Drag the River Shows There's More Similarities Between Country and Punk Than You'd Think

Imelda Michalczyk
Drag the River

Though not obvious, the connection is strong between punk and country music. Both genres can be rough around the edges, feature bad-boy frontmen, and contain songs about societal woes. Hank Williams III has turned his country music into a thrashing, moshing affair.

Less outwardly abrasive, but no less fun, is Drag the River, a revolving group of players that grew out of the ashes of two punk bands, All and Armchair Martian. To be fair, both punk bands -- the former featuring Chad Price, the latter Jon Snodgrass -- were in full swing as Drag the River slowly came into existence. Busy with their own bands but looking for outlets, the pair took advantage of an opportunity to record free demos in the then-newly christened Blasting Room recording studio.

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Let's Be Real: Burning Man Is Bad for the Environment

Categories: Burning Man

Brian Ezren

By Keith Plocek

This week, 68,000 revelers will descend on Nevada's remote Black Rock Desert. (That is, assuming the rain lets up.)

They will travel from Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Mexico City, and places you've never heard of. They will take part in the temporary city that is Burning Man and will light a giant wooden man aflame.

Despite it all, Burning Man somehow has gotten a reputation as a "green" event. But that is simply not the case. Make no mistake: Burning Man is bad for the environment.

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Check Out One Demented House Party in Fairy Bones' New Music Video

Categories: Local Wire

We're starting to think Fairy Bones throws good parties.

Fairy Bones frontwoman Chelsey Louise Richard said that every song on the band's upcoming album, Dramabot, is going to have a video to go with it, and they are starting out with the album's first single, "Waiting."

The video depicts what is essentially the scariest house party you've ever seen. It was kind of like a cross between a house show, and the turkish bathhouse scene from Batman & Robin.

Okay, maybe not that scary, but it is still a bunch of neon-colored crazies doing something in a house that looks like a cross between partying and cult ritual. With one serious-looking hula-hooper.

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The Red-Brown Border Politics of Phoenix Hip-Hop Duo Shining Soul

Categories: hip-hop

Utreen White
Shining Soul

In May, Phoenix-based hip-hop duo Shining Soul -- Franco Habre, a.k.a. Bronze Candidate, and Alex Soto, a.k.a. Liason -- made a video for their track "No Mercy," off their album, released in September 2013. The video mostly is protest footage mixed with clips of the group performing in concert, but the simple video goes well with the song, and the group's simple message: Smash borders.

The video includes footage from Arizona demonstrations such as 2010's Diné, Tohono O'odham, Anarchist bloc (known as the DO@ bloc), which was a protest against Tent City, as well as an anti-fascist demonstration that took place in downtown Phoenix in 2009 known as The Inglourious Basterds Bloc, and footage from a lockdown at a Tucson border patrol station.

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The Big Bang in Tempe to Close on September 6

Categories: Opening/Closing

Flickr via JuanR0driguez
The entrance to The Big Bang along Mill Avenue in Tempe.
The baby grands inside The Big Bang in Tempe are about to go silent after more than a decade. Owners of the underground piano bar, a hallmark of Mill Avenue's nightlife scene since it opened 2003, have announced that it will closing its doors on September 6.

Recent messages on both the bar's voicemail and its Facebook account informed its patronage of the closure. And while no reasons are given for the big end of the Big Bang, the messages encouraged its regulars and fans to attend the spot's final nights in operation.

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Revolver Records Continues In-Store Recording Sessions with Andrew Jackson Jihad and ROAR

Categories: Local Wire

Mandi Kimes
ROAR recorded a song at Revolver Records as part of the store's Recorded In A Record Store series.

Barn. Abandoned hotel. Log cabin. These are just a few locations outside the recording studio that bands have recorded their music. And now: record store.

Jared Cox and TJ Jordan of Revolver Records are the masterminds behind Recorded in a Record Store, a compilation album of local bands who did just that.

"The two of us own a fair amount of vintage mics and preamps," Cox explains. "We wanted to put our gear to use and record bands and artists that we both like. We both thought the idea of recording a band live inside of a record store was really cool."

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Copper & Congress Find New Life in Trip-Hop

Jimi Giannatti
Copper & Congress

Tucson's Copper & Congress is a self-described "indie soul" trio of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Katie Haverly, bassist Patrick Morris, and drummer Julius Schlosburg.

"We formed in 2012," Haverly recalls. "We had a different drummer and guitar player. Patrick and I have been together since the beginning. Our guitar player quit and our drummer moved away, so we got Julius a year ago."

Copper & Congress' first album, The Leap Year (2012), was a somewhat transitional effort more indebted to singer-songwriter Americana, but this year's just-released Fault Line is where the trio finds its own voice, in a more rhythm-based style improbably influenced by the likes of mid-'90s trip hop of Portishead, Bjork, and Jamiroquai.

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A Handy Guide to How Long a Set Your Band Should Play

Categories: Sound Off

Melissa Fossum
Sleigh Bells has earned the right to play more than an hour. Your friend's garage rock band? Not so much.
Despite putting on a fantastic show at the Marquee Theatre last Wednesday, the New York kids collectively known as Interpol put on a set that clocked in at just under 60 minutes. It wasn't exactly the Rolling Stones at Altamont, but there were many in the crowd who were vocal about what they thought should be an acceptable length of a show, while others simply shrugged their shoulders and wondered what all the whining was about.

When you purchase a ticket to any concert, you run the risk of not getting the experience you paid for. Outdoor shows get rained out. Favorite songs don't get played. Opening bands go over their allotted time. Sometimes a musician is just having a very bad night. The one variable any musician can feasibly control is the length of his or her set list, but do bands like Interpol even have to give their audience more than an hour of their time? 

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Tempe DIY Music Venue Parliament Closes

Categories: Opening/Closing

Ben Garcia
Small Leaks Sink Ships performs at Parliament in March.
If you're a fan of local DIY label Rubber Brother Records, any of its associated bands, or Tempe's fringe music scene, you're might hate the bad news we're about to tell you: Parliament is closed. No joke.

Earlier today, its staff pulled the plug on the all-ages music and arts venue, which was housed in a Tempe industrial park and also functioned as the headquarters of the indie record label.

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Arizona's ManniFEST and Southwest Terror Fest Bring Local Metal to the Masses This Fall

Categories: Metal Mondays

Phoenix's Splatterkill is scheduled to perform on Saturday, September 6, during ManniFEST 2014 at the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale.
Heshers, hard rock fans, and metalheads alike have a lot to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead. Besides much-anticipated upcoming concerts by such living legends as Judas Priest and Slayer, the fall also bring with it the annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival, the debut of Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare in Scottsdale (including an opening night performance by the man himself), and a ton of new albums scheduled to be released.

And on the local level, there's also a surfeit of shows around Arizona that the black t-shirt brigade should be hitting up and rocking out at, including two homegrown heavy metal festivals that are right around the corner -- ManniFEST 2014 and the latest Southwest Terror Fest.

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