Randomonium @ Tempe Beach Park

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSaturday, April 21, 2012 - 04:25:10 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Photobox ImageIt was cutting it fine to get from North Phoenix back to Tempe Beach Park by 1pm following our Record Store Day extravaganza all over the Valley.

As I was walking in, The Persuaders were sound checking. Was this the first time I've seen music at Tempe Beach Park since Tempe Music Festival in 2005? I think it might be. It being such a cool venue to see your favorite bands was not lost on me. Though, an afternoon show in mid-April was somewhat of an interesting choice, with no shortage of that bad crazy sun overhead. Nothing short of thoroughly enjoyable.

Photobox ImageIt was pretty awesome to see the guys on the big stage and hear the roar of Thomas' guitar when they started. I was particularly pleased that they did that new "Loser" song again. Love it. Real shame I didn't have the Tascam with me.

Sadly were only able stay for a few Tramps & Thieves songs before heading off for the house inspection. The boys seemed to be in fine form, which made it a real shame that we weren't able to stay. We could hear them for the entire walk to the car behind Macayo's, so that was kind of cool.

Now Playing: Velvet Elvis - Actress Bait

The Spirit Of Record Store Day

I'm Pretty Sure This Isn't It

(Add / View Comments) (1)Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 03:45:29 pm
(Posted Under: My War On Everything, Music Music, Instagram Instagram)
Instagram ImageRecord Store Day. We've been looking forward to it for quite a while. It's a cool thing. Especially when you have a cool independent record store, like our beloved Zia Records.

This year there was a Record Store Day exclusive we were actually interested in - the Empire Records soundtrack, on gold double vinyl. That had certainly increased our anticipation of April 21. The whole concept of Record Store Day is just cool, we're suckers for just the Zia $5 RSD t-shirt/glass/locals compilation CD alone, and any excuse to hang out in Zia Tempe will do. Throw in an exclusive release we want to pick up, and you have the makings for a healthy dose of anticipation.

While we weren't quite as early to the University and Maple store as we planned, we walked through the doors somewhere between 9:00 and 9:10. The location of the exclusives bin was hard to miss, as I'm sure it was in any surviving record store this morning. Just look for the circle of music geeks huddled around together. And as one, you know your out of place standing in the store doorway, and gravitate yourself into that mass of people.

Now this is, as I see it, the spirit of Record Store Day. A crowded, but respectful mass of music fans eagerly wanting to pick up that exclusive release that they want (which didn't seem to be the Social Distortion record from what I could tell [wink]). It's stressful and it's crowded, but no-one is being pushy, obnoxious or a jerk. You wait your turn to inch a little closer to the record bin. Because of the volume of people, someone flicking through the vinyl starts calling out the titles, and passes out the wax when someone calls back "I want that". Spirit of Record Store Day.

I stood around for about 20 minutes in the pit, and as far as I could tell was piffed for the record I was after by a girl browsing more directly in front of the bin. Frustrating? Yes. Was it hers fair and square? Pretty much. I lingered and double checked the bin and surrounding shelves while Katie got our Zia swag bags. Then it was time to hit the road, to fulfill our quest that we'd failed at the Tempe store. But that's a story for another blog.

Suffice to say, we did not end up triumphant, though, through no fault of anything but a valiant (and maybe slightly ridiculous) effort. 7 valley record stores in 3 hours, from South Chandler to North(ish) Phoenix. It was Record Store Day after all.

Later tonight, I decided to look online to see what the LP looked like. Because what I did see of it wasn't what I expected. My momentary glance at the LP, before it was hastily clutched the new owners bosom, appeared to be a completely black and white cover, unlike the CD version released almost 20 years ago.

But which wonderful website provided me a glance of this LP cover, mere hours after record stores opened?


Pages and pages of listings for the soundtrack on LP. Prices ranging from $78 through to $250 for this item that had hours earlier retailed for $18.99.

Now is that in the spirit of Record Store Day? Is snapping up Record Store Day exclusives with the sole intention of re-selling them on an action site to make a quick buck (or 200) the point of Record Store Day? No, it's not. At least it shouldn't be. And I have to say, not only is anyone doing this completely missing the point, I can say without reservation that I hope karma sends a pack of horny elephants in the direction of anyone doing as much.

Now, don't mistake that for sour grapes. We missed out fair and square. I'm cool with that. After what Ebay revealed the cover to look like, combined with discovering that it was more exclusive than I'd first thought, I'm not 100% sure what I saw at Zia Tempe was actually that vinyl. Or that any Valley record store even got copies of it in the first place. I know for a fact that Stinkweeds did not, after asking one of Kimber's staff members. We still had a great day, despite the slight disappointment. The phrase "lower than pond scum" would rattle around my head just as much if I'd discovered this happening with some hipster band's exclusive release that I didn't care about. Plain and simple, greedy capitalism isn't what Record Store Day should be about.

Damn the man, save the empire, and all that.
Now Playing: Beat Angels - Snot

Ghost Ship Sailors

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, April 7, 2012 - 11:27:04 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, This Desert Life This Desert Life)
With some clouds in the sky, I decided that it was a good opportunity for round two of photo shoots for my new website. So we quickly got our shit together, and headed out to San Tan Mountain.

Admittedly I didn't remember / realize just how far it was. If I had, I may have suggested somewhere else instead, since I wasn't planning this to take all day. Which it absolutely did. Not only because it was an hour away, but because I decided to make the most of it. To the tune of 600 or so photos. I've got to imagine that the perfect photo for what I want is in there. At least I hope it is. Definitely the location was much closer to my vision that where we went in North Scottsdale last week.

I was also much more prepared, with tripod, lens hood, plastic bags to kneel on, and a good sense of how to get the shot I wanted. All lessons learnt from last weekend's attempt. It was a glorious day, given we're now in April. But that doesn't change the fact that when you're standing out in the desert for 4+ hours it's pretty freakin' hot. And although I was prepared with bags to kneel on as not to scrape up my knees or jeans, it was still hard work getting up and down off the road for 4 hours in the desert heat. There wasn't anything half assed about this attempt. And despite it feeling like hard work, it was really nice being out there today. Like the last time we went out there, amazing silence.

We finished up and took the long trek home as the afternoon got on to 5 o'clock. Just leaving enough time to have a shower and then head out to see The Persuaders and Tempe Marketplace. With a quick stop at
Pete's Fish & Chips
for dinner while we watched the band. Pete's benefit was two fold. It was primary thanks to our annoying fridge / freezer problem, we saw us throwing out a bunch of food last night. But even if it weren't for that, we literally would have had no time to have dinner between the time we got home and the time we had to head out to the show.

Tonight was an amazing April night, which Lawrence mentioned from stage several times. Warm, but not hot, with that "electric" feeling in the air, and a large bright moon behind us. After spending the day in the desert, the situation in which I found myself: an amazing April night, Pete's Fish & Chips in front of me and The Persuaders playing in the relaxing (key word) setting of Tempe Marketplace, this was perfect. The solid accent on what has been a pretty awesome day.

For a band that we're used to seeing on a weekly basis, it's been a while since we've seen these guys. Which even Lawrence had noticed when I spoke to him on one of the breaks. Which is why I'd be looking forward to tonight. When you see a band with almost obsessive frequency, and miss them after not seeing them for a few weeks, you have a great band. It's been our first time seeing them since the departure of Swafford also. Rather than filling up the part of the set normally reserved for N.A.P.P songs with covers, it seemed like there were a lot of new Persuaders songs. Rad.

Of particular note is one about being a loser. Or not being a loser. It's probably the former, knowing typical self deprecating nature of the band which speaks to me. The riff Thomas started playing, combined with Scotty's bass part had me a "hello". New favorite song. Maybe. I know that will probably be a given with a few more listens. It's just another example of why I love this band.

On the break I went over to pick up the CD. Had a great talk with Lawrence about it, the fact the mixes/mastering is different to what they've had on the website on the past; about the upcoming release show; and about shared sadness about Teakwoods.

Picking up the CD was another reason why I'd been very much looking forward to tonight. I clearly remember one of the first times I saw these guys. Back when they were going operating as "Stellanova". I think it was at 910 Live. Standing there with these amazing songs being pushed towards me. Standing in front of the stage, with the intense feeling of "these songs NEED to be on a CD". It's interesting to think back to that - because I've known for quite some time that they were going to be. But there actually was a time when the idea of an album was merely a desperate hope in my head. Two years later, that hope is now a realization in my hand, in CD form. This is a day I've really been looking forward.

The content thereof is nothing I haven't had (and been spinning) for quite some time. Whether it be from early pre mastered versions from the band, or rips I've made from the other various YouTube videos that are out there. All the same, I've been dying to replace my suspect lossy compressed versions for the real thing. And lately, as the album release has become more imminent, moreso. Getting to play Just The Same without terrible lossy compression artifacts is nothing short of great. Same goes for all the other tracks I snagged from YouTube.

High Times, Cheap Thrills

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, April 2, 2012 - 11:04:51 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
I could not fucking love this band anymore.

It was 7 years ago today, almost to the hour, that I heard Velvet Elvis for the first time. Headed out of Sky Harbor, in the old Kia, headed for Tempe. That's not to say that listen wasn't lost on me, because it kinda was. Finally I was in the valley for the first time and there was a plethora of music that I'd known for years that I would have put on instead. And in addition to that, with ever sense heightened with excitement about pretty much everything surrounding me, it was hard to focus on what was playing on Mr. Burns stereo anyway. But given how much I fell in love with Velvet Elvis soon after, it's so cool to think back and remember that as the first time I listened to them. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last Friday's show, which was aptly timed given the time of year, re-ignited what I've been saying for the past 7 years: If recording contracts still exist, can we please get one in the hands of this band? World domination is waiting.

Today has been a good opportunity to spin a bunch of other songs appropriate to today 7 years ago. Including The Evergreens who I haven't listened to in forever. It's amazing how much certain songs can instantly transport you back to a certain time and place.

Those were high times indeed.

Tinseled up small talk, perfect actress bait.
Now Playing: Velvet Elvis - Actress Bait

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