The Sail Inn: More Memories From Local Musicians and Regulars

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Courtesy of Gina Lombardi
The Sail Inn's first sign (circa 1990).
When The Sail Inn closes on Sunday evening after the final night of its three-day Farewell Festival, it will mark the end of an era -- not just for the bar itself, but also for the Tempe music scene.

A big chapter in the city's lore will draw to a close on Sunday when the lights finally go out and the final notes finish echoing through the air. The Sail Inn, which first opened in 1990, is one of the last remnants of Tempe's golden age of music, which feels like a lifetime ago, when the scene was crackling with energy, verve, and promise.


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Trunk Space: 20 Favorite Shows From the Last Decade

Categories: Outtakes

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Victor Palagano
A scene from the Trunk Space Fest in 2009.
Later tonight, the Trunk Space will wrap up both its 10-year celebration and its ambitious performance project, the Indie 500. As we've previously reported, the multi-day concert festival -- which dozens of bands playing the space over the last week and change -- sought to have a total of 500 songs performed over the course of 10 days.

Thing is, as impressive as the Indie 500's running count may seem, it doesn't come close to matching the total number of songs that have echoed through the tiny Grand Avenue music venue since it first opened in 2004.


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Trunk Space: More Memories From the DIY Venue's First 10 Years

Categories: Outtakes

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facebook.com/thetrunkspace
One of the many crowds that have gathered at the Trunk Space in the past decade.
There are many reasons people keep coming back to the Trunk Space, and it's not necessarily because of the music (although that is the biggest reason).

There's the whole sense of community that's developed around the DIY gallery and venue, which has become a wayward home and all-inclusive haven for underground and outsider artists, newbie musicians, colorful oddities, and other misfit toys for those who didn't seem to fit in elsewhere.

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Parenthetical Girls' Zac Pennington Learned To Loathe Popular Music While a Music Journalist

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It's not easy being beautiful. Just ask Zac Pennington, frontman of experimental pop group Parenthetical Girls, whose vocal strains fall halfway between Perfume Genius and Lightspeed Champion, complemented with the baroque pop stylings of Belle and Sebastian. Pennington, known for his gender-neutral lyrics and his Morrissey-borrowed wit, pens some brutally ambivalent lyrics focusing on lust, identity, and looking good.

We spoke to Pennington -- who's scheduled to stop by the Trunk Space on Saturday, March 9 -- on the phone for this week's issue but ended up with more good stuff than we could fit in print. Here are some choice Outtakes.


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Murs Says Don't Write Music If You "Don't Have Shit to Say"

Categories: Outtakes

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Darryl Richardson
Murs
In this week's issue, we profile Arizona-based rapper Murs. Some great stuff got left on the cutting-room floor, so in this installment of Outtakes, we'll crack open the tape recorder and let a whole bunch of good material that didn't make the print edition see the light of day.

One of rap's great raconteurs, Murs lived a nomadic existence as a youth, never staying in one place for more than a few years at a time. Forced to adapt as the perennial new dude, he brings similar flexibility to his music. Soul love jams, gangsta provocation, herb-soaked chillin', limber wordplay, and conscious science all jostle for position like schoolmates in a lunch line.

See also:

-Arizona's Murs Bridges Hip-Hop's Divide

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The Father Figures Dish on Phoenix's Punk Rock Glory Days

Categories: Outtakes

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In this week's issue, we chat with the members of Phoenix art-punk band The Father Figures, discussing the band's phenomenal sophomore album, All About Everything. We ended up with quite a bit of information left over from our 90-minute interview, so in this installment of Outtakes, we'll crack open the tape recorder and let a whole bunch of good material that didn't make the print edition see the light of day.

See also:

-The Father Figures Play Punk With No Rules
-Gregg Turkington on Punk in Tempe, the '80s, and a Band As Good as Black Flag
-JFA Celebrates 30 Years of Skate Punk
-More Oral History of Phoenix Skate Punk
-Download: The Father Figures Cover The Feederz Classic "Avon Lady"

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Gregg Turkington on Punk in Tempe, the '80s, and a Band As Good as Black Flag

Categories: Outtakes

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Image courtesy Gregg Turkington
A teenage Gregg Turkington interviews Henry Rollins (then a member of Black Flag).
Speaking with comedian Gregg Turkington about Phoenix's storied 80's punk scene, yielded plenty of yarns about seeing legendary bands in their prime. However, he also painted a vividly grotesque portrait of Arizona during the Reagan '80s and his own teenage experience in trying to navigate reactionary politics, fried food, and screaming rock stars.

We ended up with more images and stories than we could fit in print -- so enjoy this look and oral history-style read from Gregg Turkington (who performs tonight at Crescent Ballroom as Neil Hamburger).

See also:

Before He Was Neil Hamburger, Gregg Turkington Was Part of the '80s AZ Punk Scene
Five Neil Hamburger Jokes to Tell at Your Own Risk
Neil Hamburger's Advice to the Youth of Tempe in Video


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Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead: "The Music Is Working Out Just Fine"

Categories: Outtakes, Q&A

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In this week's issue, we chat with with former Grateful Dead and current Furthur guitarist Bob Weir. We ended up with more material than we could fit, so please enjoy another installment of Outtakes, where we sweep up all sorts of good stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor.

Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir infrequently provides interviews, but when he does, he goes for it, opening up with honest and insightful answers. I spoke with Weir about his upcoming solo tour (featuring a set with guitarist Jackie Greene), life in the Grateful Dead and post-Grateful Dead bands, including Ratdog and Furthur, carrying on Jerry Garcia's legacy by bringing back his songs, and mountain biking near his home in Marin.

See also:

Bob Weir Is Still Painting Cinematic Scenes

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Sci-Fi Thrash Group Vektor on Mexican Food in Philadelphia

Categories: Outtakes

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See also: Metal Band Vektor Goes Back to the Future
In this week's issue, we speak with Frank Chin, bassist for former Tempe-based sci-fi metal thrash band Vektor, about the band's recent move to Philadelphia. The quartet may still be settling into their new surroundings, but that doesn't mean they've given up those late-night Filiberto-type cravings. We ended up with more material than we could fit, so please enjoy another installment of Outtakes, where we sweep up all sorts of good stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor.

Vektor bassist Frank Chin has experienced first hand the extent of Philadelphia's "Brotherly Love" motto while skateboarding the city he now calls home.

When talking about the reactions he and the guys have gotten from the locals once they find out they're a thrash metal band from the Grand Canyon State, he recalls a funny story about a run-in at what he thinks is a late-night Mexican food spot.

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Michelle Blades Bids Phoenix Farewell With Ambient-Electro Collaboration With Scenery

Categories: Outtakes

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Mo Neuharth
Michelle Blades
See also: Songwriter Michelle Blades Walks a Tightrope
See also: Michelle Blades Streams Album,
Mariana
In this week's issue, we discuss Valley singer/songwriter Michelle Blades and her delicate balance between riot grrrl verve and orchestral grandeur. We ended up with more material than we could fit in print, so please enjoy another installment of Outtakes, where we sweep up all sorts of good stuff that ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Talking with soon-departing Valley songwriter Michelle Blades, it was easy to structure our conversation chronologically, beginning with her burgeoning days in the coffee house open mic circuit and continuing through her multiple albums and side-projects. However, Blades' musical CV is so extensive, there wasn't quite enough to room to include our discussion of the last bit of work she accomplished before moving away from Phoenix: a collaborative electro-ambient record with Tempe dreamscape crafters Scenery called &.


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