My Jerusalem Wants to Leave Blood on the Stage

Categories: Interview

Trevor Raines
My Jerusalem

I caught up with Jeff Klein of Austin's My Jerusalem, excited and energized from witnessing the taping of a Nick Cave performance at Austin City Limits. Which makes sense, since My Jerusalem and its brand of self-described "Gothic Soul" falls very much in line with Cave's oeuvre of frightening religious allegories and old-world romanticism.

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Tori Amos Emerges from Career Doldrums with Plenty to Say in Her Songs

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of Tori Amos
Tori Amos

There's that saying "the more things change the more things stay the same." In the 22 years since Tori Amos released her debut album, Little Earthquakes, the world has changed dramatically, but the singer has stayed remarkably true to herself. Of the topical and occasionally confrontational nature of her music, she says, "I think at different times, the songs have chosen to grab issues that are out there. It isn't always like that."

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Within the Ruins' Newest Album Combines Comic Books and Metal

Categories: Interview, Metal!

Photo by Jeremy Saffer
Within The Ruins

Concept albums are nothing new in the music world, but Within The Ruins is set to take it in a new direction -- comic books.

The metal band formed in the early '00s and recently has been gaining momentum with the release of Invade in 2010 and and Elite in 2013. Both albums show off the band's technicality and musicianship and take you on fast-paced rides that never slow down.

The band's latest album Phenomena expands on their musical sound, but uses the concept of comic book heroes and villains for its lyrical themes. Within The Ruins teased this earlier in the year when the album was announced and has slowly been revealing each song's concept.

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The Neighbourhood's Moody Pop Songs Come to the Marquee Theatre in Tempe

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood

It's that catchy song you've heard a million times on the radio or playing overhead while shopping at the mall. When someone asks you who sings it, your eyes roll up and you draw a huge blank. Before you go clamoring for the answer on your music app on your phone, the song "Sweater Weather" is by The Neighbourhood (sometimes known as "The NBHD" for social media and texting purposes) and they're playing at The Marquee Theatre July 21. Guitarist Zach Abels thinks the crowd will be pleased. "Our show has improved since we first started. We're playing bigger venues with bigger crowds," he says. "You have to see it for yourself!"

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Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves: I Really Only Care About What Women Think

Categories: Interview, Punk, Q&A

The Dwarves

Blag Dahlia (birth name: Paul Cafaro) of the Dwarves is looking for women to come to the band's show tonight at Yucca Tap Room with the Queers, Masked Intruder, and the Atom Age buck-naked and ready for fun. He knows it gets hot in Phoenix, so "Why not be comfortable?" according to Blag. If the Dwarves singer has any hang-ups, nudity is definitely not one of them.

Talking to Blag Dahlia of the Dwarves is definitely enjoyable. The guy clearly knows how to have a good time, and what is even way more interesting is that he almost perfectly walks the fine line between brilliant and bullshit, evil genius and closet good guy. He seems to revel in any opportunity to playfully push buttons. In fact, he'll freely push his own buttons just to see (and enjoy) your reaction. That is, of course, if you don't react to his jabs at men, women, or....well, people, really. With the Dwarves, anyone and anything is fair game, especially if there is a way to work in quick hits of tits and ass on top of one f- bomb after another.

We sat down and had a nice, polite little chat on the phone with Blag a few nights ago. Here is how it played out.

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Man or Astro-Man? Back on Tour

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of Man or Astro-Man?
Man or Astro-Man?

Ever wonder what kind of music aliens would play if they made a pit stop on Earth? Maybe dubstep? Droning metal machine music? Lady Gaga covers?

Turns out, they'd probably be into a mix of surf rock and punk, as Alabama's Man or Astro-Man? demonstrate. Claiming to be extraterrestrials that took the form of college students, MOAM? mind-meld Dick Dale with Kraftwerk with a little Devo thrown in for good measure.

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Phoenix Band Fayuca's Music to Be Featured on Robert Rodriguez TV Show

Categories: Interview

Robb Castro

Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has tapped Phoenix band Fayuca for his new TV series.

Matador will premiere Wednesday, July 15, at 9 p.m. on the new El Rey Network, which was also started by Rodriguez. The show follows Antonio "Matador" Bravo, who quietly works for a branch of the CIA, while also performing as a famous soccer star.

The band has been around since Gabo Fayuca, the band's singer and guitar player, and drummer Raf started the outfit while in high school. From there, they released a few demos and full-length albums before getting signed.

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The Antlers' Discography a Map of Lost Love, Fear and Doubt

Categories: Interview

The cover of The Antler's fifth studio album, Familiars

Turn the question of what's familiar around and it becomes an examination of what's different.

For The Antlers' fifth album, Familiars, vocalist-guitarist Peter Silberman found himself writing in the middle ground, searching for what's changed and what's stayed the same in his own life - and in the band's sound - and what that means.

Sonically, The Antlers have crafted a more open, organic sound on Familiars, with multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci's trumpet serving as a counterpoint to Silberman's vocals, but still within the realm longtime listeners of Hospice, Burst Apart and Undersea have come to expect.

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The Darkness and Light in Thus Owls

Categories: Interview, Q&A

Courtesy of Thus Owls
Thus Owls

Thus Owls' is the result of the marriage of two people, but also the two countries they hail from. Husband and wife team of Simon and Erika Angell, from Canada and Sweden, respectively, each forged careers -- he on guitar, she as a vocalist -- that would one day intersect causing an immediate and undeniable attraction. Simon's dark folk sensibilities proved to be the perfect foil for Erika's breathy, atmospheric vocals -- a sort of dark meets light--and the results are explosive. With Erika's deeply charged and personal lyrics creating powerful settings burning with emotion, the music appropriately swirls, bends and wavers around that haunting voice, trying to keep pace, yet succeeds better in pushing that tension further onward. Thus Owls is a wild ride, a rollercoaster -- the kind worth taking over and over again.

Up on the Sun caught up with Erika for an email chat about meeting Simon, the creation of Turning Rocks, the band's latest album, sharing her grandmother's stories as lyrics, and taking these complex songs to the stage.

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Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas Bare It All

Categories: Interview

Shervin Lainez
Jessica Hernandez

When you are a young musician and still new to the game, there is often a moment when you have a choice: Do something the quick and easy way or do it the right way. Jessica Hernandez took the latter approach when it came time to record Secret Evil, her debut full-length album with her band, the Deltas, due out August 19.

"I wanted my first full-length to be fun, but I didn't want to make it perfect by bringing in session players and studio guys and have it be this really impersonal thing," Hernandez says. "A lot of people get pressured into doing that, and I did feel a little pressure from people at the label and management. They told me it would be faster and easier that way, but for me it wasn't about that. It was about working with people I like working with and having my band feel included."

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