Mark Your Calendars...
Thursday, July 12
Precious Child (L.A.) cull sonic inspiration from cacophonous industrial, abrasive metal and stark electronica to create their own existential pop. With Jurro (art rock, "raised by wolves, found guitar at landfill") and Jaime J Soto (electro/noise/self-affirmation) at Cans Deli...
Friday, July 13
Released on International Women's Day, "Dueña de Mi" (Owner of Me) is a fierce anthem affirming a woman's right to govern her own body. La Misa Negra (The Black Mass) bring their funky mix of Afro-Latin/cumbia to Club Congress... Hosted by Mo Urban and Steena Salido. Best to gird one's loins for C*nts Being C*nts Talking About C*nts Comedy Show at Cans Deli. With music by DJ Plastic Disease. Part of the proceeds will go towards YWCA Southern Arizona's Project Period... Dickensian EDM wizard and creator of sonic labyrinths Daedelus drops beats at 191 Toole with Holly (Portuguese bass maestro) and Wylie Cable (founder, Dome of Dome)...
Saturday, July 14
Out on their Summer Tour Together, The Rememberables (D.C., '90s fuzz pop) and Blacksage (NYC, dark synth pop) pull the caravan into Owls Club. With UFO Dictators (Phoenix, college rock) and Ardvark... Is it what you want? Or, what you need? Therapy at 3113 Art Collective. Moralz, Toby Roberts, NoodleBox, Justin Silva and Cat Child will spin...
Sunday, July 15
Club Congress is the place for an evening of avant-garde/experimentalism. Using electronic effects and real time looping to augment her instruments pristine sound, harpist Mary Lattimore's improvisations at once glitter with ambient beauty and unsettle with stark noise. With electronic composer Julianna Barwick and experimental/found sound artist Karima Walker... Following the release of Desert Sounds, Jacob Acosta pulls the wagon into Che's Lounge for a sip... Sur Block (bewitching indie pop), James Band (debonaire Tempe, experimental/noise) and Cool Funeral (emo/indie/shoegaze) are at Cans Deli...
Tuesday, July 17
They were huge during the '80s. The Psychedelic Furs float in on a heavenly cloud to The Rialto Theater. With Mute Swan... Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters' soon to be released album, Speck, deals with relationships, politics and social issues with an aim of conveying a message of universality. "The theme being that we are all specks in this universe trying to navigate it." At The Fox Theatre. With Mikyla Theone...
Wednesday, July 18
They insist on "Pounding The Rock." Yep, The Artisanals are "Not Giving Up" so as to bring their harmony laden Americana to the Club Congress stage... Arizona Friends of Chamber Music present hornist Johanna Lundy, oboist David Barford and pianist Elena Miraztchiyska. The evening's program features works by Schumann, C.P.E. Bach and Reinecke. At UA Holsclaw Recital Hall... Remember '70s smash hit "Dancing Queen?" Of course, you do. Since 1995, this 12-piece touring band have been faithfully keeping the music of ABBA alive. Relive the Scandinavian magic. From Sweden, Arrival steps into The Fox Theatre...
Thursday, July 19
Twenty years since its founding, brothers Cody and Willy Braun no longer wish for their band to be pigeonholed simply as a bunch of rowdy, beer-drinking party boys. Willy says. "We would like folks to really hear the lyrics and appreciate the musicianship that goes into the arrangements." Out touring in support of Sunset Motel, country rockers Reckless Kelly stomp wildly into 191 Toole. With a little help from Drew Cooper... In support of their debut EP, Colors, Silver Cloud Express (psychedelic rock) are at Cans Deli. With The Others (experimental/instrumental) and Still Life Telescope (psychedelic/prog rock)... Harnessing power directly from the red rock mountains and vortexes of Sedona where he resides—or so we are asked to believe—decker. (psychedelic/desert folk) channels electromagnetic Earth energy at Club Congress. With Billy Sedlmayr and Gabrielle Louise... This Songwriter's Hall of Fame inductee is best known for writing hits for the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Roy Orbison, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Brooks and Dunn, etcetera. His latest album, Tenderness (Sony), balances understated jazz along with the pop narratives that drive his success. Spend an evening with JD Souther at The Rialto Theater...
"Don't Let Me Go"
The keyboards shimmer and reverberate. The layered vocals are pitch perfect and expansive. The funky/scratchy guitar riffs are pure Nile Rodgers. And the backbeat, on this piece of R&B/Euro pop ear candy, is designed for the dance floor. If ever a track had the requisite pop hooks and modern production aesthetic to find itself on a contemporary hit radio playlist, it's "Don't Let Me Go," Seanloui's latest single.
But, production values alone don't cut it. No, sir. These days, digital audio production software, like Pro Tools, is de rigueur. However, the elusive X factor doesn't come with the download. Seanloui expands, "I wrote the song. Robbie Williams (formerly with Saint Cecilia Studios) produced it. It was recorded at Epic Studios (Phoenix)."
Seanloui is atypical. Far more than his pop posterboy image. He is a versatile songwriter and multi-instrumentalist: He plays bass, keyboards and lays down a wicked guitar groove on his Epiphone Sheraton.
"'Don't Let Me Go' is about a guy who finds himself in the ocean drowning while his lover sits on a raft debating if he is worth saving," says Seanloui.
Seanloui is performing at 2nd Saturdays Downtown, July 14, on the Scott Avenue Stage. Listen to "Don't Let Me Go" and other Seanloui tracks on Spotify.
"Don't Wanna Dream"
Moving expeditiously, the motorcar devours the road. A hot desert wind strays debris. An impromptu weekend escape towards no place in particular. Just away. There is a sense of leaving something dark behind as vistas slowly reveal ahead.
Like the eerie backing vocals that open the track and recur, "Don't Wanna Dream," Hannah Yeun's latest single, is a siren song, beseeching: "It's about the little lies we tell ourselves/Cuz I've seen things that I can't ignore/What's the point of make-believe/When I can't pretend that you love me."
Referencing '80s mistress of dream pop Julee Cruise (best known for collaborations with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti on Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks), singer-songwriter Yeun and band—guitarist Damon Matal, bassist Marta Deleon and erstwhile drummer Michael Ford—tap into that same noir to dish a taste of "pie in the sky," spiced with cynicism and pathos. That unsavory tang that manifests with the realization that one's beloved is merely a chimera.
"Don't Wanna Dream" will appear on Yeun's upcoming album, Desert Dream. Float into the silvery night with the voice of love disillusioned. Take a listen: hannahyeun.bandcamp.com/track/dont-wanna-dream
The Elegant Rabies
The Elegant Rabies
A self-titled album, The Elegant Rabies, finds this foursome making mellifluous neo-psychedelic sounds in the Sonoran Desert, "where creosote blossoms fill the air like desert cotton candy."
Affecting moments abound throughout this collection of nine songs. Here are a few.
On "Night Clubbing," The Elegant Rabies look to be picking up ghost frequency interference from a lo-fi FM radio station piping out The Velvet Underground. Michael Ely's vocal delivery tips a velveteen hat to artists like Lou Reed and Jim Carroll not only for their identification with the counterculture, but as poets for whom the weight of the words rank above concessions to melody.
Ryan Hingorani's slashing guitar chords bash into and recoil back from Kevin Conklin's John Entwistle-esque bass riffage, providing contrapuntal motion. While Justin Tornberg's hold steady drums lay the substrate for "Once Upon A Time." Ely's hard-won acceptance appears to spring from a deep well of loss. "There was a happy ever after/And life was this sweet mystery/Once upon a time is already gone/And there is nothing that you can do but let it go." Refrains of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" echo in the wind.
Another poignant elegy arrives. "The Boy Who Was Never Loved" tells about a lost soul who is "always looking into the abyss." This character contemplates the meaninglessness that only he has assigned to his existence. A life without love. "Always dressed in black/The saddest color of all." He stands in the mean streets alone, having no real reason to live. Tipping a top hat to Slash, Hingorani's blistering guitar solo weeps, leaving the listener to ponder how the story ends, before arriving at the coda.
The sitar intro and psychedelicized imagery on "Summer of Love" transports adventurous minds to the sidewalks of the Haight-Ashbury district of 1967. "I see god in me/I see god in you." A place where sugar cubes, free love and swimming high weigh heavy on the menu of offerings. However, the neo-psychedelia is tempered with a folkish punk melodicism reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock's The Soft Boys. What is not appealing about that?
Perhaps, escapism as presented so urbanely by The Elegant Rabies—forming a yellow daisy chain, tuning in and dropping out—is a reasonable alternative to the increasingly disconcerting reality of the times? And should be the rare bauble we hold dear.
Lend an ear: elegantrabies.bandcamp.com/releases
ON THE HORIZON...
Multiculturalism in effect. Their unique sound is a mezcla of rockabilly, cumbia, jazz and flamenco sung, in both English y Español, by a trumpet wielding firebrand of a singer. Clear away any buffelgrass when Jenny and the Mexicats blaze a trail towards 191 Toole. On Friday, July 20, with Santa Pachita... And, finally, psychedelic cumbia rockeros XIXA, return to Club Congress on the heels of "Tombstone Roshomon," their latest single. Also, on Friday, July 20...
Until next week, XOXO...