Heritage Hump Day: The Bedspins, "I Thought I Saw You" and "Kiss the Dolphins"

Categories: Local Wire

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Courtesy of Onus Records

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.

A 14-year hiatus separates the currently popular band Prehab from its earlier incarnation as The Bedspins. For five years between 1993 and 1998, the Bedspins were a mainstay in the Tempe music scene, having logged in some 500 live shows. They played side stage for Def Leppard's Desert Sky show. They opened for the likes of Bloodhound Gang, Redd Kross, and The Violent Femmes. They even did some regional touring with Caroline's Spine, a band signed to Hollywood Records for a hot minute or two.

The Bedspins seemed to have it all. What they didn't have were records that would've better preserved their history for fans.

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Black Bottom Lighters Celebrate the Release of Their First Album

Categories: Local Wire

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Black Bottom Lighters
Photography by Leanna

It's no easy feat to maintain a popular free weekly residency in downtown Phoenix and still be one of the biggest-drawing bands in metro Phoenix. But desert reggae band Black Bottom Lighters manages to find a way. Even though the group cranks out acoustic tunes every Wednesday at Copper Blues in downtown Phoenix and recently picked up a regular Thursday gig at the bar's Tempe location, BBL manages to pack fans into the Marquee Theatre every time it takes the stage there.

"All the promoters say the residency is going to hurt us. But from our experience, the more connected you are with the people -- the more you see the people -- the more likely they will want to come out and support you," says BBL singer Ryan "Stilly" Stillwell.

For the band's long-awaited album release show, Black Bottom Lighters intend to pack their massive fanbase into Scottsdale's newly minted Livewire concert venue as the first locals to ever play the new space. Selling out a 1,200-person venue for an album-release party may be a pipe dream for many Phoenix locals. But for BBL, it's not really a stretch.

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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 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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Sidewinder Music Festival Postponed

Categories: Local Wire

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Sara Evans ain't coming to Phoenix no more.

The Sidewinder Music Festival, a country music event scheduled for April 25-26, has been postponed, organizers announced today. The reason given in a statement to New Times was "strategic restructuring."

Etzel Entertainment President Tom Etzel said in the press release, "All of our corporate and community partners have been very supportive as we pause this month's Sidewinder. We appreciate the support of our fans and artists during this transition and are excited to reboot the festival for everyone in the Arizona community."

All ticket buyers will receive full refunds, the press release says.

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Heritage Hump Day: The Green Lady Killers - "My .45"

Categories: Local Wire

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Courtesy of Onus Records

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 the only bona-fide goth-horror punk rock all-girl band the Valley has ever offered up, The Green Lady Killers. The nucleus of the band has always been singer/guitarist Lady Van Buren (Kathleen Ryan) and Cherrybomb (Katherine Wing) but has included at least four other bassists, including Cremona from The Cremians and Louis Lashes from Saints of Van Buren. Yes, the Green Lady Killers briefly experimented with testosterone in the ranks with a male axe wielder doing some of the ladykilling around the time of their first six-song eponymous EP, which is when this "Locals Only" profile on the group which ran in New Times on November 1, 2007:

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What Mega Ran's April Fools' Joke Says About Arizona Hip-Hop

On Wednesday, one of the most successful Arizona hip-hop artists, Random (a.k.a. Mega Ran), spent the better half of the day fielding phone calls in regard to the "diss track" he released as an April Fools' Day joke.

The track consisted of a menacing beat that built up as Mega Ran called out a few artists. As the song peaked, Random aired his grievances with Arizona hip-hop and the song suddenly shifted to Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." That's right, Mega Ran rick-rolled us all.

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Heritage Hump Day: Zen Lunatics - "Media Sensation"

Categories: Local Wire

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Zen Lunatics once had a record deal and a karaoke night. Pretty sweet.

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.

Those who were around in the '90s may have forgotten how fun it was to have a band like Zen Lunatics in our local scene. But, thanks to the copious notes I took, it will all came back to you if you reread my July 13, 1995 feature, "The Art of Zen Lunatics," which starts off with the Zens playing a Nita's Hideaway Fourth of July gig where Zen frontmen Terry Garvin and Chris Hansenorf passed around a Stuckey's Pecan Roll for the audience to enjoy:

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Drawing from Classic Rock and Funk, 
Valley Teen Gus Campbell Is Ready to Rock

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Gus Campbell and friends

Though it's premature to call Gus Campbell a guitar god, he is a true talent. One could use adjectives like "wunderkind" or clichés like "He's an old soul," but the truth of the matter is the kid can flat-out shred for any age. At 16, Campbell has a maturity and musical acumen that many local musicians two and three times his age wish they had. After gigging around town (and out of state) for the past couple of years with his trusty Stratocaster in hand and bandmates Alex Chacon (bass) and Mark Savale (drums) , it is apparent this young man is ready to take things to the next level. Who knows? Maybe he can take it to levels we have yet to see.

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Original PHX Riot Grrrls Burning Bush Reignite for Reunion Show

Categories: Local Wire

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Burning Bush had attitude and was one of the only all-girl punk groups in 1980s-era Phoenix.
Before the Riot Grrrl movement of the early '90s or before the advent of social media, there wasn't a network of like-minded all-female bands across the country working together. All you had was the notion of DIY bands, pockets of groups in far-flung areas of the country maybe mining similar territory. Maybe you'd have a band like L7 in Los Angeles. And maybe you'd have a power-punk trio like Burning Bush here in Phoenix.

Burning Bush existed from 1987 to 1993 and consisted of Thomascyne Ryther (guitar, vocals), Denise Tanguay (bass, vocals), and Audrey Creed (drums). And in fact it was social media that brought them back together. When Kevin Daly posted a picture of his '80s band Hellfire on Facebook and mused about bringing them back together for a show, Denise Tanguay texted him that if he was going to do that, there ought to be a Burning Bush reunion as well.

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