8 Phoenix Bands Who Entered NPR's Tiny Desk Contest

Phoenix's Rising Sun Daughter is one local band with eyes on the Tiny Desk prize.

Adele, T Pain, John Legend, Wilco, Trey Anastasio, Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, The B.O.T.S., Trampled By Turtles, Hozier, The Pixies, and Neko Case are just a few of the notable bands and musicians that have participated in National Public Radio's Tiny Desk Concert Series.

The concept is pretty simple and straightforward. People come to the NPR Music office and perform a short concert for the NPR staff. But the series has grown into more than that. The videos, meticulously shot and edited, have an intimate feel, and offer a chance to see bands that don't always perform at small venues up close and personal. It has become somewhat of an honor to be selected as one of the bands

NPR seems to have realized the power which the Tiny Desk Concert wields and have opened up the concert to a national contest. Bands from all 50 states and the District of Columbia turned in videos of themselves playing around a tiny desk. The contest was open from December 2 until January 19, and the winner will be announced Feb. 12.

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We Got Power's Dave and Jordan: We Just Loved Hardcore Music

We Got Power began life as a fanzine started by Dave Markey and Jordan Schwartz in the early '80s as the hardcore punk scene was taking off in Southern California. The book features essays by many of the pioneers from that time who we now recognize as members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Red Kross, and many other bands. Henry Rollins, Keith Morris, and Dez Cadena are just some of the many contributors who provide personal narratives to accompany the photographs of that era. The book contains first-generation L.A. hardcore images, many of which you can see in person starting this Friday at Modified Arts.

We talked to both founders about what it was like to be at the shows that they documented using the 35mm camera they were given for Christmas, and how their passion for the music scene led them to pen the first issue.

Up on the Sun: The photographs in the book are so emotive and capture the energy of that era--whether its an audience in thrall to a band, a singer connecting with the crowd, or teenagers on couches at parties. What was it like when you were first looking back at these original photographs from the '80s that ended up in the book?
Dave Markey: The minute we put the negatives in after scanning them, we were just completely blown away by what we were seeing. I mean, it was our lives at the time.

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Last Shot: A Concert Photographer's Battle With Cancer

Categories: Art

Lindsey Best
Andrew Youssef

[Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Heard Mentality, the music blog of our sister paper OC Weekly. Longtime concert photographer Andrew Youssef found out almost two years ago that he had Stage IV Colon Cancer. In that time, he has continued to shoot tons of music events for us on top of other freelance work and working a day job at a hospital, of all places. As he continues to fight for his life, this series allows him to tell his story in his own words.]

It was close to two years ago that I passed out at work. Fortunately, I work as a pharmacist in a hospital and was immediately rushed down to the emergency room. During the several months prior to this incident, I had lost about 20 pounds and started to get fatigued very easily. The streaks of blood in my stool probably should have risen more red flags. At age 35, my thoughts jumped to a possible diagnosis of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

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Are Taylor Swift Greeting Cards Better Than Normal Greeting Cards? We Investigate.

Categories: Art, Weird

She's a multimillion-selling crop (country-pop) artist, a perfumer, and a maneater. Head over to your local Albertsons and take a gander at the greeting cards section and you'll discover Taylor Swift is also adept at slapping pictures of cute puppies onto cardstock and writing gems such as "Wow. Just Wow," on the front, too.

Yep, the 23-year-old mogul has the card market cornered, partnering up with American Greetings last year for a line of sugary-sweet visual cards that include images of everything from kids doing handstands to hands full of rose petals. So, how do the cards, uh, stack up?

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10 Awesome Concert Posters at SXSW's Flatstock 33

Categories: Art, SXSW

This poster by Nakatomi caused the kid behind me to say: "Dad, I want the giant squid poster. Now."
See also: The Worst Moments from SXSW 2012

By Nick Rallo

Flatstock is a dangerous place to be with a credit card. This year, Flatstock 33 (presented by the American Poster Institute) featured over 100 artists with enough completely badass concert posters to drain your checking account dry. No, seriously: five minutes of walking around the Convention Center, and you'll start to imagine which pieces of furniture you'll sell later to pay the rent.

The 10 posters below were favorites from the bunch.

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Jimmy Eat World Invented Album Art Released

Categories: Art

Internationally successful multi-platinum recording artists Local band Jimmy Eat Word released the cover art for their upcoming album Invented earlier this morning. As reported last week, the record is due on September 28.

Personally, I sorta like this art, though the woman's hand is out of focus which bothers me. Anyone know who this is or where it was taken?

Pete Petrisko Dead? The Arizona Republic Says So

Categories: Art
Pete Petrisko is moving to Tucson. The downtown artist and "jack-of-all-arts in the downtown community" says he wants to live somewhere a little more art-centric -- and who can blame him? He's just one part of the brain-drain that's leaving Downtown Phoenix ovah. Great, fine, cool.

However, a press release reporting his move apparently confused some literalistic clerk at the Arizona Republic, who took "with his passing (to our neighboring art-centric city of Tucson), Deus Ex Machina is proud to host a look back at Petrisko's work" to mean he was dead.

The Rep translated that into: "Browse through the work the artist created before his passing."

Daddy, do you go to Tucson when you die? Only if you're bad, son!

The listing still hasn't been taken down -- you can see it here.More »

Royal Monsters Guitarist Shows Off His Life Through Comic

Categories: Art
You might think you know the members of Phoenix hardcore band Royal Monsters by listening to the band's lyrics. Guitarist Jeff Owens gives fans (and comic book freaks) an even more intimate look into his life with his autobiographical comic, Screw Jeff Owens, found at www.screwjeffowens.com.

Owens (also a member of local metal band Satan's Monk) updates his online comic daily, with single-panel looks into his life, touching on everything from his relationship with his bands, to what he's eating for lunch and movies he's seen, to his opinion on world events. Some are serious, some are funny, but all are extremely simple and cute -- sort of like an online diary with cool illustrations.

Owens talked more about what his plans with the comic, which has been around since 2007, are. He's currently selling an anthology of the 2007 panels, titled Screw Jeff Owens Year One, which is available online and at local comic stores.

New Times: How did you come up with the idea to do the comic?

Jeff Owens: I was working at Samurai Comics at the time with my friend Brandon Huigens, and he started doing some mini-comics. His drawings and suggestions that, "Anyone can do this," really inspired me to start doing my own comics. I did some strips here and there for the following few years, and then finally took off with it in 2007.

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Third Friday Art Walk Update

Categories: Art

Good news for those who are cruising the downtown galleries on March's Third Friday Artwalk: You'll be able to see Katherine Zsolt's "Leaving My Father's House" at the Icehouse and Bob Carey Ballerinas at Bokeh Gallery.

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People's Biennial Slated for SMoCA Raises Hackles of Local Artists and Curators

Categories: Art, Up On Sun

Kathleen Vanesian
Could this be a contender for SMoCA's upcoming "People's Biennial"?
The art community grapevine in this Valley is about three inches long, so it didn't take much time for me to get calls concerning a recent, very heated panel discussion at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SmoCA) about a show that's been proposed called "People's Biennial."

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