08:41:40 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
We already had next week's Muddy Violets show in the calendar. It's been quite a while since we've seen the whole band.

Tonight Sara just posted the flier for the show which makes it even cooler.

Muddy Violets @ Teakwoods, Phoenix, AZ - February 20, 2010

Robin Wilson is opening. Sweet! This will be my first time seeing Robin Wilson solo and acoustic. Good times.

What do I always say about Teakwoods being so cool?
Now Playing: Eric Douglas - Mile High And Risin'
Feb
12
2010

Vi And No End Of Line

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, February 12, 2010 - 01:51:34 pm
(Posted Under: Development)
This is a constant problem. Editing files in vim that don't have an end of line character at the end of the file results in an end of line character being added when saving.

It's probably fine to terminate every file with an end of line, though it annoys me when I do a cvs diff on code and get more line changes that are actually warranted with a given bug fix or code update. It generally happens from creating a file in a Windows editor (namely Textpad) without a final end of line and then doing some work in vim and saving. Typically I'll open the file back up in Textpad, remove the end of line and resave before comitting the code, but that can be a pain when I specifically want to keep working in vim, or if I don't have a Windows editor handy (or feel like navigating through a whole bunch of folders to open the file in Windows).

I have pretty much found the solution to the problem.

Under Windows/cygwin it's relatively easy - remove the end of line, "set binary noeol" in vim and save the file. That does the trick.

Under Linux, it's a can bit more of a pain.

  • "set binary noeol" works fine on Unix (\n only) files
  • On Windows (\r\n) files, the binary option removes all \r's, which will cause far more havock on a cvs diff [smile] However, it seems that doing a unix2dos on the saved files will return the file to \r\n) line endings, without causing the final end of line to be re-added.
With that said, I should just add eol's to files to avoid any hassles, but since I'm more likely to only do that on a separate development/cleanup branch, the above trick is handy for day to day workings with files.
Feb
10
2010

An Ode To Longer Days

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 09:26:40 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
So the brunt of winter must be over. Driving out to Teakwoods tonight it was still light, which was a nice change. This week we actually were on top of things and actually got there on time (which is a turn out for the books), actually showing up before the band had set up and Sara was up on the stage with them. A nice change for us. But the fact that the sun was still is a testament to the days getting longer, not just the fact that we left earlier. Even Bobby mentioned it.

Fun night as always. I love that at one point I thought to myself "it'd be cool if they did Follow You Down", and they did the very next song - sweet. There was also a cool acoustic version of Luna, and one of Another One. The one in my mind really works acoustically.
Feb
10
2010

Worst News Of The Day

Tempe Music Festival 2010 Canceled

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - 03:50:08 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
One of my first ever experiences of Tempe was Tempe Music Festival. It was 2005, I'd touched down in Phoenix probably 6 hours earlier. My first night in Tempe started out at the Tempe Music Festival to see Roger Clyne & P.H Naffah play acoustic. It was totally cool, and a good introduction to seeing live music in Tempe. The show was great, kazoos were thrown into the crowd, it was back when I was still really into them, we caught a bit of Collective Soul and would have seen +Live+, if it weren't for a certain blonde hair guitarist playing in Scottsdale later that night (which added to my incredible first night in Tempe, but that's another story - which you can find on my blog).

Since then, I've watched as every line up has been announced, pained by not getting to attend. Particularly the following 2 (or was it 3?) years when the sed blonde haired guitarist's famous band headlined the festival. I can not say how much I've anticipated being able to do Tempe Music Festival again. And as such, it's been something I've really looked forward to leading up to, and since moving to the valley of the sun. Since October I've been all over checking for the lineup announcement, which by now I knew was very imminent.

And thus comes the sucky news today, courtesy of Phoenix New Times's Up On The Sun blog. It 2010, I'm here in Tempe, I'm ready to rock, but Tempe Music Fest Canceled. I guess the article states that the company that hosts the festival is "planning" on pulling the plug, but I know enough about this sort of stuff (particularly here) to know that signs of the worst mean the worst.

File this under the most disappointing news of the day so far. The irony of it being canceled this year, now that I live in Tempe, is just incredible!
Feb
09
2010

What's Better Than Breakfast At Denny's?

A Free Breakfast At Dennys

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 01:42:19 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Free breakfast at Denny's today for all of America. We stopped in after an interview Katie had in North Scottsdale. Pretty sweet.

It's interesting how many old people turned back around when discovering that there was a list and a wait (which was only about 10 minutes for us). Firstly, honestly, who passes up a free breakfast? A more importantly, what better thing do old farts have to do but wait? Really, not one person under 40 (who'd you expect to busy on a Tuesday at 11 o'clock did so, but those oldies turned around in droves!
Feb
07
2010

Violet Wild @ Teakwoods

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, February 7, 2010 - 11:30:53 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
So it looks like I picked the winner of the Super Bowl - go me!

There was no kidding that Violet Wild were going on right after the game. We left right after it finished, and expected to be waiting around for a while, but we showed up and they were already in the middle of One More Second Chance, and a good way through their first set!

Photobox ImageAs always, the guys rocked. Certainly sitting there, I did think it's hard to lament the whole Long Wong's old days thing. Teakwoods is such a cool place to see music, every show we see there is great, Bobby was sporting one of the new Wongs shirts (meaning that which Sara Cina has added to the Cina Designs line, not implying a Firehouse one). Of course, I'm sure that tomorrow, without the band in front of me, being able to lament the old days will be easy (because, honestly, how can you not), but it doesn't change the fact that - we'll, the past is gone, but something might be found to take it's place.

While rocking out to Along To The Ride I also thought how glad that Violet Wild have held onto the old Mink Rebellion songs. When it comes to the album, I've always thought the older stuff doesn't quite hold up as well as the newer stuff the guys wrote together. (Not to say that I've always enjoyed the cross over, having been really into Mink Rebellion before Violet Wild formed). But with that said, getting to see that band live (which is generally more ruckus on record), it's really awesome that most of the Mink Rebellion songs are getting played even after the demise of the band. Not getting go out and see Along For The Ride (to name just one) would really suck.

Anyways, Serifini was absent from the stage, in his place Paul Fenix, which was really cool to get to see him with the band, especially given the fact that he is an original member.

Tonight also highlighted how well Bobby does Robert Plant. Obviously when it comes to the whole Zep covers thing, you immediately think of Keven and The Black Moods, but Bobby really does nail it when they do the whole Without You / Rock 'N Roll / Without You medley. Which prompts the thought that we both had - why doesn't Bobby just front the new Black Moods? I'd never before thought that would work, but after tonight, I'm not quite sure that it wouldn't.

The other revelation tonight was during Breakdown - which I've been seeing them do both acoustic and full band for weeks now (as well as Shelby a few weeks ago). But it only dawned on me tonight that it's the song that Loco To Stay Sane is always compared to. I completely say it tonight, and it's quite a polarizing similarly, even though it's taken me about 6 years to realized (due to having never heard Breakdown until recently. I'm probably not going to be able to listen to Loco the same way again.

The final thought of the night (god, I did a bit, didn't I?) was the talent that we have in this town. I know that some people reading my blog / Facebook are reading about people, that in their minds are "nobodies" - which is actually totally fine, and a completely valid reaction - I'm not talking about The Black Eyed Peas or Kings Of Leon or anything. However, the fact does remain that we're spoilt in this town, and the rest of the world that are oblivious to their existence are missing out. Both Violet Wild and Strange Young Things are the epitimy of that. Sitting there watching Violet Wild (and it similarly always happens with SYT), what rings through is, to quote Bobby "you're ready for the big time now, uh huh!". Because they are, and you can't help but feel a bit spoilt that you can see these guys regularly at home at Teakwoods, when they really should be playing national stages. Which gets into a bit of a juxtaposition - it's kinda frustrating that such talent is overlooked. But it's also damn nice having such talent for yourself and easily accessible. While I'd love to see these guys being huge, it'd be really hard to loose the coolness of seeing them regularly at Teakwoods!
Now Playing: Red Rockers - Folsome Prison Blues
Feb
07
2010

Superbowl Sunday

It's All About The Ads Baby

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, February 7, 2010 - 05:30:38 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
We're watching the Superbowel and I've decided to root for New Orleans, although we're not watching the game that closely. Katie however is enthralled by the ads, which there doesn't seem to be any shortage of.

Once the game is over we're heading out to Teakwoods for Violet Wild's post game gig.
Feb
05
2010

Jason Longo @ Train Tracks Quater Finals

...And The Yucca Expansion

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, February 5, 2010 - 11:48:19 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Seeing Jason perform was cool, a nice little set outside the Phoenix Arts Museum. It's pretty cool to see them exposed to the crowd (which made parking fun) that was down there for the event.

We were both glad that there was formal voting set up, and hence could put in our votes for them to play Tempe Music Festival this year.

On the way home we stopped in at Yucca to check out the new expansion, which is finished, and as far as I can tell opened tonight. Looks like a pretty cool hang. However, we'd expected the west wall of Yucca to have come down, which isn't the case. So, in theory, the next time What Laura Says plays, you still won't be able to move! [wink] Certainly I would predict, especially if Yucca remains one of the only live venues in Tempe, that will come. But either way, it looks pretty cool in there, and I like the old Yucca style booths in the new place. Old Yucca hasn't changed much, other the two new doors (near the exit, and near the booths) going to and from the expansion.

I'm sure we'll get to give it a proper try out before long. It's kinda weird that we don't have any Yucca shows on the immediate horizon (there's a first time for everything I guess), hence why we decided to pop our heads in tonight, to still at least be ahead of the game.

The bouncer did confirm with us that we had current ideas even though "I know you guys are always here", which made me think two things - the first being that it'd have been cool to whip out my cool new AZ ID (if it had of been required). And the second - it's pretty damn cool already being a recognizable Yucca regular. [smile]
Feb
05
2010

Jason Longo @ Phoenix Art Museum

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, February 5, 2010 - 05:49:35 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
We're going down to the Phoenix Arts Museum tonight to see Jason Longo (with Curtis, Thomas and Jeff) compete in the quarter finals for the Train Tracks, competing for a spot at Tempe Music Fest. Should be fun.

Jason's comment about "Thomas Muffin McLaufenblurr" is literally the coolest thing I've ever heard Thomas called. [lol]
Now Playing: The Black Moods - Sick In Bed (Live @ Last Exit)
Feb
04
2010

Down Under Lawsuit

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 01:53:16 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Rants)
Fill this under "Un-Bloddy Australian"...

We just caught wind of this - probably because we'd left Australia at the time the lawsuit first came up.

This sort of thing particular disgusts me, and is so un-Australian. I can't begin to count the number of times I've heard Down Under my life, and not on of them has it even dawned on me that the flute riff sounds anything like Kookaburra Sits In The Gum Tree. Nor anyone else in the world for 29 years! All of a sudden trying to sue and collect royalties for something that went completely unnoticed until someone on Spicks & Specks brought it up is detestable. And how firstly Kookaburra isn't just public domain, and second how the judge didn't just throw it out is ridiculous.

What next? Is Kraft going to sue because Men At Work used the word "Vegemite" in the song?

I hope Colin and Co appeal and the lawsuit gets over turned.
Now Playing: Crushed - Love My Way
Feb
03
2010

Josh & Bobby / Scotty & Steve

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - 11:59:59 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
A fun night of music last night. We were fashionable late to Teakwoods for Josh & Bobby, which seems to happen to us on Wednesday nights. They pulled out Follow You Down, which Josh announced that we'd probably hear a "slightly" different version later on, given that early we'd said that we were going over to see Scotty afterwards.

Some other good news from Josh - Black Moods show at Martini Ranch next month! Awesome! There is no shortage of cool music shit going on in the valley since our return!

Ironically, they normally finish right on 8, but tonight they played well past 8 - when of course we needed to get down to the Vig. There was even a big response for "more" at 8:15, which prompted Water & Chemicals being busted out after No Rain. Once things were done, we high tailed it down Indian School to The Vig. Which was nice and quiet, probably because of the rain, and got seats right up the front. Both Steve and Scotty were in fine form. The brilliance of Larson came out when he wrote and impromptu song about the rain on the spot. It's one of those things that generally happens for about 30 seconds before getting shut down. But not tonight, Steve went all the way, seemlessly pulling out an entire song off the top of his head, with Scotty joining it. It was absolute gold. Once again Scotty had a solo portion of the night, pulling out on new song and a fair few covers - including "the one that pays the bills" - Follow You Down. So as Josh had predicted, we did get to see that one twice in the one night.

Other highlights were Steve doing You Got Gold (whoah, a blast from the past), Just Like Heaven (hearing it with Scotty was pretty cool) and a quite entertaining attempt at Wish You Were Here. If anything can make a Pink Floyd song okay, it's those two trying to pull it off. Scotty also had a ball doing Promise Land (aka "that Elvis song").

At the end of the night we had a cool chat to both Scotty and Steve which was nice. Got the update on where the new Blossoms album is out at what not. Fun times. Steve confirmed that this is going to be a regular first Wednesday of the month affair, which is very cool!

We didn't end up making it to Strange Young Things which was unfortunate, but in easy decision, especially since we didn't get to The Vig until around 8:30, and it was just too much fun to leave early to go the the Rogue Bar. It's a shame that this is one of the few times that Strange Young Things has an early show, but we'll catch them next time.
Now Playing: Mark Norman with Jesse Valenzuela - Listening For Trains
Feb
02
2010

This Is Just Damn Painful

IPO Phoenix Lineup...

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 11:45:21 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So this one kinda hurts. Just heard that Sugar High is playing at Holleywood Alley with a $10 cover. Something I'd be willing to pay probably despite the tight budget situation. The clincher is that it's an 8 band deal, with half an hour set.

So, looking into it further, it's part of the IPO festival. Looking at the 3 nights, it would be very easy to put together a lineup which would justify the money. Get Tramps & Thieves, Elvis Before Noon, Zen Lunatics, Sugar High, Domo and Let Go all on the one night, and I can easily justify the $20 for us both to go. Of course, it makes me want to go each night, and $60 is totally out of the realms of possibility right now.

Added to everything, the infrequency of Domo and Let Go gigs really makes the Sunday enticing. I really wish the scheduling of the three shows was arranged. Or $10 per person got you into all 3 shows. Or someone would just drive up a truckload of money to our place! [wink]

Dilemmas like this definitely do make you appreciate the Teakwoods and Yucca Tap Rooms of the world!
Feb
02
2010

Shelby James & The Cryin Shames On Facebook

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 12:00:55 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Not long after arriving in Arizona I did a bunch of work to help Shelby get the Shelby James & The Cryin' Shames Facebook going and filled with content. And promptly forgot to ever promote it.

Shelby James & The Cryin' Shames on Facebook. There are a couple of clips from the forthcoming new album up there. If you like Shelby, please become fans of the page.
Now Playing: Kisschasy - Generation Why
Feb
02
2010

Ghetto Rumors

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 10:04:09 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
We saw late last week thaa Norman and Serefeni were 'friends' online. It prompted the obvious thought - when the hell are Ghetto getting back together. Which I half wanted suggest on Friday night.

But apparently we didn't need to, because the rumor as of yesterday is that Marc & Thomas have been jamming to get Ghetto back together. Actually, I'm not sure it's a rumor when it comes from the horses mouth. [smile]

It's about time!
Feb
01
2010

Fuzz Phantoms

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, February 1, 2010 - 10:31:30 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music)
Aside from their music being consistently awesome, one of the things that makes being into Kisschasy is that Dazza always comes through as someone doing what he does for all the right reasons. (Can you say "A Perfect Way To Meet"). Something that is so rare these days.

The latest idea that I can't help but immediate get behind is to get a record for his new side project Fuzz Phantoms, with plans to record and release the album, financing it with donations and doing it without any label backing.

Pretty cool. Go Darren. Fuzz Phantom makes a record!
Feb
01
2010

Scheduling Conflicts

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, February 1, 2010 - 09:25:43 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So this is clearly becoming a problem - local show conflicts.

It became a large issue last Saturday when we'd planned to see Jason Longo / Muddy Violets at Teakwoods, before Domo at the last minute posted a gig at Yucca, which won out. That wasn't all that was going on either. I got a text from Shelby about a gig in north-ish Phoenix (which just wasn't going to work), and Violet Wild had their acoustic Iguana Macks gig (which admittedly we could have made before Domo if we'd had more than 20 minutes notice.

Second instance of such problems is Truckers On Speed gig on the 13th. We'd booked that one in, and then a week later found out about what is going on the same night at Teakwoods - Mark Zubia, Corey Gloden and Joe Pena. Still conflicted on exactly on which was we're going to go on that.

The latest, and most annoying dilemma is this Wednesday night - until tonight it looked like it was going to just be the usual Bobby & Josh happy hour, followed up by Strange Young Things unusually early set in Phoenix. Which initially we were4 both pretty happy about the prospect of seeing Strange Young Things before midnight. Which has turned around to actually be a problem, with the news that Johnson and Larson are doing the Vig thing again on Wednesday. Which is awesome news, but presents and issue given the Strange Young Things show.

And such are the dilemma we face living in the desert. And probably being pretty hardcore about our local music!

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