Mergence Explains Why They Wrote "White Bark" In The Desert

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These vibrant young people aren't dead yet...
The atmospheric, bluesy local rockers in Mergence may already be known for keeping it weird with communes, nomads and robots with the release of their first album, Those Vibrant Young People Are Dead--but with their upcoming EP they are taking it to an entirely new level.

It makes sense, since the name Mergence describes the future evolution of their influence on the industry and their sound, which has been compared to the likes to The Black Keys, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Up On The Sun talked with front man Adam Bruce over a post-band practice phone call, punctuated by the clinking of ice from glasses of whiskey and gin. He discussed how he lived up to his statement in our last interview of writing the second album in the middle of the desert, why the band didn't appear in the "White Bark" music video, and the new experimentation the band dabbled with in the studio.

Mergence is scheduled to perform at Crescent Ballroom on Saturday, June 1.

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DMC Phoenix DJ Battle to Take Place Saturday; Ordinary Club DJs Need Not Apply

Categories: Events

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Downtown Phoenix's Monarch Theatre is gonna take on old-school aura this weekend when more than a dozen local DJs and selectors showcase mad turntablism in what could be the first step toward superstardom.

The Phoenix Regionals for the World DMC DJ Championships, one of the most esteemed competitions for the turntablist crowd, goes down Saturday night at the dance club, and it's guaranteed to showcase some of the fiercest and finest scratching, mixing, and cutting in the Valley.

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Portugal. The Man's New Album: Evil Friends, Track by Track

Categories: Events

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Britt Chester, Westword

Put on almost any Rolling Stones record and it is instantly recognizable as the Rolling Stones. There is no mistaking the gritty sound and straight-up rock 'n' roll riffs. Now, put on a Portugal. The Man album. It, too, is instantly recognizable by the complex layers and textures in each song, the monumental send-ups and whispered hushes surrounding John Gourley's falsetto voice and distinctive cadence.

But while one Stones album sounds a lot like any other, no two Portugal. The Man albums sound alike. For example, In the Mountain in the Cloud expanded on The Satanic Satanist with rich orchestration balancing raw, stripped-down moments and a couple of glam-ish power-pop masterpieces. The upcoming Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends goes even further.

After the jump: A track-by-track teaser of Evil Friends, out June 4. Portugal. The Man plays April 17 at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

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Jurassic 5's Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark Lend Support to Blunt Club's Benefit for Artist Jules Demetrius

Categories: Events

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Jules Demetrius
Local urban artist Jules Demetrius has never seemed to want when it comes to the friend department. Amongst his multitude of acquaintances and comrades, the 43-year-old painter and graphic designer are a horde of local creative types from both the music and art world, as well as some famous names like the members of Jurassic 5 and De La Soul.

And many of 'em are helping out Demetrius during his greatest time of need, including such cats as Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, as he's in the midst of a life and death battle with colon cancer.

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Futuristic's Chasing Down a Dream Expands the Phoenix Rapper's Broad Appeal

Categories: Events, hip-hop

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onlyfuturistic.com
Futuristic
Listen, I'm a sore loser and a sore winner. I used to cry after losing my elementary school chess matches, which thankfully directed me away from competitive pawn-pushing and into the soothing subjectivity of the arts. However, I also love to gloat when proved right: I put my chips down on Tempe rap prankster Futuristic last year as a local artist to keep an eye on, and he's back with a promising new album.

See also:

-Futuristic: Tempe Rapper Isn't Afraid to Dream Big

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Scott Gesser Brings "Delightfully Offensive Acoustic Standup" to Soul Invictus This Weekend with I'll Be Your Beard

Categories: Events

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Photo courtesy Scott Gesser
We had to begin our first 2013 conversation with comic singer/songwriter Scott Gesser by following up on his New Year's resolution for 2012. So did he, as he vowed from Soul Invictus' stage in November 2011, get more pussy in the new year?

"Probably about the same amount," Gesser tells Up on the Sun. "It's nice being in a relationship, because you always know who to ask. I'm actually doing a duet with her." (The fully clothed, musical type of duet, we figure.)

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DJ Element Performing One Final Gig at The Blunt Club in Late February

Categories: Events, News

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AZXclusive.com
Logan "DJ Element" Howard
We once asked local turntablism guru Logan Howard to approximate how many gigs he's performed over the course of his 16-year stint as DJ Element. While he wasn't able to answer the question exactly -- which you can't fault him for, considering the staggering length of his career -- but estimated it was "somewhere in the thousands."

On February 28, you can add one more performance to that hazy total, and it's probably one of the biggest of the bunch, since it will be Howard's swan song as DJ Element.

See also:
- DJ Element Announces His Retirement
- DJ Element on Timing, DJ Quik, and Repping the Southwest
- Best Hip-Hop DJ (2012): DJ Element


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KUKQ Holds "Q Family Gathering" and Live Broadcast at Pub Rock on Friday Night

Categories: Events

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See also: Chasers Sold to New Owners and Becomes Pub Rock, A Music Venue With an In-House Radio Broadcasting Studio
If you don't have any plans for Labor Day Weekend, then you obviously live under a rock...or are one of those agoraphobics or shut-ins. There's no shortage of concerts and club gigs to attend over the next four days, whether it's any of the dance events starring some big-name DJs visiting the Valley or the wealth of indie rock and hip-hop shows.

The cats at KUKQ also have something going on over at Pub Rock in Scottsdale, which we're expecting will soon become their new favorite local spot. The online radio station will hold a "Q Family Gathering" tomorrow night at the recently rebooted bar and music venue, which includes a live broadcast and chances to score some prizes.

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Macy Gray Performs Special DJ Set Tonight at W Scottsdale Hotel's WET Deck

Categories: Events

Flickr via Jazmin Million
Macy Gray DJs at the posh Time Supper Club in Montreal.
The DJ booth up on the W Scottsdale Hotel's WET Deck will host a special guest spin session tonight, and its someone you might not normally associate with the world of turntables and club nights.

Grammy-winning R&B singer Macy Gray will dialing up tracks on the mixers during her set this evening during the W's Thursday Night Swim and "Carribbean Cool Down" party. And best of all, you won't have to pay the usual Old Town cover charges to witness her set, as admission is free.


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EDC 2012: Coachella or Electric Daisy Carnival: Which One is Better?

Categories: Coachella , Events

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Kaskade.
See also: Our Complete Coachella Coverage

See more EDC Vegas coverage:
EDC Vegas Pulls Plug on Music Due to High Winds
EDC 2012: Calvin Harris Plays CDs of Himself Singing
EDC 2012: House Music Beef With DJ Sneak Plays Out in Steve Angello's DJ Set
Slideshow -- EDC Day 1
Slideshow -- EDC Day 2

Dance music is coming to an arena near you: Kaskade will be the first DJ ever to play Staples Center (July 27). And mainstream concert promoters such as Live Nation are diving into the electronic dance explosion.

Electric Daisy Carnival, which is being held this weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, is the ultimate big stage for DJs. These larger-than-life dance titans, many of whom find as many fans via radio as they do in clubs, provide an over-the-top experience.

It was Coachella that introduced electronic dance music to the contemporary alt-rock crowd, even as EDC brought DJs to the masses. So which is king of the EDM concert world?


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