Arizona Republic's Idiotic "Best Local Band" Contest: Handicapping the 2010 Version
|Meet Chuck E. Baby... He might just be the best local musician in Phoenix. According the Arizona Republic, at least.|
First, the paper put together a terrible list (Asses of Evil?), then it allowed Isle of Essence to dominate the competition, so much so that the band declared themselves winners after amassing a seemingly insurmountable lead on the last day.
Isle of Essence did not win, though. Why? That's never come to light. Though the IOE guys were boisterous up until something went down with Republic editors, the band refused to talk to me about the situation after they were apparently disqualified. I tried really, really hard to get them to talk. I even dangled the prospect of a 1,200-word feature on the band, advancing a charity show they cared deeply about, and they passed. Does that mean they're definitely low-down, cheating dogs who did something awful? You be the judge.
This year's version of Arizona's Worst Imitation of The Phoenix New Times' Definitive Best Of Phoenix Issue (we're the original, we're the best, it's really no competition) promises a little less intrigue than last year. Still, there are a few interesting names on the list, including several bands you've definitely never heard of.
Andrew Jackson Jihad, Phoenix
Basics: Awesomely confrontational folk-punks. Last album, 2009's Can't Maintain, was truly masterful.
Predicted finish: Disqualified after some granny in Gilbert calls the ombudsman to complain about lyrics like, "We didn't come here to rock, we only came to disappoint you, 'cuz deep down in your cunt, that's exactly what you wanted us to do."
Authority Zero, Mesa
Basics: Well-established, workmanlike skate-punk band that made some waves with its debut record in 2002. The success of "Over Seasons" got the band an automatic bid in this category for at least the next 37 years.
Predicted finish: Middle of the pack.
Chuck E. Baby & the All-Stars, Phoenix
Basics: This one I had to look up. Turns out Chuck E. is a an alum of the "Best Party Band for Corporate Events and Weddings Category." Their site's Press/News section features an article from our own Thomas Bond, which appears to be from his days as music editor at ye olde East Valley Tribune. That would make it at least five years old. Chances are some senior manager at the Rep saw Chuck E. at his niece's wedding and suggested the people in his department, not knowing how ridiculous this made the entire contest look to outsiders. "They're really, really good, wait 'til you hear that sax," he said. "Man, these guys are great, they remind me of the time I saw Zeppelin in '78!"
Predicted finish: Ugh. Anything above last is a slap in the face to Arizona music.
EastonAshe, Cave Creek
Basics: This is another one I had to look up. I can't prove this, but I strongly suspect these ultra-polished lite rockers (they seriously make Toad the Wet Sprocket look like Kill 'Em All era Metallica) double as a worship band at some non-dom church in their native Cave Creek. They asked their congregation to nominate them, and will ask them to keep voting.
Predicted finish: Hard to say... this is the sort of band very prone to ballot box stuffing in my experience.