Friday, March 7, 2014

The 2013 Southwest Terror Fest: When 20 hours of metal isn't enough, make it 32 hours and bring in 65 bands

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 12:13 PM

The 2013 Southwest Terror Fest is approaching and the new (full) poster is available and with one quick glance you can tell it will be an event to be reckoned with. In fact, it is double the mayhem of last year's inaugural event, featuring 65 bands over the course of four days at the Rock, Thursday, Oct. 10 through Sunday, Oct. 13. A limited amount (only 50) of the 4-day VIP passes are available at a reasonable price of $55, and single day passes are available at the door.

David Rodgers might be one of the harder working people in Arizona when it comes to the metal music scene, and he has been able to build this event into what it is now, which is a marathon of metal madness. It would fantastic to see this continue to grow and become a mainstay of Arizona music.

Any local music fan should consider attending at least one night, if not two, or better yet, all four nights.

Check for updates here. Also, the poster:

So call in sick or take a vacation day on Monday, Oct. 14th, because the 2013 Southwest Terror Fest is coming and it's all out of bubblegum.

Although there were many fantastic acts last year, and the local bands were some of the highlights. Most of the local bands played on the second stage, letting the out-of-towners play on the main stage. The second stage is is on the floor, and the experience can be both intimate and chaotic. Having the band so close is a nice touch, but at the same time on some heavier songs the crowd can get a bit rowdy and even mosh into the band members.

Powered Wig Machine was the first band that really moved the crowd on the second stage. They played as if they were on the main stage and commanded the room with hard and unique anthems and genuinely put the room in order. This is a band that should be looked at in the coming future. They represent a cross-section between groovy funk-metal and a sludgy desert rock. They didn't necessarily play for the crowd but still managed to own it.

In all fairness, I'm a huge fan of Anakim and that was my personal highlight of the Friday show. In this respect I'd like to say that they need to play a bit more around town and tour past the state line with another act. Instead of being a prog-metal band, they're more of a metal band with some progressive hints. The sound is very straight forward and hits you in the gut and the head at the same time. Anakim has a phenominal tension-building intro in "Calling the Wind" that keeps the momentum building until a heavy burst of energy hits with the main part of the song, at which point it sends the crowd into a rampage.

The second night's highlight was, for me personally, again, the second stage. I'd always prefer to see local acts, and Godhunter was the headline of choice. With an LP release on the horizon, they are fully capable of playing for a full set and have played enough to always entertain the crowd. One can tell immediately that this band has enough experience that they know how to jump around the stage, keep the audience engaged beyond really acceptable limits, but yet still play amidst the chaos. At least twice someone fell over a mic or an amp and was pulled back into the crowd. They know how to let their roadies (and friends) pick up the fallen equipment and play on. David Rodgers, the guitarist and occasional singer, is the one that really put the work into making the Southwest Terrorfest happen. He is extremely dedicated to the craft and the scene, and his passion echoes through the band. Never missing a beat, they played with all-out and dominated the second stage of the second night.

I'm looking forward to many years of this showcase of music. I'd hope that it can expand to include outside stages or, perhaps even, downtown venues and alleyways. Tucson has always been a known underground scene for great music on all levels and types of music. This has the making to become a desitination point for metla fans everywhere.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Music at the Red Garter? It's a 99 Percent Perspiration Thing

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

When I learned the Austin, TX band Shurman would play a half block from my house in a bar that never has music, it seemed providential. Like cosmic UPS delivery. I almost expected a comet over the Red Garter, or roses raising its foundation.

Humble but mighty, the restaurant and bar has a main room clad in fake-blond-wood-paneling, covered with a neon, mirrored or animated sign for every commercial beer known to ESPN. It's right-sized and comfy, but who knew it could sound good? On Wednesday (a Wednesday!) Shurman sat at the south end on bar stools and played and told road stories for all the world like they belonged there.

Turns out a guy knows a guy. A local musician and friend of the band, who is also friendly with one of the Garter's owners, scored the gig for Shurman as a pit-stop on the road to Puerto Peñasco with Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers' annual Circus Mexicus tour. Luck had it that the stop was timely: The cost and inconvenience of a detour via Pep Boys for a new wheel bearing was a running joke through the set. Merch was moved.

Shurman_copy.jpg

More words and music, and an essential list, after the break.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chris Black and Chamberlab: One Year Down and a Wide-Open Future for Chamber Music in Popular Culture

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Spicy, sweet, hot, funny, giddy — the rich and happy mood of chattering diners clustered with friends could be felt almost upon opening the door to Café Desta, packed as it was with fans of avant indie chamber music on the verge of a historic event. Chris Black’s original Tucson vision, Chamberlab, was turning one year old, and celebrants anticipated an evening of the gang’s greatest hits, delicious as the spirit and the company of its culinary overture.

Program, players and lots of pictures after the jump.

Chamberlab performed for a charmed, SRO audience at Café Desta Saturday night.
  • C. Elliott
  • Chamberlab performed for a charmed, SRO audience at Café Desta Saturday night.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

A SpudBoy Picks His 10 Favorite Devo Songs

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 9:19 AM

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Devo. In anticipation of their show at the Rialto on Friday night, I though't I'd share my 10 favorite Devo tracks.

10. Space Junk/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

A fragmented and paranoid tale of falling space debris and a particularly unlucky girl named Sally. Skylab fell out of the sky and landed over parts of Western Australia in 1979, a year after this album was released.

9. That's Good/Oh, No! It's Devo

Devo on full-on synthpop mode. An upbeat song about the joys of bland conformity. So upbeat in fact that the "Bad Boys" from San Francisco used it for their dance routine in the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. I don't think they were in on the joke.

8. Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

Probably the best intro of any Devo song. Imagine if the Autobahn was placed smack-dab in the middle of Ohio. People tend to forget that Devo is a damn good guitar band.

7. Come Back Jonee/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

Again, Devo being a great "rock" band is often forgotten. Devo takes the cars 'n' girls songs of rock and roll's past to its next logical step. What happens when you're having too much fun and you're driving a little too fast? Come back, indeed.

6. Red Eye Express/Duty Now for the Future

If I had to pick a favorite Devo album, it would have to be Duty Now for the Future. Their second album, this is when they struck the perfect balance between the guitar and synthesizer. Red Eye Express is the album's closer and includes some of my favorite off-the-the-wall lyrics. "Something's flattened my cola/something's wrong with my brew/something's rotten in Idaho/and I don't know what to do."

5. Booji Boy's Funeral/Hardcore Devo Volume 2

R.I.P. young man. Taken from the incomparable Hardcore Devo Volume 2, the second installation of Devo's raw and humble beginnings.

4. Mongoloid/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!

The tale of a man who had one chromosome too many. He wore a hat, he had a job and he brought home the bacon, so no one knew. Years before David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Devo peels away the layers of suburban blandess and finds mutants running amok. The music is ominous, spooky and robotic, and like "Gut Feeling" it also has a stellar intro.

3. I Desire/Oh, No! It's Devo

In a career full of subversiveness and pulling media-savvy pranks, this might be the crown jewel in the Energy Dome. Lyrics are credited to "Casale/Hinckley/Mothersbaugh". Who's Hinckley? None other than John Hinkcley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, living out some sort of sick Taxi Driver fantasy. Some of the lyrics are taken from the love poems Hinckley Jr. wrote to Ms. Foster. How they snuck this past Warner Bros. is beyond me. Does this mean Hinckley Jr. receives royalties?

2. Jocko Homo/Single

The Devo Manifesto. Planet of the Apes meets crazed religious sermons meets Revenge of the Nerds.

1. Beautiful World/New Traditionalists

The moment Devo realized devolution has caught up with modern society and there's no going back. It's a somber, almost melancholy track that's full of spite. "Beautiful people everywhere/they way they show they care/it's a beautiful world/for you/it's not for me."

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Hey Nerds, The Daft Punk Album Is Currently Streaming on iTunes

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:13 PM

daftpunk.jpg

I really don't know what else I need to put here: People love them some Daft Punk. I'm not sure if it's the music, or the fact that the two dudes wear the kinds of outfits that make San Diego Comic Con cosplayers look like low-budget Halloween costumes, but Daft Punk causes some severe reactions in music fans.

Anyway, if you want to listen to some sweet, sweet Daft Punk-ing, check out iTunes.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

The RIAA Now Includes Digital Streaming In Its Gold and Platinum Certification

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM

In news that's sure to be great for another industry that's circling the drain, the Recording Industry Association of America has decided to join in with the times and include song streams as part of their certification process for gold and platinum records.

From Billboard:

The last time the RIAA altered its methodology was in 2006, when it added master ringtones. Two years before that, the organization began counting digital downloads. And prior to that, CDs and cassette tapes were added to the mix. Otherwise, the formula for Gold and Platinum certifications remained largely untouched — 500,000 unit sales for Gold, 1 million for Platinum and 10 million for Diamond.

Among the on-demand streaming services the RIAA will accept are MOG, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, Xbox Music and others. In addition, video streams from MTV.com, VEVO, Yahoo! Music and YouTube will also count. Under the new formula, the RIAA will distribute awards to 56 new titles, including 30 Seconds To Mars’s “This Is War,” Emeli Sandé's "Next To Me," and Cher Lloyd's "Oath," Thursday night at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' annual Musiz Biz conference in Los Angeles.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yo La Tengo: It's an All Ages Thing

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 3:09 PM

We're thinking Ira Kaplan must have to replace three or four guitars after every tour. He gives new meaning to the term "shredding" with a claw-hammer strum attack and a swing that threatens amps into yet better, bigger and more feedback as he heaps layers of chaos onto the unshakeable constancy of Georgia Hubley's beats and James McNew's chords.

What a show Monday night at the Rialto! Although most songs were from the new CD Fade, the band interrupted their set to accommodate a fan calling for "You Can Have It All" from 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out and, in the encore, "Tom Courteney" from 1995's Electro-Pura. "Autumn Sweater" from 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One also made the playlist. See the setlist below.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age's New Music Video is Creepy as Hell

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

"I Appear Missing" is the first release off of Queens of the Stone Age's forthcoming release Like Clockwork, set to be released June 6 — and I'm pumped, if only because Dave Grohl returned to lay down the drums for this album, which is cool in its own right. Bigger to me, though, is that I'm of the opinion that everything Grohl and QOTSA frontman Josh Homme collaborate on (QOTSA album Songs for the Deaf, Them Crooked Vultures, "Centipede" off of the Sound City soundtrack) turns into gold.

Interestingly enough, this is a truncated version of the full song, as the video features about half of the six-minute-long album cut.

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