Top Five Must-See Shows This Weekend in Phoenix
Sunday, January 20: Weird is the New Cool @ Martini Ranch
To paraphrase the common axiom: In show business, it's not who you know, it's who knows you. Phoenix-based hip-hop crew Weird Is the New Cool counts former Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash, radio DJs Johnjay and Rich, and MTV favorite Gym Class Heroes among its admirers, achieving recognition for its laid-back, summery sound without even releasing an album. But the band's history isn't nearly as breezy as its sound.
The group formed in 2007, when singer Kyle Collins enlisted the help of his Dobson High School friend and guitarist Nate VerWoert to back him. Eventually, the twosome grew to a six-piece group, and in 2010, after a couple of years crafting their sound, WINC released music videos for the über-catchy "Beer Pong" and "Arizona." The latter -- which features myriad cameos, including a lip-synching Steve Nash -- gained nearly 90,000 YouTube views.
The momentum was derailed that winter, when a rollover car accident involving their van, "The WINC-Mobile," killed their friend and driver Dan Branigan and seriously injured guitarist Cash Murphy. The group's future was uncertain, and the fatal accident put the group's album release plans on hold.
But they roared back: The band has proved its loyalty to the local scene by supporting other local bands whenever they can, including hosting them in the practice space they've created, the Space Music Studio. Seven bands practice there, including Authority Zero, and WINC says one of their biggest goals is to stifle the cliques in the scene and unite local bands -- something Devore says the band is succeeding at. -- Nicki Escudero
730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ