Scott H. Biram's Tunes Will Kick Your Ass

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Sandy Carson
Scott H. Biram's songs are not to be messed with.

Mr. Scott H. Biram is nothing short of a total and complete badass mofo. First of all, he is thee one man in his namesake one-man band, and his many quality releases over the past 14 years have proved he doesn't need anyone else to help him get the job done, and done well. From vocal duty to playing guitar and percussion, Biram delivers his style of hillbilly country with a vengeance -- tangling it up with elements of punk, blues, metal, classic rock, and an undeniably ferocious spirit. Whether he's blasting out a fierce and noisy tune or bringing it down a little more low and slow, you know he isn't holding back anything. Another testament to his tenacity: Biram survived a head-on collision with a semi-truck in 2003, suffering multiple internal and external injuries, including the loss of a substantial portion of his organs. A mere month later, with a couple of broken legs, he took the stage in Austin, performing in a wheelchair, an IV still hanging from his arm. Just like his tunes, that's pretty fuckin' tough.

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Best 13 Metal Concerts in Phoenix This January

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Alaectra Busey
Westfield Massacre

The year 2014 ended with a hell of a heavy metal season, with shows like Yucca Tap Room's "Not So Silent Night" ushering in the New Year -- but unlike the insane holiday spending and the snowbird-thick traffic pace, the show calendar isn't slowing down any time soon.

I'm aware that this Metal Mondays Best Metal Shows of January is a little late, so it doesn't include killer shows like the Dead of Winter Festival this past weekend and Anti-Flag.
However, there's an abundance of shows throughout January, and that's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley.

There are prominent metal acts like Cattle Decapitation, Machine Head and Periphery, and a wealth of local shows, including the ever-intense HannemanFest and a "When Titans Collide" show, where some of the best metal acts in the Valley share the stage.



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Lil Jon, Adele, and 10 other Unlikely Heavy Metal Covers

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Screenshot from A Static Lullaby's "Toxic" video
Brittany Spears' "Toxic" is so good, even a hardcore cover doesn't suck.

Whatever your religious beliefs -- Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Athiest -- there's no avoiding the ruckus of the holiday season. For me, Christmas brings a lot of old traditions, love and charitable giving, but there's a lot of needless commercialism that's shoved down everyone's throats starting the day after Halloween.

So kick back and take a break from the stress of shopping, visiting in-laws, gift-wrapping, and terrible holiday song covers by Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey. Seriously -- not only do we have to put up with pop and hip-hop year-round, but then they invade the already-smothering lineup of carols?

Welcome to your heavy metal music break: If mainstream artists can assault your ears via every genre, you can be damn sure that heavy metal steals the thunder now and again, too.
So forget the list of heavy metal Christmas carols.

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Psychedelic Furs - Talking Stick - 11/8/14

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Mike Durham

Saturday night's Psychedelic Furs and Lemonheads show at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale could have done without one thing -- chairs. I'm sure that opinion wasn't shared by everyone, as plenty of butts seemed to keep those bad boys warm all night long, and when my party stood at times when hit songs weren't being played, we got yelled at by other attendees to take our seats.

That said, after more than three decades of filling the world with their blend of new wave-y post punk melodic tunes, simultaneously catchy, clever, and sometimes cutting, the Psychedelic Furs still deliver.

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11 Non-Halloween Songs That are Scary as Hell

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Edvard Munch would totally dig these songs.

It's that time of the year -- people start digging out spooky tunes to complete Halloween party playlists or just because they're in the spirit to rock out to music that exemplifies the holiday's scary vibes. In general, most popular Halloween tunes really aren't all that terrifying -- think usual suspects like "Monster Mash" -- fun, yes, but probably not going to keep you up at night. We put together a list of 11 songs that weren't written for the holiday but are truly haunting in their own unique ways.

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New Pornographers Demonstrate How Hope and Darkness Can Co-Exist in Music

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Mike Durham
New Pornographers' Neko Case and A.C. Newman

Crescent Ballroom was packed to the gills Monday night. A whole lot of mega-fans (and some less rabid admirers) of Canadian indie-pop-rockers New Pornographers gathered to see the band play a hearty set of more than 20 songs. The set mixed tunes from all the band's offerings from the past 14 years, including a bunch of tracks from their new release, Brill Bruisers -- their first in four years. This tour is extra special, as members Neko Case and Dan Bejar were able to break away from their other projects and join the rest of the members; sometimes the band tours without one or both.

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Anberlin Calls It Quits on Its Own Terms

Categories: Up on the Sun

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Becky Kovach
Anberlin

Should someone undertake a study of musical groups and the manner in which most dissolve, it is unlikely that many end amicably. Typically, internal friction, ego, death, or addiction causes band breakups. Anberlin has decided to take a different path despite differences making the band's existence somewhat tenuous.

"The decision to walk away is what is best for the fans, even though they may not see it," lead vocalist Stephen Christian says. "Our passion for being in the band has been waning for years because we have all started to invest our lives in other opportunities. If you are not performing music with passion, then it is for all the wrong reasons. Being in this band [any longer] . . . risked the chance of [us] being five hollow men on stage disgruntled with life, music, and each other."

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Paul McCartney Is So Much More than "Silly Love Songs" and "Band on the Run"

Categories: Up on the Sun

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Luke Holwerda
Paul McCartney

At 72, Paul McCartney has had a long, illustrious career -- most of it post-Beatles, though all too many forget that the Beatles lasted a mere 10 years. Still, Sir Paul's history starts with the Quarrymen, which morphed into the Beatles, the most popular rock band, and one of the best selling, of all time.

Innovation was the key to the Beatles success. Sure, they were cute, wore long hair when others didn't, and could harmonize better than most R&B groups. But their music went way beyond the simple melodies and pop trappings the songs offered to a welcoming public. There were also strings, classical instruments, horns, overdubs, backmasking and other wild studio trickery that was pretty unheard of at the time. It got wilder as the band aged, discovered mind-expanding drugs, and found that advances in musical equipment and recording equipment erased many conceptual roadblocks.

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Kim Shattuck on How Getting Fired by the Pixies Named Her Album

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Kim Shattuck
The Muffs

The Muffs (Kim Shattuck, Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald) have been writing and performing spirited, clever and fierce pop-punk tunes since they formed in the very early 1990s. Their first full-length release in 10 years, Whoop Dee Doo, hit the streets this week and both fans and critics are eating it up like candy, rightfully so. The 12-song recording is loaded with exciting, dynamic and catchy songs delivered with all the punch and spunk these longtime rockers have made us expect. Kim Shattuck, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist, was in the garage rock band The Pandoras, prior to The Muffs, and most recently did some time with the Pixies. Shattuck, whose voice can whip from snarl to sweet before you can blink an eye, got chatty with us about all that and more.

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How Everything From Hip-Hop to Psychedelic Rock Influenced Heavy Glow

Categories: Up on the Sun

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Bo Cross
Heavy Glow

If there's one thing that can be said about Jared Mullins, singer/songwriter/guitarist for San Diego rock/soul trio Heavy Glow is that he's single minded about the duality he wants to express.

"I've always been drawn to heavily guitar based rock and roll mixed with soul," he says. "Guitar riffs based on Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, even some Motown stuff. The only thing that I really wanted to do with Heavy Glow was keep it in the tradition of bands that try to cover a wide variety of rock 'n' roll subgenres, like Led Zeppelin or Iron Butterfly. Bands where you get the yin-yang, you get the light and the heavy, violent and beautiful at the same time. That's where the band name came from. I wanted to keep it in that tradition."


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