Ville Vallo of HIM Takes A Trip Through Time With New Box Set

Categories: Interview

HIM is scheduled to play Marquee Theatre tonight.

Generally, when a band releases a box set, it means one of two things. Either they've broken up years ago and are looking for a cash grab, or they are about to go on an extended break. In the case of Finnish rock band HIM, who are about to release Lashes to Ashes, Lust to Dust: A Vinyl Retrospective '96-'03 next week, they are going to take some time off from touring. We caught up with singer Ville Vallo, who spoke about the past, present, and future of the band that invented "Love Metal."

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JJCnV Shares the Secret to a Happy Marriage

Categories: Local Wire

Jordan Schwartz
JJCnV maintains a serious interest in silly dillies.

These days, punk and even so-called alternative music seems to be cut-and-dried. But it doesn't have to be that way -- just ask JJCnV, the Mesa trio who has been releasing some of the strangest tunes in the Valley for nearly a decade. Their crass sense of humor has spanned three full-lengths, and two EPs, all released on Flab Fjord Records, many of them recorded and mixed by Jalipaz Nelson at Audioconfusion.

Songs like "Hunter of Bugs" and "Hamsterdam" explore the kind of short, sweet, and offbeat themes Pixies fans are usually into, but tracks like "Deli Mmmeat," which talks about smelling urine, recall the jokey punk style of the Dead Milkmen. Their videos employ a morbid campiness, such as the singing bicep on "Stomach Baby" or the severed cow head Ray Reeves plays with on "Flush It."

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13 Places to Party on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Party Crasher

Benjamin Leatherman
Tis the season for celebrating.
Yes, Virginia, there are going to be things to do after dark on Christmas Eve that don't include wrapping last-minute gifts, attending midnight mass, or staying up late to see if there really is a Santa Claus.

Since there's inevitably going to be people out there who need a drink or three to get them through the holidays, prefer getting down to dance music versus listening to endless carols, or would simply rather gather around a bar instead of a hearth, a number of gin joints, nightclubs, and music venues will be doing business on Wednesday, December 24, and Thursday, December 25.

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Anthony Valadez Talks About The Importance of Making Art for Yourself

Categories: hip-hop

Theo Jemison
Anthony Valadez

It's easy to find new and interesting music these days. All we have to do is pull up an app on our smartphone, and in seconds we can find a song that will hopefully move, motivate, or make us feel that special something in the gray matter between our headphones. Once upon a time, though, finding music that was left of center wasn't easy. Just ask Los Angeles-based Anthony Valadez, a photographer, record producer, podcaster, blogger, and the Monday late-night DJ at Santa Monica's public radio station, KCRW. The multi-hyphenate, who was hunting for early-'90s hip-hop and underground French artist DJ Cam in his formative years, recalls the journey he used to take to retrieve an album from his favorite record store.

"Melrose had all the cool, hip record shops," Valadez says. "I used to take the bus and travel down to Hollywood to just buy one or two records, because that's all I could afford at the time. I remember just sitting in the record store for hours and hours and I'd come home with two records, but those two records justified the whole trip."

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Tempe's Gilgongo Records Celebrates 10 Years of Underground Music

Categories: Music Features

Jason P. Woodbury
James Fella performing at the Trunk Space in downtown Phoenix.
Gilgongo Records founder James Fella smiles mischievously as he pulls a record from a sleeve and puts it on the turntable.

"This is incredible," he says, dressed unassumingly in a button-down, blue jeans, and New Balances. The youthful-looking 32-year-old brushes his hair to the side as haunting sounds emit from the speakers, muffled strands of "Martha My Dear," that sound warbled and transmuted.

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8 Best Christmas Songs Written By Jews

Categories: Lists

A still from Judy Garland Christmas Special
The incomparable (and Jewish) Mel Torme, singing here with Judy Garland. Torme penned the iconic "The Christmas Song."

As an American Jew in December, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, Christmas is a very important Christian holiday, while for Jews, Hanukkah isn't even in the top three. Everywhere you look there is a light display, nativity scene, or TV whacko reminding you that the vast majority of your fellow countrymen don't share your religious beliefs. But turn on the radio, and the sappy "Christmas" songs you hear every year are mostly secular. And guess what? Many of those songs were written by Jews, who were often recent immigrants or their children. So these Jewish songwriters, while trying ton integrate into an at-times hostile society, wrote some of the most timeless holiday songs, focusing not on divinity but on universal experiences like missing loved ones during the holidays and the sweet smell of roasted chestnuts. So the following songs, all written by Jews, are not just celebrations of the most unifying parts of the holiday season -- family and togetherness -- but a triumph of the American melting pot immigrant experience. In honor of the first night of Hanukkah, here are the eight best Christmas songs written by Jews.

P.S.: The worst Christmas song ever, "Do They Know It's Christmas," was not written by a Jew. One of the song's writers, Bob Geldof, has a Jewish paternal grandmother, but Geldof told a magazine that he currently practices no religion. Whew.

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Weird Al's UHF Turns 25 and the World Finally Catches Up

Categories: Television

Shout Factory
"Weird" Al Yankovic in UHF.

The year 2014 may go down as humanity's Weirdest. By that, we mean it's the year that the Prince of Parody "Weird Al" Yankovic has made "Weird" the new cool. After three decades of pop-decimating debauchery, we saw Yankovic finally land his first No. 1 album in Mandatory Fun, as well as roll out video after video with A-List cameos and ubiquitous media attention. For his legion of Al-oholics, these props are long overdue.

Capping off a banner year is the special 25th anniversary edition of UHF. Yes, a quarter-century ago, Weird Al made a movie. It's a film with a following is so loyal and so esoteric, it has become the epitome of a cult classic.

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10 More Underrated Punk Records: A Christmas List

Categories: Lists

Tom Reardon

It's that time of year again, kids. I'm sure you know the one. It's time to ask your Aunt Jean for a new record to throw on the family stereo at inopportune times so you can show how tortured your teenage soul has become. You need this, badly, and Aunt Jean is just crazy enough to say yes, take you down to the local record store, and pony up the dough for a record or two your parents would never buy.

Solely because I care, here's a list of 10 records you can ask the ol' spinster for, because though they are classics in some households, sadly, they've been overlooked in too many others. They come guaranteed to piss off your dad, render your mom incontinent, startle your pastor, and turn your older sister into a drug addict, but what do you care? Record collecting is where it's at, and someday you're going to work in a strip mall anyway, so you'll need a good Christmas (or Hanukah or Festivus) story to share.

If you can find 'em, buy these . . .

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How Mighty Mighty Bosstones Created Ska-Core

Categories: Q&A

Drea Catalano
Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Determining which came first -- ska or punk -- is irrelevant. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones offer up a duel personality that's simultaneously abrasive and chill. First (or maybe second), the driving energy and angst of punk rock pushes the pace, while the cool riddims, staccato guitar and punctuating horn blasts of ska strive for equal rights. Put it together and you have the Boston band's contribution to musical history: Ska-core.

"The same person who played the punk rock records for me, played some English ska records. I fell in love with the punk and the ska," says MMB founder Dickey Barrett.

Barrett deftly merged the two styles together, creating a sound ideal for pulling on a blunt, then working it off in the mosh pit. The band's latest album, Magic of Youth, features a decidedly harder edge, though Barrett insists the ska influence remains.

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6 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

Categories: This Week

A still from Stiches' "Brick in Yo Face" video
Stitches brings his creepy face tattoos to Joe's Grotto Tuesday night.

'Tis the season for something. Whether you unironically don an ugly Christmas sweater and embrace the holidays or spend December bitching about consumerism and the inherent shallowness of modern society, there's something about the last month of the year you're doing differently. If you can spare the dough from your gift-buying budget, check out the following concerts. You can find many more options on our comprehensive concert calendar.

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