Huffington Post premieres new music video for Phoenix rockers Jane N' the Jungle
This story is home to the 2017 Phoenix local music news from azcentral.
We also have a new story with the 2018 Phoenix local music news.
It’s been a good year for Jane N’ the Jungle. And it ended on a high note with Huffington Post premiering their new video for “One Time,” which the critic hailed as “premium!”
The article goes on to say, “Two factors make ‘One Time’ wickedly powerful and evocative: first, the song’s Spartan melody, which is totally bereft of harmonic layering and digital enhancement, just a single acoustic guitar. And second, the spine-chilling, devouring potency of (Jordan) White’s highly charged vocals.”
It's a striking video, shot by Brian Dellis, who complements the understated, acoustic-guitar-and-voice recording by keeping the camera trained on White, a captivating presence, as she walks the streets singing the bittersweet lyrics (in a really nice coat).
The song was recorded at Switchblade Studios in Tempe as a demo while working on pre-production for the upcoming Jane N' The Jungle project. As White says, the "raw demo recording captured something uniquely beautiful and pure with having no added effects, overdubs, vocal correction, and very little production."
They also felt it didn't really fit the album they plan to release in 2018, so they decided to share it as a single and release it as "an end-of-the-year reflective song."
The video was directed by Dellis with the same intention as the demo, to keep it simple hoping to capture raw authentic moments.
Rolling Stone names Phoenix native Tommy Ash a country artist you need to know
Phoenix native Tommy Ash, a veteran of the local scene who now resides in Nashville, was named to a Rolling Stone magazine's list of 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.
The magazine described her sound as "country shuffles, train beats and honky-tonk heartbreak, all delivered by a magnetic entertainer who's been serenading barflies since the age of 13." The writer cited Dwight Yoakam, Waylon Jennings and Margo Price as fairly spot-on frames of reference.
And Ash is quoted in the article as saying, "I make revved-up honky-tonk bar-room music. It's not mellow. It really moves."
The story talks about the singer growing up "a bar-room baby," hanging out at country gigs in Arizona with her mom and dad before taking the stage in her early teens, where she sang country covers every Friday and Saturday night at a Phoenix roadhouse.
Ash, who moved to Nashville in 2016, shared a link to Rolling Stone on Facebook, where she wrote, "Umm Holy S--t guys!!!!!! I am so BEYOND EXCITED to share this with you! ROLLING STONE included me in The Top 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know!!!! I can't thank you all enough for your support and love you have all given me throughout the years. Xoxo."
Reached for further comment, she told acentral, "It is such an honor to be mentioned as one of the 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know by Rolling Stone. I've been doing this for so long, it feels good to get a little recognition for the hard work and to know that people are paying attention to true country music."
Doc Jones looking to make 2018 biggest year yet for International Jazz Day in Arizona
Doc Jones is a man on a mission.
No sooner had International Jazz Day ended in late April than Jones, a music educator who plays saxophone and keyboards, was making plans for 2018, which he hopes will be the biggest year yet for the annual event here in the Valley.
“My wife says, ‘You don’t ever stop,’” Jones says. “But it’s all one thing. It’s all about International Jazz Day. I done got caught up in this for the last seven years. And I think it’s wonderful, man.”
International Jazz Day was founded in 2011 by Herbie Hancock, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz "to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe."
Jones held the first International Jazz Day celebration in the Valley in 2013, a year after attending Jazz Day in New Orleans.
“They had 7,000 people out there at about 8 o’clock in the morning,” he recalls. “It was a phenomenal site. And after the concert, which was simulcast around the world, I had an opportunity to talk to Herbie Hancock for 5 or 10 minutes. I showed him my jazz magazine that I published in New Orleans. And Herbie said, “Doc man, you’ve got a platform. You need to be marketing this day. It’s gonna be big one year.”
After getting City Council member Michael Johnson on board, Jones arranged an introduction with George Benson, who as Jones says, “allowed me to use his personality and his image for the first two years as my guest speaker and we were off and running.”
This past April, Governor Doug Ducey declared April 30th International Jazz Day, a proclamation he presented at the day’s events at Cityscape.
In the proclamation, Ducey called jazz “the universal language of freedom spoken eloquently by people in the United States and abroad” and “an international language that bridges differences and brings people together regardless of race, age, gender or socio-economic class.”
Next year’s Jazz Day Celebrations will begin on April 7 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts followed by the 2nd Annual Jazz at Lunchtime event at the State Capitol on April 18 and an event on April 28 in Surprise before concluding a month-long celebration of the music April 29 at Mesa Arts Center.
Jones is currently looking for sponsors and partners to underwrite his efforts.
“To do it correctly, we need to raise $150,000 to $200,000, to do what I’ve been trying to do,” he says. “The biggest cost is the talent. Eventually, when we have the budget, we’ll be able to put super talent on. I’ve been talking with Kenny Garrett, Jonathan Butler, Stephanie Jordan, Azar Lawrence. I’ve got artists ready to go. And then the model I believe in, some people have been mentoring me out of New Orleans, they said, “Doc, man, always have 80 percent local talent.” That’s what they do in New Orleans.”
Eventually, Jones says, he’d like to do a Jazz Day celebration that felt a little more Viva PHX but for jazz, held on multiple stages, with artists playing different kinds of jazz in different locations.
To learn more about Jazz Day here in Arizona, you can visit Jones’ site at http://www.jazzdayaz.com/.
Avondale's Halocene win YouTube's 'Best.Cover.Ever'
The members of Halocene have been “rockifying” pop songs, as they call it, for at least four years now, uploading the finished products on their YouTube channel at an average of one clip a week to satisfy the more than 57,000 fans who subscribe to the channel.
That made the Avondale rockers a natural fit for "Best.Cover.Ever," a YouTube music competition that premiered in late November and featured Halocene as finalists, thanks to their spirited cover of Flo Rida's "My House."
And now, they've won their round, performing a track called "Dancer" with the multi-platinum rapper.
After performing the song on YouTube, Halocene's singer Addie Nicole Amick said, "I think we've waited our entire lives just to be in this moment right here."
And things got even better when Ludacris shared a surprise, bringing Amick to tears.
"Flo Rida was so impressed with your cover," he said. "We know that you guys live together. Flo Rida wants to give you guys $10,000 towards your own home studio."
Amick says she and her bandmates chose to do "My House" because "it’s a super-fun song and it was really easy to turn into a rock song."
They entered their take on the song in the contest and didn't think anything of it, Amick says. Until they heard from YouTube.
"I mean, we make covers every week so why would this be anything special?," she says, with a laugh. " The next thing you know, we’re being flown out to L.A. and performing in front of Flo Rida and Ludacris, who’s the host for the show. The whole crazy ride has just been absolutely insane."
The series is executive produced by Ryan Seacrest, with Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Jason Derulo, Charlie Puth, Backstreet Boys, Flo Rida, Nicky Jam, DNCE and Bebe Rexha as musical guests who challenge competing musicians to perform a cover of one of their original songs.
The musicians can perform the song in their own style as they battle for the opportunity to perform a duet with the visiting artist. Viewers will witness every part of the planning and behind-the-scenes process as the collaboration comes together before premiering on YouTube.
It's been a long road to "My House" for Halocene, who started doing YouTube covers in their own house as a way to reach a bigger audience.
As guitarist Brad Amick (Addie's husband) says, "Our band has been together for about 10 years total. We used to do the whole touring thing and that grind and about five years ago we started finding success online. As the climate started to change, people started consuming music and entertainment differently. So we uploaded a couple of videos and they did really well and the next thing you know the gap between the videos we were uploading was getting smaller and smaller. Now we do it every single week. We try to do it every Friday. Sometimes it’s hard to stick to that schedule. Sometimes we do even more."
They've been distracted lately, though, by the prospect of putting the finishing touches on their latest album of original material, "Refraction," which arrives on Jan. 1.
"That kind of slows things down," Addie says. " But we’re trying to keep up on it as much as we can."
Asked if doing a cover a week has had an impact on their own sound, Addie says, "We’ve done the most growing that we’ve ever done between the last album and now. We’ve experimented with new genres. We’ve learned things from playing songs that we might not have normally played. And we took all that and wanted to move forward in a new direction. Our new album is called Refraction, which means when light passes through an object and appears different on the other side. So we are basically the light or sound waves passing through something and ending up different on the other side. This new album was the most challenging thing we’ve ever done and the covers have really helped us grow and expand our horizons a lot."
Brad says, "This has a more modern sound, the way that pop music is kind of evolving. But at the same time, this is the first time we’ve had trumpets on an album. We invited Danny from the band Captain Squeegee to play on it. So it’s really all over the place. It’s kind of a fusion of funk and pop. And there’s rock, of course, because we’re a rock band. But we even have a little bit of EDM influences on some of the tracks. It’s kind of our identity crisis."
Addie says after their last album, it was decided was decided that they had "kind of mastered the rock sound" and wanted to move on and do something different.
It helps that the recording studio is in their home, where they also do jingles for commercials and custom songs for people. "That’s kind of our quote-unquote day job if you want to call it that," Addie says.
"It was really awesome getting to meet him, especially in the way we did," says drummer Joe Polizzi. "On the show, you’re supposed to be performing for the artist’s producers and the artist ends up coming in in a unique way and surprising the two people that are gonna be performing for them. So we didn’t even know that he was in the building. But he was a really cool guy. And it was definitely a great experience meeting him.
They also met Ludacris, who hosts the series. "They both have just a rock star presence that you really can’t describe, says Addie. "We had no idea that they were going to be there. We thought we were just going out there to perform for the producers and they surprised us and said we were the final two and we would be performing directly in front of them."
The singer laughs then says, "So that was a challenge."
KWSS-FM Fall Fundraiser brings night of guilty pleasures to Last Exit Live
KWSS-FM, an independent station widely known for its support of local music, teams with 80/20 Records to combine their annual fall fundraiser with 80/20's Guilty Pleasures show this weekend at Last Exit Live.
And it's a killer lineup: Captain Squeegee, the Glides, Ben Anderson Music, Vintage Wednesday, People Who Could Fly, Bear Ghost, Daisy, Panic Baby, Good Boy Daisy, Nothing on the Moon and DJ sets by MRCH.
As to what constitutes a guilty pleasure, they're promising songs by Madonna, NSYNC, Foo Fighters, Smash Mouth, TLC, Celine Dion, Limp Bikit, Carrie Underwood and more.
You could even show up just to argue against the concept of Madonna or the Stray Cats as a guilty pleasure.
As Dani Cutler, host of Dani's Diner, which airs from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., at 93.9 FM, says, "One person's guilty pleasure is another person's all-time greatest artist ever."
Cutler was talking to Michael Zimmerlich of 80/20 Records about his Guilty Pleasures show when it occurred to her that it would make more sense for everyone involved to just join forces.
"I was like 'Why don't we just combine them and make it one show, that way we're helping each other and we won't be fighting for the same people to come to both of our shows. Just have everybody come to one."
For the past few years, the fall fundraiser has been the station's main fundraising drive.
"Beef Vegan started it with his Tequila Sunrise shows and when he left to go to Tucson, I kind of took it over," Cutler says. "But we also didn't have a morning show and I didn't want to get up at 6 in the morning to do a big fundraiser."
Cutler laughs, then says, "So I kind of made it my own. Or our own, I should say. It's not my fundraiser."
Admission to the show is free if you purchase a $20 KWSS T-shirt by Nov. 8. All proceeds go towards the station, which is non-profit and 100 percent independently owned and operated.
Like NPR and PBS, KWSS relies on listener support for operational costs, including music licensing, promotional materials, broadband connectivity, studio and transmitter facilities, insurance, power, web hosting and phones.
"We're non-profit and independently own here in Phoenix," Cutler says. "And we don't make our money the way other radio stations do. It's along the lines of NPR and PBS. We have to do pledge drives and fundraising so that listeners will donate to the station. The reason we are a non-profit is because we are supporting not just local music but also arts, entertainment and small business in the Phoenix area through promoting on the radio."
Unlike NPR and PBS, KWSS is not a part of a larger network of stations. FCC regulations requires the station to remain fully independent and locally operated.
There may be another fundraiser in the spring. "I tried it out this past spring," Cutler says, "with my 10-year anniversary show. I made it a fundraiser for the station and it was pretty successful, so we might do it again, but the fall is the big one."
Details: 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. 602-271-7000, lastexitlive.com.
Are Meat Puppets the best AZ band?
Thrillist seems to think so. The entertainment and travel website went ahead and chose one band from each state.
Its pick for Arizona? The underground legends who found themselves suddenly thrust into the zeitgeist of the post-Nirvana '90s after being hand-selected by the late great Kurt Cobain to join Nirvana on the set of "MTV Unplugged," where they performed their own songs. That's good work if you can get it.
Now, a few months after taking their well-deserved place in the The Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame, they've been selected as the best band in the history of Arizona music.
As the Thrillist editors explain it, "While 'Hey Jealousy' by the Gin Blossoms might be the most immediately recognizable song by a band with Arizona origins — unless you grew up yelping along to Jimmy Eat World's pop-punk anthem "The Middle" — the Meat Puppets are the quintessential Arizona band.
"They might not have the hits of an act like Alice Cooper or the chops of a group like Calexico, but their combination of punk ideals, eclectic taste and untamed spirit speaks to the mysterious character of the Southwest.
"While blending country, hardcore and psychedelic rock, the Meat Puppets have endured longer than many of their SST Records peers of the 1980s, crafting a quirky legacy — and a lengthy discography — that's difficult to pin down but impossible to deny."
So what exactly constitutes an Arizona band? Thrillist laid out criteria as follows:
"The band must have been formed in or primarily based in the state in question. Lots of groups move to Los Angeles or Nashville or New York City after scoring a record deal, but they're not from those cities.
"Only groups, not individual artists, are considered. This admittedly skews the list away from hip-hop and country, but it also skews toward not driving us totally insane trying to wade through every musician from every state.
"We limited ourselves to bands who rose to prominence after World War II.
"These are not simply our favorite bands from every state; we considered a secret recipe of historical significance, influence, popularity and the nebulous 'quality' factor."
Given all that? I'd have gone with Alice Cooper, but the Kirkwood brothers are a solid and perhaps a more intriguing choice
Phoenix's Christopher Shayne Band give impromptu a cappella concert at Southwest Airlines gate
Christopher Shayne and his bandmates treated Southwest Airlines passengers to an impromptu a cappella concert at the Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans as they waited at the gate.
Christopher Shayne Band, from Arizona, spontaneously sings a cappella in New Orleans at the Louis Armstrong Airport at the Southwest Airlines Counter. The local rockers had just wrapped a weekend in New Orleans, playing the St. Charles Rockin River Music Fest 2017.
The local rockers had just wrapped a weekend in New Orleans, playing the St. Charles Rockin River Fest with Molly Hatchet, Shooter Jennings and Blackfoot, and an acoustic set on The Musicians, Mentors and Bar Room Heroes show on Whivfm.
The Southwest attendant was calling for people to come up and sing and when no one stepped up, she called out Shayne, who harmonized with lead guitarist Dave Lansing and keyboard player Zach Hughes on an Allman Brothers classic and a Shayne original, "When I Come Down" from the "Turning Stones" album.
"It was a weirdly intimidating task," says Shayne. "She came over the speaker and stated 'I'm not sure you're familiar with what gate you are at, but at this gate we like to have fun. Anyone who comes up has to sing and we're all going to tell them to do it!'"
Then she noticed Shayne.
"When we travel," he says, "we like to keep our instruments close, and gate-check them. She had one look at our long hair and beards and asked us to approach the podium – 'You look like musicians!' – and then proceeded to ask they crowd what they wanted us to do. So after some quick boot-strap pulling, we just went into the songs we sing in our set."
Local filmmaker Matty Steinkamp's 'Play the Documentary' headed to Amazon
"Play the Documentary," an independent film by Phoenix-based director Matty Steinkamp, will be available at Amazon beginning Sunday, Oct. 15, for download, rental and/or streaming on Amazon Prime worldwide.
Steinkamp's goal for the film is to raise awareness regarding the struggle to keep music in schools when faced with dwindling education budgets for the arts. Proceeds from every download, rental and stream will help benefit music non-profits all over the country, working hard to give children the chance to play music.
"Play" explores alternative solutions to getting instruments in the hands of students and relevant music curriculum in the hands of teachers. The doc was an official selection at Phoenix International Film Festival, the Boost Film Festival in Palm Springs and Cobargo Docos in Australia. It also had four sold-out world premiere screenings in the U.S., in addition to special engagements at the Herberger Theatre, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and Alice Cooper’s Rock Teen Center.
Steinkamp says, "Music is at the root of everything in my life. I can't imagine a world without music. By watching this film on Amazon either by Prime Free Streaming or by download, you are joining us in helping to keep music in schools. Thank you for being a champion for the future of music"
Black Moods rock San Tan Valley students on Career Day at Jack Harmon Elementary School
The Black Moods rocked Jack Harmon Elementary School in San Tan Valley for 500 kindergarten through sixth grade students as part of Career Day. In addition to performing three songs from their latest album, “Medicine,” they spoke to the students about their experience working as professional musicians.
Drummer Danny “Chico” Diaz told the students, “If you believe in something, never give up. Be prepared for hard work. And if you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything.”
Singer-guitarist Josh Kennedy says, “If we did it right, some kids will go home tonight and ask for a guitar, or want to take lessons.”
“Also, I take the blame for that,” he jokes.
"It was a lot of fun," says Diaz. "I couldn’t believe how responsive the kids were. When we got in there, they were so happy. We were blown away. It’s just something we like to do, give back to the community.
Performers from South Mountain High School’s performing arts magnet program, where Diaz’s father was principal, once showed up at Diaz’s grade school in Tolleson.
"I remember them coming to my school," he says. "That was the first time I ever performed in front of people. It was something that stuck with me. If we can inspire one child to become a musician? Right on."
The Black Moods intend to perform and speak at other schools throughout the Valley about their experience working in the industry.
Having recently welcomed bassist Jordan Hoffman to the lineup, the Tempe rockers have been working the local circuit in addition to frequently touring in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Their local shows regularly sell out, and they have opened for national acts including Heart, Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger, Lil Jon, Adelita’s Way and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.
Later this month, they headlining two Oktoberfest events, Rocktoberfest at Rockbar on Oct. 7, and Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake on Oct. 14. This is the fourth year in a row they’ve played Four Peaks Oktoberfest.
Drew Carey turns hype man at L.A. show by Phoenix rockers the Darts
Drew Carey stormed the stage at the end of a Darts performance Friday at a club on Sunset Boulevard and, brandishing a copy of their latest album, encouraged everyone to buy a copy.
Sadly, he did not conclude his sales pitch with "The price is right!"
As Nicole Laurenne, the Darts' Farfisa-rocking vocalist recalls, "We were destroying all our instruments at the end of our set as usual and he was side-stage laughing. Then he ran on stage and held up our new LP and said 'The Darts! they rock! Everyone go to the merch booth over there and buy this record!!'"
With a laugh, she adds, "We were stoked."
Carey was there to MC the event, which was sponsored by Little Steven's Underground Garage, a Sirius XM station on which Carey does an occasional show.
"Lots of the Underground DJs were there," says Laurenne, naming Michael Des Barres and John Carlucci.
As for Carey, she says, "We were taking Polaroids for our pre-orders up in the green room before the show and he jumped into one of them. Someone is going to get that Polaroid in their pre-order package this week!"
Carey introduced their set as well. "He just said 'Please welcome a band that's gonna knock your socks off. Here are the darts!"
The show was at the Echo with the Woggles, whose singer, the Mighty Manfred, is also a DJ on the Underground Garage and invited the Darts to perform.
"He called us while we were on tour in Seattle," Laurenne says, "and we quickly shuffled our tour dates around to make it happen. Anything for Underground Garage. They are so good to us.
Cavalera Conspiracy share video from 'Psychosis'
Revolver magazine has premiered a suitably insane lyric video for Cavalera Conspiracy’s “Insane” from their forthcoming album, “Psychosis,” due Nov. 17 on Napalm Records.
The conspiracy began when brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera formed Sepultura as teenagers in 1983 while living in Brazil.
A decade after Max left Sepultura, moving to the Valley and releasing seven albums at the helm of Soulfly, the brothers reunited in 2006, forming the Cavalera Conspiracy.
"Insane" is the opening track on "Psychosis," the fourth Cavalera Conspiracy album, following 2014's "Pandemonium."
And Max Cavalera has a message for the fans: "Let's open the mosh pit and go insane!!!!!!"
In a recent interview with Revolver, the singer talked about the album, which they recently finished recording at Platinum Underground Studio in Mesa.
"It's got everything, man," he said. "We have songs that sound like [the first Sepultura full-length, 1986's] 'Morbid Visions' and [1989's] 'Beneath the Remains.' There's the thrash element of [1991's] 'Arise.' And then there's new stuff on there that sounds like the stuff we enjoy right now, like Full of Hell, Nails and Godflesh."
U.K.'s Dirty Water Records launches U.S. sister label in Phoenix
Dirty Water Records, the U.K. label that signed local rockers the Darts and Playboy Manbaby, has expanded its global operations with a new U.S. label based in Phoenix.
In addition to distributing releases from the U.K. catalog, the local imprint will release and promote its own product and retain independent creative and financial control.
The two labels are "jointly committed to giving both rosters the best platform to release and perform their music overseas, and to give all our fans the least expensive option to harass their neighbours with their loud rock’n’roll records,” a press release said.
The London-based label was founded in 2004 by club DJ and promoter PJ Crittenden (who ran the now infamous Dirty Water Club). At first, it was limited runs of releases for friends’ bands, but it quickly developed into a full-on record label, riding the wave of the near legendary North London club night known for celebrity regulars and wild DJ stomp parties that continue to rage on after more than 20 years.
The club and label’s name is a tribute to The Standells' 1966 hit “Dirty Water,” a song whose chorus is, “I love that dirty water / Boston, you’re my home.”
The original, long-term home of the Dirty Water Club was a North London pub called the Boston Arms, but US ex-pat Paul Manchester (aka Boston Paul) engineered the label’s first big title: a reissue of Boston garage-rock group the Lyres’ 1979 classic, “Don’t Give It Up Now” backed with “How Do You Know.”
Since then, the label has released a world-class selection of American acts, from Boston’s Muck and the Mires to L.A.’s Mr. Airplane Man, Detroit's The Hentchmen, Cleveland's Archie and the Bunkers, New York City’s Dirty Fences and a supergroup, of sorts, called Magic Christian (featuring the talents of Blondie’s Clem Burke and Cyril Jordan of the Flamin’ Groovies).
So why Phoenix, not Boston?
Last summer, while on sabbatical in Phoenix, the label’s publicity and A&R man Matt Hunter met Nicole Laurenne, who in addition to fronting the Love Me Nots, Zero Zero and Motobunny, ran her own label, Atomic A Go Go Records. Laurenne had just started The Darts at that point and Hunter was intent on signing them after randomly finding them on Facebook before they’d even played their first show.
The two met up one evening at Valley Bar, where they started mapping out a strategy for world domination with an eyeliner pen and upside-down beer mats. And thus Atomic A Go Go Records was replaced by Dirty Water Records USA, with Laurenne assuming the role of proprietor.
“I always envisioned the label having some kind of U.S.-based operation; I just never imagined it would be located in the middle of a desert,” says Hunter. “After that first meeting with Nicole, who was already a big fan of Dirty Water, I knew this just had to happen by any means necessary, and signing The Darts was the ultimate cherry on top of this whole beautifully amazing endeavor taking shape.”
Laurenne says, “I'd been trying to get the attention of Dirty Water for years with the Love Me Nots but they never seemed to take notice. When Matt wrote to me out of the blue that he was interested in The Darts and my little DIY label, I almost fell off my chair.
"After five minutes together, we knew we had a lot in common in musical tastes, mutual friends, business ideas and more. We were both so psyched, we couldn't get this off the ground fast enough.”
After several weeks of long-distance discussions and planning, Hunter flew back to London with two Phoenix bands on the roster, The Darts and Playboy Manbaby.
A licensing deal has been struck between Dirty Water Records Ltd. and Laurenne to effectively spin off a separate label to her, with full creative and financial control that will in turn carry the Dirty Water Records brand name to help promote and distribute the London roster while creating a whole new label.
“The tastemakers involved with DWR USA have kind of eclectic taste — but with a common theme of loving music that tears your face off in its awesomeness and power and leaves you on the floor. That's our goal," Laurenne says.
Crittenden says, “This is the next logical move for us. From a very young age I was completely into American music — rock and roll, blues, soul, proper old rhythm and blues, ’60s garage, psych and so on, the kind of music that I see as the real deal. In that context, a U.S. branch of Dirty Water in my eyes is exactly what we should be doing. Giving some rock and roll back to the place where it started.”
The Phoenix label already has five new artists: Mean Motor Scooter, Escobar, Baronen & Satan, Bee Bee Sea and the Callas. It will also offer a full-service agency for booking, promotion, publishing and artist representation in addition to distributing music on vinyl, cassette, digital and CDs.
Linkin Park plan Chester Bennington memorial concert at Hollywood Bowl
The surviving members of Linkin Park have announced a special show in honor of their bandmate and friend, Chester Bennington. The one-night-only celebration will be held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 27.
This marks the first time the members have performed on stage together since Bennington’s death in July. They’ll be joined by a number of artists for a night of music honoring the Phoenix native.
The individual band members will contribute their fees from the event to Music For Relief's One More Light Fund in memory of Bennington.
Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 22 at https://linkinpark.com.
The official video for the album title track, "One More Light" premiered this week on Linkin Park’s social pages. Initially, the song had not been scheduled as a single, but the strong connection with fans in the weeks following Bennington's passing brought the track to the forefront.
"One More Light was written with the intention of sending love to those who lost someone. We now find ourselves on the receiving end," says Mike Shinoda. "In memorial events, art, videos, and images, fans all over the world have gravitated towards this song as their declaration of love and support for the band and the memory of our dear friend, Chester. We are so very grateful and can't wait to see you again."
The video was directed by Linkin Park's Joe Hahn and longtime videographer Mark Fiore.
"It has been incredibly emotional to work on this, and especially to watch it," says Hahn. "I feel that by doing it, we not only faced some of our biggest fears, but it enabled us to use our talents to bring some light to people who need it. As we move forward to the Hollywood Bowl show and beyond, I think about the people who connect with the band, outside and inside our circle. This video is a gesture of good will to the people who want that connection."
The Nash turns 5 with anniversary celebration starring Lewis Nash
The Nash will celebrate its fifth year as the undisputed hub of Phoenix jazz with a month-long celebration in October.
"It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that it's already been five years," says Phoenix native Lewis Nash, the celebrated drummer for whom the venue on Roosevelt Row was named.
"There's been a lot accomplished," Nash says, "and a lot still left to do. A lot of great musicians have been through the place and given it their blessing, talked about how much they like the atmosphere and playing there."
Founded with the hope of engaging young musicians to perform while offering educational opportunities, the Nash has welcomed some big names in jazz, been named a national "jazz hub," served as home for hundreds of aspiring musicians and been a vibrant part of downtown's economic rebirth.
Downbeat magazine has named the Nash one of the nation's top jazz venues for four consecutive years.
Among the goals going forward, Nash says, are "continuing to deepen ties with the community and continuing to involve young people in the process of everything that goes on there, so that we're building future audiences, honing future artists and creating an appreciation for the art form here in Phoenix."
He feels the Nash has "definitely, without question" enjoyed significant success reaching out to that young demographic.
"And I know that because I have a chance to interact with a lot of the young musicians and ask them their impressions of what the place means to them and to the community and what they've gotten out of it. I've gotten a whole lot of positive feedback from young people, so that's encouraging for me. And when I say young people, I mean high school students as well as college students, recent grads and young professionals."
Taking the gospel of jazz to a new generation is important, Nash says, because "it's an original American art form. So when people begin to study the great artists of this music, going back to Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, people like that, all the way up to now, there's a parallel historical component to it.
"If you study the music of Louis Armstrong from the 1920s and '30s, you can also see simultaneously what was going on in American history during the time of these recordings and the heyday of these icons. These are human beings who were Americans, many of them African-Americans, living in a country which was denying them quite a bit during these years that we're talking about. And they persevered with this art form in spite of these hardships they were facing."
The Nash will host a jam-packed anniversary weekend Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8, with tributes to Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald, featuring world-renowned artists Roberta Gambarini, Roy Hargrove, Sharel Cassity, Cyrus Chestnut and John Lee, as well as Lewis Nash.
"It's focused on honoring two icons who this year would be celebrating their 100th birthdays," Nash says. "I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Dizzy Gillespie. I made a couple recordings with him, played live with him, and some of the musicians who are coming for the anniversary also played with Dizzy. The bassist, John Lee, was his musical director toward the end of his life. So we're just going to have a big celebration of the legacy of Dizzy Gillespie, which includes a lot of innovative things he did over the course of his career."
Fitzgerald, he says, is a "one-of-a-kind" artist.
"She and Dizzy were people who had a lot of fun when they performed," he says. "And so the joy of the music, too, is something that we're celebrating."
Other anniversary events include a Big Band Show with Darcy James Argue and for Nash members only, a special event with Canadian saxophonist Cory Weeds.
Tickets for The Nash fifth anniversary events are on sale. Patron badges include all anniversary weekend concerts; VIP Jazz Lovers Patron badges also include reserved seats and meet-and-greets with musicians at two celebratory shows at MIM Theater: Danilo Perez "PanaMonk" (in honor of Thelonious Monk's 100th birthday) and Regina Carter’s "Simply Ella."
Here's a look at the events.
10/7: The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, under the direction of Gillespie alumnus/executive director/producer/bassist John Lee, have delighted audiences around the world. In honor of the legend's 100th birthday, the group will perform two concerts at the Nash, with vocalist Roberta Gambarini honoring the 100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald.
The musicians performing are: Roy Hargrove, trumpet; Sharel Cassity, sax; Cyrus Chestnut, piano; John Lee, bass; Lewis Nash, drums; and special guest Roberta Gambarini, vocals.
Details: 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7. The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. Tickets for 7 p.m. show are $250 VIP, $89, $69 and $59. Tickets for the 9:15 show are $187.50 VIP, $79, $59 and $49. 602-795-0464, thenash.org.
10/8: Honoring Ella
This concert features Roberta Gambarini and Cyrus Chestnut paying tribute to Fitzgerald in a high-rise condo overlooking Phoenix's Japanese Friendship Garden. Complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres will make this a memorable experience for a limited number of around 70 guests.
Details: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. Private home near The Nash. $80-$10. 602-795-0464, thenash.org.
10/8: The Scottsdale Community College Big Band
This show features the SCC Big Band performing the works of Darcy James Argue, who has garnered critical acclaim and countless awards and nominations for reimagining what a 21st century big band can sound like.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. $25, $15 for students. 602-795-0464, thenash.org.
10/9: Cory Weed & Friends
This members-only show marks the celebrated saxophonist's third appearance at the Nash, where he will be joined by Mike Kocour on B3 organ, Jeff Libman on guitar and Dom Moio on drums (with a special appearance by Lewis Nash.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9. The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. $25. 602-795-0464, thenash.org.
Other events in October include performances by Emmet Cohen, Banda Magda, Francine Reed, Dmitri Matheny and more.
Alice Cooper guitarist Michael Bruce plans concert for brother killed by drunk driver
Michael Bruce, a founding member of the Alice Cooper group whose songwriting credits include such iconic recordings as “I’m Eighteen,” “Ballad of Dwight Fry,” “Under My Wheels,” “Be My Lover” and “School’s Out,” will stage a memorial concert for the brother he lost in late July to a drunk-driving accident.
A Celebration of the Living and the Departed in Memory of Paul Stephen Bruce will take place Saturday, Sept. 23, at Pranksters Too in Scottsdale.
“He was kind of in a bad way,” the guitarist recalls of his brother. “He found out he had cirrhosis of the liver and he wasn’t dealing with it very well. He was out walking around at 1 in the morning and got hit by a drunk driver. The driver wasn’t cited for manslaughter or anything. He was just cited for too much alcohol, I guess. But he wasn’t driving erratically. Neither one of them saw each other. Apparently, he was out wandering around on the street. It was kind of shocking that he got hit by a drunk driver and he couldn’t quit drinking himself.”
Paul Bruce also was a talented musician and songwriter, although he never experienced the success Michael Bruce enjoyed as a member of the Cooper group, with whom he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And that didn’t always sit well with Paul.
“He said to me one time that he couldn’t live in the shadow of his big brother,” Michael Bruce recalls. “And I said, ‘Paul, it’s all just a bunch of bulls—t.’” But he was such a sensitive kid. He wore his emotions on his sleeve. And he had a hard time. Even though he came to the gigs and hung out with us, he just couldn’t deal with it.”
Michael Bruce’s group, which features his wife, Lynn Bruce, on bass, will be doing a lot of the hits he wrote while in the Cooper band. “I’ll be doing my best Alice,” he says with a laugh.
The four surviving members of the Alice Cooper group – which featured Dennis Dunaway on bass, Neal Smith on drums and the late Glen Buxton on guitar – recorded two new songs together on the latest Cooper album, “Paranormal.” And they’re doing a series of reunion gigs later this year in the U.K., where “School’s Out” topped the pop charts in the early ‘70s.
“We did a couple shows in Nashville and we’re going to the U.K. on Nov. 8 to do five shows,” Bruce says. “The Tubes are opening and we do a mini-set in Alice’s set with his band. They drop a screen with Billion Dollar Babies and we appear on stage and do the hits like they were back in the day. People love it.”
The memorial concert will feature performances by Bruce’s group, Scott Rowe’s Alice Cooper tribute show, Harvest, Serious Play and Billy Cioffi and the Monte Carlos.
Details: 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. Pranksters Too, 7919 E. Thomas Road, Scottsdale. Free, 602-350-1818, prankstersgarandbrill.com.
Phoenix electro-pop singer Miss Krystle shares message of hope
Phoenix electro-pop singer Miss Krystle has released a suitably dramatic music video for an anthemic message of hope called “Inevitable,” directed by Austin Nordell.
Miss Krystle says she and That Orko, her co-writer/producer, were looking to write a song that would provide some sort of commentary on our current social and political climate.
“We wrote the song right around when the women’s protest marches were going on, earlier this year,” she says, “in the midst of all the social and political turmoil. I remember saying that I wanted to write an uplifting song that would remind people that love and unity will conquer all.
"There is so much hurt going on in the world right now, and it can feel hopeless at times. However, nothing stays the same forever, and that really is the message of this song. To have a voice and to stand for what is right, and that things will get better.”
The video was directly inspired by the lyrics from the song and its optimistic chorus of "Victory is inevitable."
As Miss Krystle explains, “This music video is definitely a commentary and statement piece on the bigger issues going on right now. But the director and I wanted to focus on the individual struggle, to bring the narrative and responsibility back to each of us individually and remind people that positive change is always possible.
"We kicked around a few different treatment ideas, and landed on the stories: the drug addict, the dancer and the homeless person. One of the biggest challenges was trying to say a lot, but in the most minimalist way. I feel we accomplished that goal, and I love how the video turned out.”
In the opening scene, Miss Krystle is trapped in a jail cell, wearing a prison dress.
“In all the treatment variations, one of the consistent elements was the jail cell,” she says. “In the final treatment (and video), the jail cell is the primary aesthetic (besides the three individuals). Whether the focus is personal, economic, political or social, we all feel trapped at times, so the jail cell is symbolic of our psychological and emotional imprisonment.
"This is why you see me stay in the jail cell, even though walls come down throughout the video, and I could certainly escape at any time. I remain trapped by my self-made prison, until I have eliminated all the things holding me back.”
Each wall of the jail cell is made of a different material, representing the different characters.
“As each person frees themselves from their torment, a side of my cell drops,” the singer explains. “Finally, you see me facing the brick wall, which is my own prison. You see me push that wall down, and only then do you see me walk out of the jail cell and free myself.”
The other characters were chosen, Miss Krystle explains, “because we felt each of these characters represented experiences we all know on a personal level, or at a minimum could sympathize with.
"The dancer lives for her craft, but she is injured and misses a big performance that was important for her career. The drug addict represents the dependency we all have in our lives, be it relationships, substances, alcohol or the like. The homeless person represents great loss and need.
"We see these three at ‘rock bottom,’ then again when each has made a decision to change, or change has begun, and finally when each person has triumphed through their personal tragedies for a higher purpose.”
Phoenix entrepreneur sets out to 'fix the broken industry' with online streaming service
Phoenix entrepreneur Damon Evans has built a music platform called Arena Music on the concept of fair pay for artists and free play for listeners.
According to a press release, “the music streaming and merchandising platform is set to fix the broken industry" while going up against the heavy hitters of the industry, such as Spotify and Pandora.
“Through the platform we’ve created,” Evans says, “we are able to pay the highest rates in the world for music streams and merchandise sales. Artists simply cannot sustain a career in music from the low streaming royalties today's most popular subscription platforms pay per stream. If we don't act now, there will be no more music."
Artists who work directly with Arena earn a penny per stream. As Spotify and Pandora, the world's most used services, artists earn just $0.003-$0.006 per play, and those platforms don't support other sales formats.
By paying the highest royalties for merchandise sales and music streams, Arena Music is hoping to position itself as a primary destination for artists and labels who want to maximize their earnings for both new releases and back catalog.
For musicians, Arena offers full sales support and real-time accounting, under a simple non-exclusive agreement.
Arena also says it offers artists more on products such as t-shirts, hoodies and caps than any other music or merchandising storefront currently online.
It's also the only streaming service to offer monthly royalty payouts through BitCoin.
Arena streams singles and albums from both independent and major-label artists without commercial interruptions or a monthly subscription fee. The user-friendly mobile app allows fans to purchase exclusive artist merchandise from anywhere in the world.
Arena also allows listeners to earn credits for using the service. The patent-pending Listen to Own (LTO) rewards program gives listeners the option of choosing between a $1 Arena credit or a free download anytime they've listened to any single song five times through the service.
“Arena makes the artist and their fans happy,” says Evans. “It provides knowledge and direction for today’s creative and artistic communities through an ad free and subscription free merchandising storefront designed to build and sustain viable careers in music.”
Arena Music will soon launch a crowdfunding campaign through Wefunder.com to market an investment opportunity to musicians, producers, record labels and both accredited and non-accredited investors.
Currently, Arena exists as the largest commercial music platform that is neither funded by, or in any other way, associated with the three major labels.
For more information on Arena and its music and merchandise services, visit www.arena.com.
There is No Us unveil a chilling portrait of celebrity obsession
There Is No Us are premiering a chilling new video for "Angel's Face With Devil's Hands" that opens on a scene of singer Jim Louvau cutting a photograph of the video's striking female lead, Miss Krystle, off the cover of a magazine to add it to shrine he's built beside his bed.
If that sounds creepy, that's the point.
As Louvau explains it, "The initial concept of the video was birthed from the idea that people in the era that we live in are obsessed with the idea of celebrity."
The specific event that inspired the song was Leonardo DiCaprio finally winning an Oscar and seeing people, including close friends, celebrate as though they'd won an Oscar.
"I thought to myself, this person you are praising couldn't care less about any of you," Louvau says. "I actually posted something on social media when it happened as an experiment to see what sort of reaction I would get and it inspired the song. For some reason we connect with these people we look up to and think that they care about us on a level outside of collecting a paycheck."
This was before Louvau and guitarist Andy Gerold, a former member of Marilyn Manson who portrays a darker side of our obsession with celebrities in the video, had decided form a band to play the music they'd been working on together.
There Is No Us reached out to Scott Conditt, who directed their first video, "In Violence We Trust," and told him they wanted to do something much more artistic than that first collaboration.
"We had no interest in doing another typical performance piece that had a bunch of people playing heavy music jumping around like monkeys looking tough," Louvau says. "We are not looking to follow an expectation of what a band that plays heavy music is supposed to be. At the end of the day this is an art project that happens to be aggressive."
Bringing in Miss Krystle was a flawless bit of casting and the local singer effortlessly rises to the challenge.
"Initially we were looking to cast a female actress to portray a celebrity or a pop artist," Louvau says. "Andy suggested that we worked with Miss Krystle since she was actually someone who had her feet in the pop world and was a close friend of ours. She turned out to be the best choice we could have made."