Kim Shattuck on How Getting Fired by the Pixies Named Her Album

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Kim Shattuck
The Muffs

The Muffs (Kim Shattuck, Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald) have been writing and performing spirited, clever and fierce pop-punk tunes since they formed in the very early 1990s. Their first full-length release in 10 years, Whoop Dee Doo, hit the streets this week and both fans and critics are eating it up like candy, rightfully so. The 12-song recording is loaded with exciting, dynamic and catchy songs delivered with all the punch and spunk these longtime rockers have made us expect. Kim Shattuck, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist, was in the garage rock band The Pandoras, prior to The Muffs, and most recently did some time with the Pixies. Shattuck, whose voice can whip from snarl to sweet before you can blink an eye, got chatty with us about all that and more.

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DevilDriver's Dez Fafara: "The Earth Knows How to Purge Itself of Brush and People"

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Dean Karr
DevilDriver wants to drive you to the brink.

"We play more shows a year than any band out there right now, unless you have a residency in Vegas." --Dez Fafara, vocalist of DevilDriver.

Upon reading that, there are probably a dozen bands most people would list off the top of their heads -- and probably none would be heavy metal acts.

But as we all know, metal is a genre where most bands have to work twice as hard to get recognition, which includes touring. And nowadays, DevilDriver has been carrying that reputation on their shoulders.

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Chicago Power Pop Trio The Safes Provide Anthemic Ass-Shakers

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Andrew Ballantyne
The Safes

Chips off the block, The Safes -- three brothers from Chicago -- credit their dad, a working musician and record collector for laying down a rich musical foundation that inspired them to naturally progress from siblings into a power pop trio. Their new release, Record Heat, is loaded with muscle-y, driving guitar riffs and catchy vocal melodies. Tracks like "Change the Game" are anthemic ass-shakers whose tambourine-tinged stomp easily make you reach for the repeat button. The boys promise some rollicking, rock 'n' roll fun when the hit Scottsdale's Rogue Bar on May 16, with local openers The Rebel Set. We caught up with guitarist/singer Patrick O'Malley between shows.

Up on the Sun: So, it's three brothers O'Malley that make up this trio. Who does what?

Patrick O'Malley: For our live show, Frankie and I have vocal and guitar duties and Michael is on the drums and some vocals, too. Frankie and I will do bass work in the studio but we have a touring bassist for these live shows.

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Azar Lawrence, Doc Jones Team Up to Promote "Real Jazz"

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Dove Shore Photography
Azar Lawrence is scheduled to perform Wednesday, April 30, at CityScape.

When Azar Lawrence plays Phoenix on Wednesday, April 30, as part of International Jazz Day, he will bring with him a lifetime's worth of jazz knowledge, plus the experience of playing with jazz greats such as Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Young, not to mention non-traditional types such as Frank Zappa, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Busta Rhymes.

Lawrence is in town at the behest of William "Doc" Jones, who organized an event at CityScape to promote "real jazz," featuring Lawrence, Jones, Papa John DeFrancesco, Carlos Rivas, Kerry Campbell, Nayo Jones, and Phoenix Country Day School Varsity Jazz Band. The event is a part of International Jazz Day, organized by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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Motörhead's Mikkey Dee on Lemmy's Health, the Motörhead Cruise, and the Key to Success

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Courtesy of Mongrel Media

There's something fascinating about Motörhead's longevity. Nearly 40 years ago, the English band fused together heavy metal and punk -- fueled by healthy doses of whiskey -- to become one of the early pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.


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Blue Öyster Cult's Eric Bloom on Video Games and Lady Gaga

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Courtesy of Blue Öyster Cult

Creatures of habit are often seen as boring, but that isn't the case with Blue Öyster Cult. The band has made a career out of a particular routine: forging new paths and experimenting with the unknown. Since their self-titled debut album in 1972, the band has sold more than 24 million albums worldwide. Their music videos, particularly 1981's "Burnin' for You," helped develop and spur the popularity of music videos in pop culture. The lyrical content of countless songs circle around science fiction and the supernatural, and nowadays, vocalist/guitarist Eric Bloom admits to dabbling in video gaming.

And even though Blue Öyster Cult hasn't released a new album since 2001, Bloom recently replied "you can never say never" when asked if there's new music in the band's future. Plus, anything can happen. Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken gave the band's 1976 single "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" new life in the famous "More Cowbell" Saturday Night Live sketch, which remains a treasured pop culture staple. And in celebration of the band's 40th anniversary of their debut album, the band released a 17-disc boxed set in 2012 that featured the band's first 11 studio albums, remastered, along with several other audio treats.

We talked with Bloom, a music enthusiast since the late 1950s. In 2006, he partnered with artist Philippe Renaudin to create and sell six painted custom-made guitars, each one interpreting a different Blue Öyster Cult song and played in different performances. Up On The Sun talked with Bloom about the band's longevity, liking Lady GaGa, and Alice Cooper's inventions.

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How Chromeo's Patrick Gemayel Broke His Wrist in Phoenix

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Courtesy Photo
Chromeo is scheduled to perform Saturday, April 19, at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

Since Chromeo's formation almost a decade ago, the band has become a leader in dance music with its innovative, modern take on funk. Most notably, the group's third album, 2010's Business Casual, released hits like "Hot Mess" and "Don't Turn the Lights On."

Chromeo's fourth studio album, White Women, is set for release on May 12. The duo already has released a few tracks from the album, including "Come Alive" (featuring Toro Y Moi) and "Sexy Socialite" (featuring Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem). Along with the album release, Chromeo is on the roster for some of the world's largest music festivals this year, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury.


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Iration's Micah Pueschel on Legal Weed and How America Needs to Be More Forward-Thinking

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msopr.com
Iration is scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 15, at Tempe Beach Park.
It's difficult not to like something called "sunshine reggae" -- even for those who aren't the biggest fans of Marley dreads, Nag Champa and barefoot romps.

Iration embodies the description of sunshine reggae perfectly, a mix of dub, reggae and rock, and the band's live shows pulse with an undeniable Hawaiian/California positive energy. Easily understood, since members Micah Pueschel (guitar, vocals), Adam Taylor (bass), Cayson Peterson (keyboards), Joseph Dickens (drums) and Joseph King (dub controls, live sound) all hail from Hawaii but no live in breezy San Diego.

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The Pixies' Joey Santiago on Their New EPs and Possibly Replacing Kim Deal

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Courtesy Photo
The Pixies are scheduled to perform on Monday, February 24, at Comerica Theatre.
Millions of people know who the Pixies are. Since the '80s, the band has found its songs incorporated into some of the most significant moments within pop culture's most beloved films and shows -- but only within the past 15 years or so. (Think Fight Club's buildings tumbling, Zack and Miri Make a Porno's main character love story, or one of the most important episodes of Lost. And, of course, actor Paul Rudd's deep infatuation with the band.)

But how many people, especially who were born in the '80s and '90s, actually know the Pixies? It's a damn shame, but many don't -- at least not in the United States -- even though the band had a huge influence on the alt-rock boom of the 1990s.

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Alice Cooper: Our Christmas Is More Ozzie Nelson Than Ozzy Osbourne

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Solid Rock
Alice Cooper wishes you a very metal Christmas.
From blasting "Schools Out" during my teenage wasteland days to jamming out to the chugging guitar in "Under My Wheels" in my office, Alice Cooper has always played a prominent position in my heavy metal playlist.

Not only did he help shape the sound and look of heavy metal with his horror and vaudeville imagery as rock and roll's first villain. By the time Cooper was 18, it was the sexual revolution and Vietnam, and the band's best friends were The Mothers of Invention, The Doors and Jimi Hendrix.

He toured with Pink Floyd and once awoke to find Syd Barrett staring at a box of corn flakes like he was watching television, laughing, to which the shock-rocker comments: "He was a paranoid schizophrenic. Add acid to the mix and you get a much deeper problem."


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