Crowne Plaza Hotel Cancels This Weekend's Arizona 420 Festival, Cites Payment Default

Categories: News

Benjamin Leatherman
Attendees of last year's Arizona 420 Festival.

Sorry to harsh your mellow, stoners, but we've got some bad news. If you were planning to attend the three-day Arizona 420 Festival this weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel -- including seeing Fishbone or any of the four dozen other acts booked to play the event -- said plans may have gone up in smoke Thursday night.

News broke Thursday that hotel management has canceled the marijuana-friendly festival less than 24 hours before its scheduled kickoff Friday due to an alleged "breach of contract" and "payment default" on the part of the festival's promoter.

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Robin Thicke Cancels His Phoenix Show...Again

Categories: News

You might wanna cut out the smokes Robin, it's bad for the singing voice.
Maybe it's just us, but does Robin Thicke have something against the Valley? The R&B/pop singer's spokespeople announced this morning that his concert at the Phoenix Convention Center, which was originally scheduled to take place tomorrow night, has been canceled.

So if you wanted to sing along with "Blurred Lines" on Wednesday you're going to be doing it either by your lonesome in the car or at the nearest bar offering a hump day karaoke session.

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Shooting at Phoenix Latin Club Mi Ranchito This Morning Leaves One Dead, One Injured

Categories: News

Voice Places
Mi Ranchito dance club in Phoenix
Gunfire erupted early this morning inside a Latin-oriented dance club in Central Phoenix, resulting in the death of an employee and the injury of another individual.

According to Phoenix Police Department officials, a patron at Mi Ranchito near 32nd Street and Oak was causing problems after last call and opened fire at approximately 2 a.m. after being confronted by the club's bouncer near the front door of the establishment.

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KONGOS Sign with Epic Records and Will Perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Categories: Local Wire, News

Melanie Mathieu
KONGOS performs at Crescent Ballroom in July 2012.
Although 2014 has only just begun, it's already been an epic year for local four-piece rock band KONGOS, and we mean that quite literally.

The South African-born brothers have inked a deal with NYC-based Epic Records and will make an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, March 5. Oh, and they also got some love from Billboard magazine last week, which touted the band via its weekly "Bubbling Under" column pimping up-and-coming acts.

Needless to say, it's a good time to be a member of the Kongos family.

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The Winners of the Second Voice Media Group Music Writing Awards

Categories: News

William Michael Smith (left, photo by Chris Knight) and David Thorpe
The 11 alternative weeklies of Voice Media Group are responsible for a tremendous amount of music writing: This year, we produced thousands of pages of printed stories and tens of thousands of blog posts. We're proud to present the very best of that work in the second annual Voice Media Group Music Writing Awards.

Each of the eleven music editors around the country selected his or her favorite articles from 2013 in two categories: blog posts and print stories. A judging panel comprising Senior Music Editor Ben Westhoff, Houston Press Music Editor Chris Gray and me (I'm the music editor of the Dallas Observer) then voted to pick the winners, who will get a cash prize.

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Dogbreth Wants To Play Some Power-Kindness For You

Categories: News

Dogbreth will be your new friends. (Photo: Steph Carrico)
Dogbreth plays fun pop-punk music--or desert power-punk, some may say; that is, unless you ask Tristan Jemsek, or Erin Caldwell, who consider Dogbreth to be power-kindness, or sentimental power-pop. Jemsek says he never intended for Dogbreth to be a pop-punk band, not back when it was just a solo project, nor when it became a full-fledged band, but he can understand why people would label their sound that way.

Jemsek, who sings, "I guess I'm just a self-sabotageour," on "Too Much Too Fast," does a good job of fooling the listener into the appearance that Dogbreth is anxious and self-conscious. Either way, they do put that power-kindness label into practice: at their show with Swearin' at Trunk Space, Dogbreth brought the dispersed crowd together by asking the audience to come close, but not too close, in case that made them uncomfortable.

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Yes, America: Mexican Music Is Violent. Get Over It.

From Movimiento Alterado's "Sanguinarios del M1"
BuKnas de Culiacán singer doing what he does best--vamping!
By Gustavo Arellano America's liberal class and MSMers are abuzz right now over Narco Cultura, a documentary about Mexico's horrific drug war and the musical movement that has risen around it. These libs (and more than a few conservatives) are telling each other and the two Mexicans they know about how Mexican music nowadays glorifies the drug trade, how artists will write songs for narcos on commission, how musicians go on stage with AK-47s, bulletproof vests, and bazookas, how those songs revel in being as gory as possible--and how terrible all of this is.

Never mind that the music groups highlighted really hit their height in Mexican culture in 2010. Never mind that almost no media outlet had reported on this new wave of narcocorridos--alternately called el movimento alterado ("the altered movement"--"altered" as in "high as shit") or corridos enfermos ("sick corridos") until now, and now everyone is tripping on themselves to report this "new" news. NPR and the New York Times did stories on Narco Cultura recently, so it's now news! And you know something is the liberal flavor of the month when they're going to Ry Cooder--the only person progressive gabachos trust for their ethnic music--so he can cluck about the sadness of it all.

SNORE. Yes, America: Mexican music is violent. Get over it.

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How Made of Stone Explains the Stone Roses and the Death of Rave Culture

Categories: News

Stone Roses documentary (photo by spiral-stairs)
Cropped from spiral-stairs
Everything is 20 years ago. Or so goes the cyclic, feedback-loop that is pop culture. Apparently, it was 20 years ago for The Stones Roses when they formed in the mid '80s, citing '60s psychedelia as a primary influence (in 1967, 20 years before The Stone Roses formed, another notable band from England began their best album with the line "It was 20 years ago today . . ." And so it goes.

Yeah, I know, who cares if The Stone Roses' last album was released 20 years ago? Filmmaker Shane Meadows cares, that's who. His recently released documentary 'Made of Stone' celebrates The Roses' 2012 resurrection and subsequent supporting tour. As far as music documentaries go, it's really good. Or as Happy Mondays' Shaun Ryder might quip, the film is: "Good, good . . . double good."

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2014 Grammy Nominees: Why Metal Will Make A Strong Showing

Black Sabbath 2013 promo
Black Sabbath's return earned a number of 2014 Grammy nominations.
The Grammys has never been known for supporting heavy metal. Heavy bands show up and it's like a burnout kid crashing his parents' fancy dinner party. Even when Halestorm won Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for their song "Love Bites (And So Do I)" at the 2013 Grammys, Lzzy Hale told me that she felt like the band was the awkward red-headed step child the entire night.

Hell, the metal category isn't even a part of the televised ceremony. Regardless of that, the nominees for the the 2014 Grammy Awards have been announced, and rock and metal have a surprisingly solid presence.

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The Hourglass Cats Make You Miss Summer With A New Video at Fossil Creek

Categories: News, Video

The Hourglass Cats (Ben Garcia)
Ben Garcia
The Hourglass Cats "are not a white-boy reggae band."
The Hourglass Cats released their video for their single "Sense," on Monday. The video is their first from their May 2013 EP, 432. The video is a plotless ode to the summertime day trips that Phoenicians take to get out of the sweltering Phoenix heat.

"I mean, obviously, it's an Arizona thing," says lead singer Cori Rios. "If you're going to the beach, that's fake--we aren't from California, we're not going to the beach. We're going to watering holes and little oases, our version of going to the water--lakes, rivers, Sedona, whatever it is. As a Phoenix kid I've known about Fossil Creek and day-tripping to get out of the heat. You go to the water and a lot of our songs are about running to the water and getting away and escaping."

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