100 Places to Party in Metro Phoenix: Super Bowl Guide

Categories: Up On Sun

Hey there, Phoenix! We're rolling out the grassy green carpet in honor of the biggest event to hit town since - well, since the last Super Bowl rolled through. The 49th annual celebration of all things professional football promises to be the grandest yet, and Phoenix New Times has it all mapped out. From parties and Super Bowl-centric events to must-do restaurants, bars, shopping and attractions, we've got you covered.

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JMSN's Pop Tendencies Found Their Way Out Eventually

Categories: Up On Sun

The cover for JMSN's latest self-titled album, which fans call "THe Blue Album"

When Christian Berishaj writes music, he disconnects. The iPhone is turned off, the e-mail and texts and phone calls reach an electronic dead end, and the Los Angeles-via-Detroit artist seeks out space.

For now, that space is the North Hollywood apartment he rents, yet another place of his own he's carved out during his six years in L.A., where he writes and tracks demos as JMSN. He can't afford a getaway in the mountains at the moment, but his sights are set on reclaiming some of that natural openness for his himself. He ponders the eventuality of it, a brief moment during our interview when he doesn't cap a statement with a laugh.
"When I get to that point, I'll have to figure out where I want that space," he says.

Berishaj has no time for bullshit, and he will tell you so. Having undergone a series of musical iterations -- first as multi-instrumentalist Love Arcade, which signed to Columbia Records, then later under the moniker Christian TV, which signed with Universal Motown -- he struck out on his own and formed his own independent record label, White Room Records. It's the venture through which Berishaj released his most recent and highly lauded self-titled LP, known to Berishaj and his fans as "The Blue Album."

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Project Phoenix: Building an Electric Guitar at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix

Categories: Up On Sun

Photos by Becky Bartkowski
Happy New Year, Phoenix! What, you've already broken all your resolutions? Yeah, us too. But we're bouncing back with some inspiration. Whether you've been considering a new hair style or a new kitchen project, we're here to help with Project PHX, our annual "how to" guide. Step into Pane Bianco's kitchen to learn how to pull mozzarella. Or brew beer, crochet dread locks, learn how to build an electric guitar and make a screen print. Five local experts are here to guide you. Today: Jim Prater builds an electric guitar.

Jim Prater's path to guitar-making is, perhaps unsurprisingly, pretty rock 'n' roll. 

The Illinois native graduated from college and ran a couple of small businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area, but he was unhappy with his work. He wanted a change of scenery. So at age 30, he quit. His new career? He wanted to learn to make guitars.

Though he'd never been to Arizona before, Prater applied to the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery in Phoenix because he had a gut feeling that it was the right fit. The renowned school has been around since 1972, and it's one of the few luthiery programs that's accredited.

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Psychedelic Furs - Talking Stick - 11/8/14

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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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