The Black Moods: "We Want People to be Sad to Our Songs, and Also Have Sex to Our Songs."

Photo by Jeremy Huse
The Black Moods are scheduled to perform Saturday, August 30, at Crescent Ballroom.

Black Moods fans eagerly anticipating the release of the rock band's follow-up to their eclectic self-titled debut album will have to hold their breath a little longer. The Phoenix-based trio is tabling their upcoming album for a short time in an effort to strengthen the material, lengthen the album, and fine-tune the details. The decision came as a request from the band's new management team, Street Smart Marketing, who is working to push the group to the next level in their career.

"In the past year and a half, we've learned a lot about business," Black Moods drummer Danny "Chico" Diaz explains, "and about touring. We decided our goals were to get management, and then get a record label -- we've hit the first goal, and we have management now."

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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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For Tony Bennett, 88, the Point of Art Is to Convey "Truth and Beauty"

Larry Busacca
Tony Bennett

No, Lady Gaga will not perform with Tony Bennett at Mesa Arts Center.

There's long been talk of a collaboration CD between the two, and it seems that come September, the two finally will release Cheek to Cheek, an album that finds the unlikely collaborators crooning jazz standards, backed by consummate jazz professionals. If the two singles that have trickled into the world so far, "Anything Goes" and "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," reveal anything, it's that Gaga is a fantastic jazz singer, and Bennett, at 88 years young, still has some powerful vocal performances left in him.

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Kottonmouth Kings Might Have the Worst Ever Case of Reefer Madness

Kottonmouth Kings

For about as long as music recordings have existed, give or take 30 years, people have been using songs to pay tribute to weed. In 1929, Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra laid down what's widely considered the first recorded tune referencing marijuana. "Muggles" had nothing to do with Harry Potter and everything to do with pot (which Armstrong adored). Since then, musicians of all stripes have made songs about the green's sweet temptations. Bob Dylan's "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35," Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf," and Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned" account for a tiny handful of examples.

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Sometimes, the Most Punk Rock Thing to Do Is Make Pop Music

Brody Anderson
Head Over Heart

Whether it says more about Jordan Prather or Tucson's downtown music scene that the Head Over Heart singer/multi-instrumentalist likens himself to a punk rocker is up to you, but what's certain is that he sees himself as an outsider in his community.

"I remember reading in an Arcade Fire interview -- Arcade Fire and I have a lot in common," the 30-year-old Prather says, dripping with sarcasm. "They said when they were first coming up in their music scene everyone was very different. And they said 'what we thought was punk music was to play pop music.' Nobody else was doing that. They were just doing this avant-garde . . . whatever. I kind of feel like that. In general now, it's almost punk to make pop music. It's not cool in a lot of ways. Certainly people who are looking to avoid the mainstream aren't gonna be interested in us."

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Meet the Band the Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary Turned Down a $20K Gig to Produce

Courtesy Photo
The Burning of Rome

These days, The Burning of Rome frontman Adam Traub is a happy man. His band's self-described "Jesus and Mary Chain doing a spaghetti Western" style is fully realized on the Burning of Rome's new album, Year of the Ox (Surfdog Records), and in the last year, the band has shared stages with a number of notable acts, including one of their personal favorites, Nine Inch Nails.

But The Burning of Rome has taken a slow and steady build to reach its current success, after beginning seven years ago as a recording project in Traub's laundry room. For all of his band's accomplishments, Traub was most excited to to talk about Year of the Ox and how the record came to be. Naturally, I just stopped asking questions and let the tape run.

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Billy Joe Shaver, the Misunderstood Outlaw Who Shoots Bullies in the Face

Courtesy of Jim McGuire/Conqueroo
Billy Joe Shaver slides out of his battered white Ford Econoline van with surprisingly agility for a man celebrating his 75th birthday tonight. There's already a small crowd gathered around the outside of The Satellite in Los Angeles, an unlikely venue for such an act and such an evening, but everyone here knows who Shaver is.

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The Slow Poisoner's Weird Tunes Will Cure All That Ails You

Categories: Interview

Jim Ferreira

Because you are probably reading this on a cell phone or laptop, it's likely quite difficult to imagine what it was like living in the days of the traveling salesman. Some weirdo rolls into town, sets up shop for a bit, tells you what you want to hear, and rolls away laughing while you're holding some bizarre, sardine-flavored tonic that certainly didn't heal your butt warts. Even modern nomadic circus acts have been dumbed down. Are we doomed never to witness the mysteries of snake-oil salesmen? But then one-man band, The Slow Poisoner, emerges from the mists of San Francisco, defying obsolescence with the most macabre tunes this side of The Twilight Zone.

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How Comic Books, Dario Argento, and Vaporizers Influenced Phoenix's Take Over and Destroy

Andrew Weiss
Take Over and Destroy

The six members of Take Over and Destroy and Bob Hoag are gathered in the lobby of Flying Blanket Recording, the 1947 house in downtown Mesa that producer Hoag has converted into a studio. All focus is on the middle of the room, where two stacks of comic books lean precariously.

They aren't originals -- they're reprints from the '90s, Hoag explains as he peels issues from atop the piles and passes them around, copies of EC Comics titles The Haunt of Fear, Shock SuspenStories, and Mad Magazine, which started its publication life as a comic before switching to the less-regulated magazine format. The band members gawk at the books, rattling off names like Jack Davis and citing movies like Creepshow before conversation turns to the Comics Code Authority, a watchdog group formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America to regulate comics. The violent, disturbing content of the EC books circulating the room inspired the creation of the code after Congress held a hearing to address comics' potential influence on children.

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Get Feisty and Foxy with Shovel at Tempe Tavern on Friday

Photo: Kevin Maliszewski

Shovel is an underground rock band comprising many things -- the transgressive squall of late-'80s pigfuck (Butthole Surfers, the Touch and Go Records brigade), the anthemic stomp of early Mudhoney and Nirvana, and bathed in a drop or two of Kat Bjelland's sweat. However, if the frequent use of terms like "sassy" and "feisty" by Shovel's perfectly named singer and guitarist Dusty Rose are indicative of anything, the music she and also-perfectly named drummer Ward Reeder is as muscular as the aforementioned acts, but a lot more fun.

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