Psychedelic Furs - Talking Stick - 11/8/14

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Mike Durham

Saturday night's Psychedelic Furs and Lemonheads show at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale could have done without one thing -- chairs. I'm sure that opinion wasn't shared by everyone, as plenty of butts seemed to keep those bad boys warm all night long, and when my party stood at times when hit songs weren't being played, we got yelled at by other attendees to take our seats.

That said, after more than three decades of filling the world with their blend of new wave-y post punk melodic tunes, simultaneously catchy, clever, and sometimes cutting, the Psychedelic Furs still deliver.

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Is Black Keys Drummer Patrick Carney the New Lars Ulrich?

Categories: Up On Sun

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Danny Clinch
Patrick Carney, right, of the Black Keys thinks artists should carefully consider whether to stream their music on Spotify.

Take a look at the following quotes about digital music and try to guess which came out of the mouth of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich during the Napster days and which came from Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney a few weeks ago while talking to New Times.

"It has nothing to do with [us] worrying about people buying our music. It's about the common goodwill toward other bands; that's all it is . . . What people don't understand is that if [file-sharing is] available, then of course people are going to use it and of course they should use it. And why not? The only problem is that the labels haven't figured out how to fucking compensate artists yet. That's the main problem."

"Right now, it's not about the money. It's about control, and it's about the future. The money that's being lost right now is pocket change. To me, it's about people's perception of the Internet, people's perception of what their rights are as an Internet user and how it relates to intellectual property . . . It affects anybody who creates any type of original work, all artists who create anything from scratch."

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11 Non-Halloween Songs That are Scary as Hell

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Edvard Munch would totally dig these songs.

It's that time of the year -- people start digging out spooky tunes to complete Halloween party playlists or just because they're in the spirit to rock out to music that exemplifies the holiday's scary vibes. In general, most popular Halloween tunes really aren't all that terrifying -- think usual suspects like "Monster Mash" -- fun, yes, but probably not going to keep you up at night. We put together a list of 11 songs that weren't written for the holiday but are truly haunting in their own unique ways.

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New Pornographers Demonstrate How Hope and Darkness Can Co-Exist in Music

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Mike Durham
New Pornographers' Neko Case and A.C. Newman

Crescent Ballroom was packed to the gills Monday night. A whole lot of mega-fans (and some less rabid admirers) of Canadian indie-pop-rockers New Pornographers gathered to see the band play a hearty set of more than 20 songs. The set mixed tunes from all the band's offerings from the past 14 years, including a bunch of tracks from their new release, Brill Bruisers -- their first in four years. This tour is extra special, as members Neko Case and Dan Bejar were able to break away from their other projects and join the rest of the members; sometimes the band tours without one or both.

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Is There Anything Better Than a Sad Clown Singing Pop Songs?

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David Stuart Photography
Puddles, the sad clown

Now's the chance to use that old-fashioned monogrammed hanky that's burning a hole in your dresser drawer or just grab a cheap box of tissues - - whatever suits you best for sopping up tears mixed of both laughter and desolation - - and spend the evening with Puddles Pity Party. Known as the "sad clown with the golden voice," Puddles is the stage name of Big Mike Geier, a multi-talented singer, actor and performance artist whose 6-foot, 8-inch stature, appropriately twisted sense of humor and majestic baritone voice command a room.

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Black Joe Lewis Injects Rock into His Soul For New Album

Categories: Up On Sun

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Black Joe Lewis

Popular conjecture claims that Black Joe Lewis started playing guitar simply to annoy his redneck co-worker at an Austin, Texas pawnshop. That's partially true -- he did purchase his first guitar there and played it in his down time -- but Lewis, seeing his friends in bands, had elected to fill his life with music. Despite the steady, but low-paying, job, he knew music was his true calling. Once he became proficient enough on the instrument, Lewis began performing with blues, punk, rock, funk and soul musicians -- anyone who'd have him. Forming his own band -- originally, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears -- he put those influences to good use. More recently, however, shedding the Honeybears, Lewis' sound has grown exponentially as allows those rawer elements of his past -- from feedback to deep fuzz, growling vocals to guttural howls -- shine through in Electric Slave, an album that leaves listeners breathless. Lewis says the progression from high-energy soul/funk act to psychedelic blues-rock warriors was a natural one. In fact, Lewis enjoys his "own original sound" so much, he's willing to forsake the past for what the present brings.

"It's exactly what we wanted it [to be]," he says. "It's music on the edge. ... I think this is the best stuff we've done."

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Weezer Finally Makes the Album Its Fans Have Been Waiting For

Categories: Up On Sun

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Has Weezer finally recorded a good album, after all these years?

You have to earn a Weezer fan's trust before he shows you his playlists. First, he'll make sure you aren't just parroting somebody else's post-Pinkerton decline narrative. He'll want to be sure you don't believe bassist Matt Sharp secretly wrote both of the band's two classic albums. He'll need to know that you have favorite outtakes and demos that never came out, not even on Rivers Cuomo's Alone records.

He'll want to know that you've thought -- over and over -- about how each of the seven albums the band's released since 2001 was lacking, not just in general but in its own particular way. Maladroit has great solos but the melodies are lifeless; Make Believe has heart but the production is sterile and the songs so short on words that they break into spontaneous ooh-ing choruses. The Red Album has high highs and low lows (mention "Miss Sweeney" and "Pig" here), and Hurley is competent but hardly a Weezer album at all. You shouldn't mention Raditude yet.

Talk like that for a while, let him know you're one of them, and then you'll finally see the dark side of his iTunes library: The albums he's invented because none of the real ones could satisfy him.

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Why Cassette Store Day Exists

Categories: Up On Sun

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In spring of last year, Stephen Rose shot an email to Jen Long and Matt Flag about an idea he had. Each of the three headed independent labels that release cassette tapes: Rose had SEXBEAT, Long ran Kissability and had a hand in Transgressive Records alongside Rose, and Flag oversaw Suplex Cassettes. Meeting his colleagues at a pub in Central London, Rose fleshed out his pitch: He wanted to create Cassette Store Day, a special date for music shops to promote cassette culture -- an idea playing on Record Store Day, the annual "holiday" established six years prior.

The trio began hammering out the logistics by throwing around questions: How could it be pulled off? Would it be a reflection of Record Store Day? Should they set up events for stores in London, or tell everyone around the world? How much time would they personally have to work on this? But at the idea's very core were bigger issues that needed to be resolved. "If I step back," recalls Flag, 33, "the first questions [were] probably, 'Is this a dumb idea? Is this even worth doing? Is this best left as one of those funny ideas you had in the pub on a Friday night or is it something that we should actually do?'"

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CSN Songs Have a "Scary" Relevancy Today, Graham Nash Says

Categories: Up On Sun

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Eleanor Stills
Neil Young had other plans the day of the shoot.

Numerous significant events occurred in 1974: President Richard Nixon imposed the 55 mile per hour speed limit. The Six Million Dollar Man debuted on TV. The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst, and Hank Aaron passed Babe Ruth as the all-time home run hitter. It also marked the first (and possibly best) of many Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion tours.

And, to hear Graham Nash tell it, it was quite a tour.

"There was some great music played on that tour, and I wanted to show everyone what that was," he says during a current stop in North Carolina. Nash and C, S, and Y are highlighting the tour on a recently released box set containing 40 songs handpicked from those 30 concerts. Yet, because the final show was substandard, the original idea of quickly issuing a live album "got put on the back burner" for 40 years.

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Why You'll Have to Visit Arcosanti to Hear The Album Leaf

Categories: Up On Sun

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Jimmy LaVelle of The Album Leaf

By definition, an "album leaf" is a musical piece written in dedication to a friend or admirer to be inserted in their album or autograph book. Whether it was intentional or not, Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf has inserted his own leaves into his latest project.

The Album Leaf started in 1998 when LaValle experimented with electronic organs, synthesizers, and software controllers to produce rhythmic ambient music. His most popular album, In a Safe Place, launched him into the electronic music world.

Currently, LaValle and his band of collaborators are working in the studio to produce their fifth studio album, due out next year. But until then, LaValle teamed up with Michael Raines to produce a documentary about The Album Leaf's tour through China and Japan, called Beyond There.

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