Whatever Prince does these days, it seems like his goal is to do it in the most frustrating manner possible. Even the act of illustrating this blog post somehow was a hassle. No photos on the wire service we use, basically zero embeddable video on YouTube (unless you want to see Prince talk about chemtrails on the Tavis Smiley show), so here you go. Dave Chappelle's impression of Prince.
So, a rumor has been going around that Prince is playing four shows in two nights at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe on April 30 and May 1. As someone who would very much enjoy the opportunity to see the legendary musician in such a small venue, I've spent a significant amount of time investigating the possibility. Any news from the Marquee? No. The promoter that books the venue? Nope. Prince himself? Of course not.
Instead, on some sort of Prince related live webcast, his new protégés 3rd Eye Girl (sigh) announced a west coast tour, which apparent does in fact include those four shows in two nights. However, that information can be basically verified no one else at this point, so you'll have to take Dr. Funkenberry's word for it. He is a doctor, so that helps.
More news as we get it, including maybe how to get tickets, unless that distribution method happens to be passes dropped from a helicopter or something. That's basically what I'm assuming at this point.
When you think of a music festival, you may think of an outdoor music event with lots of loud music, drinks, and dancing. Larsen, however, , transforms noisy venues into tranquil environments with her tender, soothing melodies, allowing her rhythmical lyrics to come to life.
Larsen is not only a musician; she is also a writer and a poet. Her debut album, Quiet at the Kitchen Door, was released on Dec. 6, 2011 with a much deeper cause then just to sell CDs.
According to a biography about the singer on Air Play Direct, “Larsen doesn’t want to wait until the end of her career to speak up for what she believes in. And she doesn’t want to say she’ll give money when she has enough, when she is famous enough, when she herself is secure enough.”
Larsen will be performing from 1:05 to 1:35 p.m. on El Presidio Stage. For more information on the festival, visit their webpage here.
Rebirth Brass Band is among the headliners for this year's Festival en el Barrio, which is just around the corner this Sunday.
The New Orleans nine-piece formed 30 years ago, and, with their last 10 records, have made a name for themselves, expanding from the streets of their hometown to venues all over the world. Taking traditional brass influences and mixing them with modern funk elements, the band has put a refreshing twist on a genre that has been around for decades.
The band's three decades together have clearly honed their performance, and their live show on Sunday, if it's anything like the other live videos online, should showcase their laid-back style, a trait that likely only comes from years of jamming on the streets of New Orleans.
Rebirth Brass Band will take the El Presidio Stage on Sunday night from 4:25 to 5:05 p.m. Find more information on the festival's website.
Ape Machine is one of those groups that arrive every so often to remind us how rock should be played: with shaggy, organic vitality rather than clean, digital corner-cutting. Ape Machine’s name—add a “T” for “tape machine”—symbolizes heavy music’s analog roots in reel-to-reel. The band’s tectonic-shifting attack, most recently captured in 2011 album War to Head, is proof positive that a singer with pipes (like Ape-frontman Caleb Heinze) and killer riffs are the foundation of awesome rock ’n’ roll. Ape Machine is on tour in preparation for the release of forthcoming album Mangled by the Machine via the Ripple label. The band plays Tucson Live Music Space tonight, March 18, at 7 p.m. with Been Obscene. Tucson Weekly phone-chatted with guitarist Ian Watts before Ape Machine played SXSW.
You’re from Portland, an indie-centered scene with a few cool metal bands lurking in the shadows. How does hard-rockin’ Ape Machine fit in, if at all?
Being in a hard-rock band in Portland is a bit tricky. The scene is centered on folksy indie rock or extreme-metal stuff. So we bounce back and forth between the two when we pair up with other bands on a bill. Lately, we’ve been leaning more toward the really heavy bands, which we feel is a more fun scene.
By the time you've read this, I will have already have boarded a train to Austin, Texas for SXSW. I have a laptop full of Walter Hill movies, spaghetti westerns and more than a fistful of tunes for the 24-hour trek.
This will be my second time out there, and like I did last year, I'll be updating the We Got Cactus blog daily with dispatches from my adventures. And, if everything pans out, this year I'll also be including some interviews.
If you want further ramblings, albeit sometimes a bit more profane and off the cuff, you can follow me on Twitter: I'm @Dewtron. You can also follow the #tucsonweekly hashtag.
Some bands I look forward to checking out while I'm there - Action Bronson, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Iggy and the Stooges, Audacity, Fidlar, Nu Sensae, The Shrine, Maserati, Pissed Jeans, Pyyramids, Wo Fat, Thee Oh Sees, Flatbush Zombies, Death, RZA, Bestial Mouths, Hunters, BOAN, Xander Harris and a whole lot more.
Over and out!
The Cordials, a Tucson supergroup of sorts, will celebrate the release of their debut album this Saturday at the Whistle Stop Depot.
The band—Laura Kepner-Adney (Silver Thread Trio), Courtney Robbins (Seashell Radio), Cristina Williams (the Modeens) and Winston Watson (Greyhound Soul, Saint Maybe)—got together in 2011 and recorded an eclectic pop-rock album that reflects the band members' accumulated experience as well as a desire to strike out for somewhere new.
At 127 W. Fifth St., the Whistle Stop Depot is an old warehouse converted to a performance space. Doors for the $5 show open at 8, with Sun Bones (formerly Boreas) opening at 9, The Cordials performing at 10 and the Andrew Collberg Band playing at 11. Local draft beer, specialty cocktails and The Chef’s Kitchen food truck will be available.
The Weekly talked to the band for this week's music feature, but also got the rundown of Not Like Yesterday:
1. State of the Union
“It was the first (Cordials) one I wrote,” says Kepner-Adney, the band's singer-guitarist.
“It’s about relationships, between human beings on the planet Earth,” she says, laughing.
Lead guitarist Robbins says the song includes a “delay freakout” that charges at the listener.
“‘Lemonade’ is a strange little ditty I came up with a couple years ago,” says singer-bassist Williams, also of the Modeens. “I didn’t really think anything of it. It was just this weird song. I couldn’t get the Modeens interested in it. I played it for the Cordials and it worked. It’s about the heat in Tucson. It’s totally tongue in cheek, a ridiculous little song I never thought would be played, then it turned into this punk song that’s a whole lot of fun to play.”
When Josh Haden, son of iconic jazz bassist Charlie, unveiled The Blue Moods of Spain in 1995, its minimalist melancholy was unlike anything ever recorded. Almost unexpressive in his vocal delivery, Haden and his L.A. bandmates in Spain exuded a dark eroticism only the best crime novels (The Killer Inside Me, The Postman Always Rings Twice) could ever convey. Spain released two more studio discs and got a song included in a Wim Wenders film soundtrack before calling it quits. After a couple of solo albums in the intervening years, Haden restored the band in ’07, released a new Spain record in ’12 and has embarked on a short tour—the band’s first U.S. gigs outside Los Angeles in 12 years. Spain lands in Tucson March 9 at Club Congress with Marianne Dissard and Andrew Collberg. Tucson Weekly had a chance to chat with Haden.
What did you learn or forget (and then have to re-learn) about Spain’s music in the years between the band’s studio albums (2001 to 2012)?
Probably the thing I missed most about it was being on the road and bringing our music to the fans. That’s the main reason I’m a musician and not a lawyer or a philosophy professor. When I put the band on hiatus in 2001, I was very bitter and disillusioned with the music-industrial complex. I felt I was being treated unfairly, but in retrospect I was just a selfish person. I guess I was the epitome of the “spiritual materialist.” Now I’m older and just want to get back to making music and delivering my message to the world. I don’t care if anyone’s ripping me off.
When you assembled the familiar strummed cadence and sensuous melody of, say, “Only One” for 2012’s The Soul of Spain, did it feel like coming home in a way? In other words, do you recognize Spain as having a definite and defined approach to rock balladry? Or is it less considered and more instinctual than that?
It’s funny you ask that because “Only One” was written in 1993. It actually was one of the first songs I wrote for the band Spain, even before I had the band name. In those days I used to think we had a definite and defined approach to songwriting but now I don’t. Nowadays, it’s more instinctual.
The Blue Moods of Spain seems to be the band’s most “curated” work and the album you tend to play live in its entirety at certain festivals. How has your own evaluation of Moods changed or evolved in the nearly two decades since it was first released?
I think Blue Moods is our best album. Recording it was a magical experience. Just one of those rare instances in life when everything goes right even though you aren’t trying. I appreciate listening to Blue Moods now more than I ever have, simply from a listener’s point of view, if that’s possible for me.
“I’m Still Free,” despite its liberating lyrics and steady drumbeat, still manages to torch-burn like an old Julie London noir-set piece. How much do those jazz-kissed, pop-blues laments of yesteryear influence your songwriting—if it all? Or are you actually just hoping Beyoncé covers one of your tunes?
Ha! Beyoncé! Oh my god. Seriously, Julie London is a big influence on me. The new album is going to have a heavy Dionne Warwick vibe too. You'll see. Good call.
As a bass player, you’re so no-nonsense, in-the-pocket, Zen. The only musician who comes close to what you achieve is maybe Sting. How do you view your role as a bassist in this band?
You're right about Sting. Even his bass itself is no-nonsense. My opinion of myself as a bass player is that I’m not a very good one. I’ve only had a few formal lessons and most of what I’ve learned was from my teenaged days in a punk-rock band—use heavy gauge strings, hit the strings as hard as you can, refuse to remember the names of the strings or how to read and write music, and cover your bass with stickers.
What do you think of the musicians who comprise this latest incarnation of Spain?
This is the best ever incarnation of Spain. I've been working with Matt Mayhall (drums) and Randy Kirk (guitar, keyboards) since even before 2007, when I put Spain back together, and when I was doing shows for my 2006 solo album. Daniel Brummel (lead guitar) joined in 2008, and he’s from a really great band called Ozma. We have a great musical camaraderie. Matt comes from a jazz background, and Randy is a trained classical pianist. Everyone is such a great musician and has such great ears and musical ideas that they put me to shame.
Trevor Powers, aka Youth Lagoon, is returning to Tucson on April 22 with a show at Club Congress, expanding from a standout yet small show in fall 2011 at Solar Culture.
Powers is starting a nationwide tour Wednesday to promote his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse, which releases tomorrow via Fat Possum Records. His first record, The Year of Hibernation, was a consummate sleeper hit, full of understated lo-fi tracks that build to unexpected dance-inducing crescendos.
A Pitchfork review of the album published online today was brimming with praise, awarding it an 8.7 and a “Best New Music” title. The review also allows readers to stream two singles from Wondrous Bughouse, “Dropla” and “Mute,” via Soundcloud.
Youth Lagoon will follow up their Coachella appearance with a show at The Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix before heading down to Club Congress on Monday, April 22. Tickets for the 7 p.m., 18-and-up show are on sale now for $13 through Ticket Fly.