Phoenix Rapper Dadadoh on Why Honesty Is Best in Hip-Hop

Categories: hip-hop

Frank C. Photography

After his band broke up in Virginia, Bryan Preston, better known as Dadadoh, wasn't sure what to do with himself. After visiting the Valley in July 2009, he decided to move to Tempe, despite not knowing anyone. He's been here ever since.

Yet for the next two years, Dadadoh avoided music, which is odd considering how much of a presence he's had on the local scene lately. He's unofficially helped organize Parliament shows, played djembe in Naked Pizza, rapped over Bacchus and the Demon Sluts' instrumental funk jams at Crescent Ballroom, and hosted Before the Show Live, a video series showcasing local bands like Sister Lip and Nomada. He's also produced a number of local albums, with two more on the way -- Suber's tentatively titled My Friend Suber and Mr. Uu's Chicken and Bread EP. And that's not even half of what Dadadoh has been up to.

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Closed for Business: American Junkie in Scottsdale

Benjamin Leatherman
The sign inside the new-and-improved (and currently closed) American Junkie in Scottsdale.
So much for American Junkie 2.0. The Scottsdale nightlife hangout and day-drinking hangout for football fans, which shut down for several weeks over the summer for extensive renovations, has apparently closed again. And there's been no indication if it will be reopening anytime soon.

For the last several weekends, American Junkie, which is located along 75th Street on the eastern edge of Scottsdale's entertainment district, has been completely dark on weekend nights and other periods when most other Scottsdale bars and clubs are doing brisk business, including nearby spots like Boondocks and The Lodge.

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Best Concert Photographer in Phoenix: Finalist Lisa Webb

Categories: Contests

Lisa Webb
Flea, of Red Hot Chili Peppers

Earlier this year, we announced a concert photography contest. We received more than 46 submissions, and a crack panel of judges winnowed down the submissions to 10 finalists. We are now introducing you to each photographer, presented in random order. Next up is Lisa Webb.

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OK Go's Music Videos Still Reliably Inventive

Categories: Indie Rock

Gus Powell

From treadmills to paint guns, OK Go has always been pushing the creative envelope with DIY music videos. For their latest single "The Writing's On the Wall" from their new Hungry Ghosts album, they were faced with the challenge to pushing the envelope a little further.

Using more than 20 illusions, 70 crew members, and going through about six takes before deciding on "the one," the music video for "The Writing's On the Wall" weaves in and out and over and under through a warehouse of carefully-placed shapes, carefully-painted walls, and delicately-planned timing to portray the one-shot wonders of OK Go's collective imagination.

"Most of our work was in pre-production: making sure odds and ends lined up, the timing of movement was perfect, and that the pace cohesively flowed around the room," explains Tim Nordwind of OK Go. "In post-production, we did just a bit of color correction to make some of the colors pop out more, and eliminated some shakiness."

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This Greek Billionaire Wants to Take Battle Rap Mainstream

Categories: hip-hop

Photo by Matthew Septimus
Alki David, at home in Beverly Hills

By Chaz Kangas

As the man behind the Tupac hologram and last year's aborted George Zimmerman/DMX boxing match, Alki David is no stranger to controversy. Now the 46-year-old Greek billionaire has another wild idea: He wants to bring battle rap, the hip-hop competition where MCs have to outperform their opponent with razor-sharp rhymes, to the mainstream.

In 2014, the battle rap industry grew significantly. With the Eminem-backed Total Slaughter ushering battles into the world of pay-per-view cable TV, and mainstream artists such as Joe Budden (former Def Jam artist of "Pump It Up" fame) and rapper-actor Fredro Starr (member of '90s rap icons Onyx and star of Moesha) jumping into the ring to compete, there are more ways than ever to see competitive rhyming in action.

Still, battle rap has never come close to the popularity of rap music itself. Even with hip-hop icons such as Eminem, Diddy and Drake directly investing in battle leagues, competitive, head-to-head rapping exists as something of an island off the coast of the greater hip-hop nation.

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Nick Cave's Part-True Life Is Explored in the Film 20,000 Days on Earth at FilmBar

Categories: Movies

Drafthouse Films
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of Nick Cave is like?
If you know anything about Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave, it's probably that he's a little, well, weird. That's why it's really no surprise that a documentary made about him would be out of the ordinary format as well. The film 20,000 Days on Earth melds live concert footage with scripted scenes to give a realistic, though not necessarily true, peak into the life of the elusive composer as he made his album Push the Sky Away in 2013.

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Ray LaMontagne's Supernova a Product of Friends and Passion

Categories: Interview

Samantha Casolari
Ray LaMontagne

The ever-whispering and quiet Ray LaMontagne stepped away from his private life to share some insight with Up On the Sun about his new album. How quiet is he? He currently is not listening to any music other than his own to focus on the tour and his own sound.

"I went into sonic overload, so I'm allowing my brain to just shut everything off," LaMontagne says.

One artist it sounds like he has had on heavy rotation is The Black Keys. If you recently gave a listen to Ray LaMontagne's latest album Supernova and thought to yourself, "This sounds like a Black Keys ripoff," it might be because Dan Auerbach assisted in the production of the record.

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Best Concert Photographer in Phoenix: Finalist Ben Garcia

Categories: Contests

Ben Garcia
Slug, of Atmosphere

Earlier this year, we announced a concert photography contest. We received more than 46 submissions, and a crack panel of judges winnowed down the submissions to 10 finalists. We are now introducing you to each photographer, presented in random order. First up is Ben Garcia.

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Arizona Hip Hop Festival a Showcase of Culture

Categories: Last Weekend

Melissa Fossum
The Arizona Hip Hop Festival featured almost 100 AZ-based hip-hop artists. Full slideshow here.

"The culture is back"

This is what one of the people introducing MCs on the outside stage at the Arizona Hip Hop Festival at Comerica Theatre got the crowd chanting.

I have no idea what the previous culture of Arizona hip-hop was, so I couldn't tell if you if anything made a return, but Saturday night did feel like a distinct moment. MCs spitting bars, DJs spinning, fans watching, nodding their heads and throwing their hands up while kids in the background played games on some old Nintendos hooked up to flat-screen TVs as a guy in camo pants and some friends did capoeira. Again, I don't know if this is a return of local hip-hop culture, but maybe it's a return to culture in general in the downtown area, which can often feel like a lunar landscape, even on a Saturday night. It felt good to see people creating and enjoying art in such a profound way in a public space, and I think that was a huge accomplishment of Respect The Underground's Arizona Hip Hop Festival.

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7 Best Concerts to See in Phoenix This Week

Categories: This Weekend

Courtesy of White Mystery
White Mystery plays Yucca Tap Room on Tuesday.

Another great week for music. You have it good this month, Phoenix. Check out our picks for the best shows here, and browse our comprehensive concert listings for a giant list of musical options.

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