How Big Boi Inspired Phantogram's Latest Album

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Courtesy of Republic Records
Phantogram is scheduled to play the Marquee Theatre on Friday, April 18.
It is every artist's goal to be the next new thing -- clich├ęd as it is, any creative will eventually admit this desire. Few can make one radical thing while even fewer continue to deliver intriguing material. Phantogram, the electronic psych-pop duo from upstate New York, fall into the latter category, catching the ear of coffee-sipping Pitchfork critics and Southern rap legends alike. For vocalist/keyboardist Sarah Barthel and programmer/multi-instrumentalist Josh Carter, it's been a long and calculated venture, but a fruitful one at that.

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That One Time Soulfly's Max Cavalera Pissed on a Star-Struck Fan, and Other Tales

Categories: Interview

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Courtesy of Max Cavalera
Max Cavalera, of Soulfly and dozens of other projects, bares it all in his new autobiography.

Max Cavalera is a tough guy to pin down. Once he gets going, there really is no stopping the dreadlocked metal innovator from Brazil, no matter what the subject or the task at hand. This is both great about Cavalera and a challenge. He is driven, and his worldwide success with projects like Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly, and many others is nothing short of legendary, and he accomplished it all without the two highest strings on his guitar.

During our 90-minute discussion, we covered many topics, but the most pressing of them all is his new memoir, My Bloody Roots (with co-writer Joe McIver), which is being released in the U.S. this week after being released earlier this year internationally. Max Cavalera has never been a stranger to crazy behavior or controversy, so it's no surprise to anyone his book comes with its own fair share of criticism.


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Baths' Will Wiesenfeld Would Rather Make Electronic Pop Than Tour

Categories: Interview

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Friends of Friends Music
Will Wiesenfeld, if nothing else, is a musician who is acutely aware of many things. Specifically, Wiesenfeld knows who he is: Focused on the concept ahead of him, he's unyielding to anyone's artistic input but a select few individuals, he has produced some of the most buzzed-about electronic pop records this side of an Animal Collective release over the past four years, and he's about to turn 25 out on the road -- not a place he necessarily wants to be. He plays under the named Baths, and you may know his work already.

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Craig Morgan: "You Don't Want to Change, But You Do Want to Grow"

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Courtesy of the artist's Facebook page
Craig Morgan, apart from stopping every other minute to either express gratitude or share a laugh, can call to mind the archetype of the male country star -- years in the game, a rack of number one hits, a massive song in current rotation. Morgan doesn't run by standards, though: He launched his musical career late, at 35 years old, served 10 years in the U.S. Army and another nine in the Reserves. In the midst of a career revitalization with the success of "Wake Up Lovin' You," his most recent radio hit, Morgan is still wildly humble and youthfully hungry. We spoke to him ahead of his appearance at Country Thunder this Saturday night.

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Cassadee Pope on The Voice Dynamics, Embracing Silence and Gut Instincts

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Big Machine Label Group
Cassadee Pope is scheduled to perform at Country Thunder 2014 on Friday, April 11.
You may know Cassadee Pope in one of three incarnations: There's the former frontwoman of Warped Tour pop-punk outfit Hey Monday, the winner of NBC sing-off show "The Voice," or the country act with a gigantic range and a penchant for breaking records only previously set by one Ms. Taylor Swift. Whatever facet of hers you're familiar with though, Cassadee Pope is an Los Angeles-by-West Palm Beach artist that's taken an atypical route with an au natural approach -- if you just go to the heart of country music, good music will follow.

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Mark McGuire Stops Thinking and Starts Shredding

Categories: Interview

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Leonard Greco
Mark McGuire is scheduled to perform Monday, April 7, at the Western in Scottsdale.
Since the dissolution of Ohio-based experimental trio Emeralds in early 2013, guitarist Mark McGuire has kept busy. He's explored smooth jams with his project Road Chief, and contributed to Do the Beast, the first album from the Afghan Whigs since 1998. He also found time to record and release his Dead Oceans debut, the fantastic long player Along the Way in February, 2014.

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Allen Stone on the Magic of Live Music, Recording In Sweden and Staying Humble

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Courtesy of the artist's Facebook page
Atypicality goes one of the two ways in the music industry: Either you're left of center enough to fail or left of center enough to resonate with listeners. In the case of Allen Stone, the latter rang true. For the 26-year-old Northwest soul-leaning sensation, picking an alternative path was the only way he was ever going to make it, and finding national success while still unsigned allowed him to develop a modus operandi that kept the creative control in his corner regardless of his label situation. Now that he's landed on Capitol Records, however, he's happy to have the backing but still executes the executive decisions about his music.

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Snake! Snake! Snakes! on Reinvention, New Material, and Why Playing Scottsdale Sucks

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K.C. Libman
Jon Messenger, David Cooper, and Chris Sanchez of Snake! Snake! Snakes!
Without reinvention, there would be nothing new worth being inspired by. For Snake! Snake! Snakes!, an alteration came with the coming and going of band members and a new option to simplify the band's entire approach.

At its writing core is bassist Chris Sanchez, drummer David Cooper, and guitarist/vocalist Jon Messenger, who are joined onstage by guitarist Dan Tripp. Coming together in 2006, Cooper, Messenger, and Sanchez are guys who seem to have matured in a fraternal sense, evidenced by spending an hour with them cracking Miller Lites, talking University of Arizona basketball, and trading war stories in their Icehouse practice space.

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Wooden Indian and Califone Obscure as Much as They Reveal

Categories: Interview

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facebook.com/pages/Wooden-Indian
Whatever dust songwriter Tim Rutili, who records and performs as Califone, got on his shoes when recording parts of his 2013 album, Stitches, in Tempe and Phoenix appears to have stuck. On Friday, March 21, he'll join forces with psychedelic Phoenix outfit Wooden Indian for a mini-festival at the Icehouse (the downtown venue, not to be confused with the dive bar/ice rink combo in Arcadia), where Rutili will perform with members of Wooden Indian as his band, alongside Destruction Unit, North Brother Island, Cherie Cherie, Los Puchos, and a proper set from Wooden Indian.

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Singer-Songwriter Justin Moody Doesn't Make Pretty Things

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K.C. Libman
Justin Moody is scheduled to perform on Saturday, March 22, at Axiom in Peoria.
Justin Moody writes songs. They sit firmly in the folk vein -- dark, self-deprecating tales that are often vicious to their characters, capturing the excruciating eye for detail that only a storyteller can see.

Justin Moody also lives in a one bedroom apartment on the edge of Arcadia, a space cluttered with vinyl, acoustic guitars of varying vintages and requisite musical memorabilia hanging on the walls. Despite the trappings of a musician's life around him, there's a sense of transition within him, whether it's his restless chain smoking of Camel Lights as we sit on the tailgate of his white Ford Ranger or his inability to sit still when playing new songs from his upcoming record.

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