Heritage Hump Day: Undertow - "Candybox"

Categories: Local Wire

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Every Wednesday is Heritage Hump Day! That's because every Wednesday from now to the end of the year or before someone really big stops us, Heritage Hump Records (a temporary subsidiary of Onus Records) and New Times will be bringing you a limited edition collector's item of a much beloved Phoenix band that walked the scorched earth of Arizona before the year 2000 A.D. We will honor that band with a commemorative digital single that you, the digital public, will have only seven days to download to your computers and smart phones before this single gets marked up to an exorbitant price as determined by the mp3 collector community. When that happens, a new Heritage Hump subject will be chosen and the free-for-a-limited-time-only cycle begins anew.

This week we examine a band whose membership reads like a Who's Who of our local music scene. Converging at one time or another in this alternative, goth, hard rock, and metal band (are we leaving a genre out?) called Undertow were members of Crushed, Gentlemen Afterdark, Dead Hot Workshop, Saints of Van Buren, Ritual, Mighty Sphincter, Rabid Rabbit and Jagged Rocks.

When this Brian Smith profile on Crushed ("Crushed: We're an American Band") ran in New Times on December 16, 1999, singer Matt Lauer was asked by Atlantic Records to write some radio songs for Crush along the line of Sugar Ray or Smashmouth. Of course that didn't happen.

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The 50 Most Beautiful People of Coachella 2015

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Christopher Victorio
Just the beginning

The temperature isn't the only thing that's sizzling at Coachella. With their tanned bodies, gym rat physiques, and seriously on-point bohemian/ethereal/fairy-style choices, Coachella-goers know to look their best while they're in the desert.

Both the festival itself and the parties that go with it have some of the most desirable attendees of any multi-day event. How they managed to stay this fabulous, we don't know, but here they are: The most beautiful people of Coachella.

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10 Musicians Who Should Be Playing Coachella

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Melissa Fossum
Hey, we can have our dream Coachella reunions...

It's tough to complain about any Coachella lineup, but people inevitably do. Often bringing together some of the best rock, rap, EDM, and pop artists in the world, Coachella does a pretty good job of collecting many of the best of the best.

Since we're all whiny pessimists anyway, here are 10 artists who should've been toward the top of the bill for this year's Coachella.


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Discover Your Next Favorite Phoenix Metal Band at AZ Brutal Fest

Categories: Metal!

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Lago/Kristina Jacobsen
Lago, one of the 30 bands on the AZ Brutal Fest lineup

It's not uncommon to see 10 bands on a line-up on any given Friday night, and when it comes to local festivals, that number averages around 20. But the AZ Brutal Fest is taking it to an entirely new level at Rogue Bar in Scottsdale on Friday, April 17, and Saturday, April 18.

Over the course of two days, 30 bands will take the stage to exhibit our very own Arizona brand of wild west brutality. And with the word "brutal" in the name, you can expect some pretty intense acts, ranging from speed and black metal to roaring death metal.

Two years ago, when the death slam scene started to get bigger in Arizona, Manni Jimenez (founder of KillDeath Productions), decided that there was no reason the genre shouldn't be celebrated with a festival.

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You're Never Too Old for Coachella

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Timothy Norris
Marc Ballon with Charles Bradley

"You can ask me anything. You've opened up to me, and now I will open up to you."

Charles Bradley, the 66-year-old soul singer extraordinaire, spoke those words to me a couple hours after his fiery Friday afternoon Coachella set. I had just told him how much his spellbinding performance had moved me. "I saw James Brown in the 1980s," I told the former JB impersonator. "You were every bit as good, man."

Bradley put his arm around me, pulled me close to him, and kissed me on my neck.

It was perfect.

I had come to Coachella to write about the festival through the eyes of a 52-year-old AARP member with a suburban home, two kids, a wife, a dog, thinning, gray hair and an expanding waist. This weekend would also answer a question that had gnawed at me: Had I become too old to rock 'n' roll?


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People on Drugs Review the Art at Coachella

Categories: Coachella 2015

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OC Weekly/Christopher Victorio
Papilio Merraculous by Poetic Kinetic, in its Day 1 stage

By Aimee Murillo

When Coachella coverage bounces around every year, there's plenty of focus on the headliners, buzz bands, fashion, and the people in attendance, but very little mention is paid to the attractive visual art displays that dot the polo grounds. This year, 14 new installations made their debut at the festival and sparked interest and conversation among attendees. It seemed imperative to get some outside perspective on these pieces, and being that Coachella is event where it seems everyone's under the influence of something, we asked some people in their inebriated states to discuss their views of the art.

Turns out, festival goers can be pretty deep about art in their inebriated states (or really random), so these interviews have been edited a bit for length and clarity.


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Ichi Sound: 2015 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Music

Categories: Big Brains

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Evie Carpenter
Ichi Sound

You submitted nominations for the best and brightest emerging Valley creatives, and the results are in. Presenting the 2015 Big Brain finalists.

Leading up to the announcement of winners at Artopia on May 9, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will introduce the finalists. Up today is Ichi Sound.

When you think chillwave music, the images that come to mind are likely of the soothing variety -- a stiff martini at a glitzy cocktail lounge, a steamy spa in a remote locale, or simply a book by the pool. But Ichi Sound, Phoenix purveyors of this particular brand of electronica, draws performance inspiration from unusual and decidedly unmellow sources.

"Professional wrestling," says 25-year-old David Story, Ichi Sound's singer, who applies a generous amount of face paint before shows. "About two songs in I'll wipe my face and it just looks wild.

"It's all for the spectacle. I want people to remember that one weird day."

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Death Cab for Cutie Sounded Better than Ever at FestivALTAZ

Categories: Festivals

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Melissa Fossum
We were all smiles at FestivALT AZ Friday night.

The first thing I have to say is that Quail Run Park is a pretty cool venue and has the perfect layout for many festivals to come (I hope), as it hosted two festivals this weekend. It's also conveniently located immediately off the 202. The entire setup was a pretty great experience, from the food vendors area, the stage area, and even an amusement area that had a giant slide and a Ferris wheel.

My experience at FestivALTAZ began with Family Of The Year, who I had initially written off as a neo-folk band and little else. That impression, mainly from their hit "Hero," couldn't be farther from the truth. Granted, there are definite folk elements to the band's music, but much of their music is just pure indie rock, especially their new material, with only some folk flourishes. They opened with "Carry Me" as I entered the gates, and the follow up was equally compelling. It was the third song, a new song from their forthcoming summer release, that really tripped my trigger -- there was no folk in this gem at all, it was just great indie rock with a summertime theme. Their entire set was a delicious display of a band with fantastic musicality on the verge of breaking out. Whether it was "hits" from 2012's Loma Vista, like "Buried," or the exciting new material, their set was solid from start to finish. They finished, of course, with the heartwrenchingly beautiful "Hero," and it couldn't have sounded sweeter.

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10 Things We Learned at Country Thunder

Categories: Country Thunder

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All photos by K.C. Libman
Dustin Lynch takes the stage on Sunday night.

1. The golf cart taxi service is worth its weight in gold
For those who weren't in Crazy Coyote, Roadrunner or Premier, you had a hell of a long walk from your campsite to the concert grounds. Felt like grabbing a water bottle from your trailer? Forgot your American flag-printed aviators? Longed for the sweet, sweet release of a shotgunned Bud Light? Take a hike, pal. From the main stage to Outback alone took close to a half-hour on foot, so the welcome sight of a mustachioed granola crunching dude (why they were almost solely manning the taxi is beyond me) in an open-topped golf cart was akin to a desert oasis, just with more hair. For a scant three dollars, gratuity extra, you could be ferried to and from the main grounds to your home base, waving at the plodding peasants all the way. There seemed to be more of them this year than ever, nary without a passenger or three proffering their services.

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The Underground Foundation's "Festival" Gets Kids Into Art, and That's Good

Categories: Local Wire

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Jeff Moses
Clipper "Danger" Arnold of Red Tank! crowd surfing during his set at The Underground Foundation's Clusterfest.

"Festival" is a strong word for what transpired at Hayden Lawn on Arizona State University's Tempe campus Saturday. But that is certainly not to say that The Underground Foundation's fourth annual Clusterfest was not a rousing success for the ASU student club concert promoters.

There were multiple (two) stages, grass, and it was outdoors, which are all generally staples of any quality music festival. But other than that is was really devoid of the other markers which can usually identify a festival.

Clusterfest is more like a giant house show than a festival, complete with string lights ... one of the international symbols of "party over here." But it's still more or less exactly what TUF president Jonathan Novak said it was when I interviewed him before the show.

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