Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So we have been getting ready for Shizz Prom, we have been painting and slaving away to make this just like a real prom except that it will be 21 and over so drinking is not only involved it is also encouraged. We do recommend drinking responsibly and if you do drink too much we can call a cab and make sure you get home safely.
I guess I can explain it left and right but I will be lazy and post a few links that probably explain it better than I could.
The Main info: Shizz Prom 2009 at the Icehouse Tavern, 3855 E. Thomas Road, on Saturday May 2 at 8 pm. Tickets are $10 per couple, or $5 for those flying solo. Mig50 will be DJ'ng and pictures will be taken and posted for people to cherish :)
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I have been hearing about the Icehouse Tavern for probably close to a year now but had never been until lastnight. It's a 21 and over bar located behind the Arcadia Ice Rink, at 3855 E. Thomas Rd and has a very cool vibe to it that you just feel as soon as you walk in. The staff there is very friendly and provided excellent service the whole night.
This saturday was a blizzard of Surf Rock with two bands, The Surfside IV and Thee Jaguar Sharks. Beth and I got there kind of early to check the place out and fell in love with the place as soon as we walked in. The bar itself is very small and is a great place for small shows, but the back of the bar shows the Arcadia Ice Rink through large thick plexiglass windows which had people skating most of the evening and was quite entertaining with couples young and old skating around and kids with what looked like walkers on the ice to help stabilize them while they skated around.
The first band to go on was the Surfside IV. I had never seen them before and knew nothing of them except they played surf music. It was all instrumental, vintage surf rock from the likes of The Ventures, which I have always dug. They had a good stage presence and seemed like a nice bunch of guys, unfortunately this seemed like an off night for them, missing changes, and hitting a couple of off notes throughout their set. It's times like these I start feeling bad for the band. I really think they had some good tunes, it just seemed like an off night, and you could tell they knew it too. They did have girls during their set getting on the dance floor and dancing to the music which is always fun to watch. They finished their set with Wipeout which is pretty much a staple in any surf bands repertoire. I will definitely check these guys out again.
Next up was Thee Jaguar Sharks, led by guitarist Jim Miles. I have seen Thee Jaguar Sharks before at the Ruby Room and although I dug The Ventures when I was a kid, I wouldn't say I am a surf rock afficianado by any means, but these guys make me wish I was. Watching this band transports me to a different time, with Jim on the guitar rocking out, Nick on drums in really badass Aviators, the beautiful Megan gogo dancing to her hearts content, and the witty banter from their bassist who will remain nameless until I found out what his name is. They all make me feel like I am back in the 60's watching a surf band with a gogo dancer. Of course, I wasn't even around in the 60's but watching this band makes me feel as if I were and I love it. To be fair, I think that The Surfside IV might be a little more authentic sounding, but because they were having a rough night, they didn't transport me to a different place like Thee Jaguar Sharks were able to do.
All in all I had a great time, I got my drink on, I got my music on, and I found a great new place to watch live music and possibly some violent hockey events.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I have had some of the crappiest luck with amps. I remember my first real amp was a used marshall jcm800 combo amp. It sounded so good, I swore I would never need anything other then a tuning pedal when playing through it. I was only 17 or so when I got this amp and knew nothing at all about tubes or ohms or any of that other silly stuff that you don't know after playing a few years with only solid state amps. I remember plugging in at my friends house and seeing nothing but a yellowish smoke come from the back of the amplifier, it completely filled the room up and chased us out of the basement. Apparantly my power transformer blew up which happens to be the most expensive pieces in an amplifier. I was a poor kid and was barely able to buy the amp, now I have to shell 250 bucks to get it repaired. It took me about 4 years before I ever got it fixed.
I have no idea why I just repeated that story, I guess it makes me wish I would have known about one of the valleys wonderful little secrets, Field Services located just east of 24th st on the south side of thomas road in central phoenix. I have never had such great experiences with taking my gear into them. Before I knew about them I had been taking my gear to another place that I will not mention that is located in Mesa across from a fairly large music store. They took forever to get my amps repaired, and I remember having to take the same amps in more then once. The last amp I took to them they had for a few weeks, I remember calling and asking about it. They said they couldn't fix it. I honestly believe they were overloaded with work and didn't want to deal with my amp, so I asked around and was told to take to to Field Services which I did. Once there, one of the techs there Matt Avril told me to follow him in the back and he would glance over it to see what was going on. He verifed all it needed was new tubes. He replaced the tubes biased the amp and gave it back to me withing a half hour. I was amazed and have never strayed. Don't get me wrong, 99% of the time you will not be getting same day service, but they WILL fix your amp. Because of the good word of mouth they get, they are generally pretty busy so please be patient, but also be assured that you will get your amp back running like a champ.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Has anyone seen Hi Fidelity with John Cusack? It's a movie about this guy who runs a music store with whom he employs an elitist music listening prick (played by Jack Black) who would prevent a sale of a record to someone if they did not seem worthy of owning it. I am reminded of this movie everytime I go to Bizarre Guitar, which is located north of Indian School on 7th ave in Central Phoenix.
Don't get me wrong, they have great amps, Bogner, Marshall, Vox. They also have a great assortment of guitars, but the attitude there is that you are not worthy to touch anything and they will stand over you making sure you don't. In fact you are not allowed to take a guitar off the rack, you have to ask them to get it for you and they will watch you as you play it which can be kind of nerve racking at times. You will rarely ever see anyone playing an instrument at Bizarre Guitar unles they are pretty darn sure that is the instrument they are getting.
Because of this, my game plan when buying a musical instrument is to go to Guitar Center, try out any and all equipment I want, because at Guitar Center they just don't care. But when it comes down to actually buying the item that I want, I will head over to Bizarre Guitar because I know that nobody else has had their grimy hands all over the guitar a million times like it has at Guitar Center.
I truly do like bizarre guitar, the guys aren't really too bad and you can tell they just want to make sure that when you buy something from them, you really are the first person to really play the instrument not 200 kids who just learned how to play Sweet Child O' Mine on the guitar you just bought at guitar center.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Last night was my second night in a row at the Trunkspace and it was another great time for me to see bands. I realized how out of the scene I have become, so many new faces, yet plenty of similar faces too.
I almost prefer being an outsider looking in, because I don't have to worry about the politics, and shmoozing involved. Tonight was perfect because I knew very few people and didn't have to worry about talking with anyone except Beth.
Beth is one of the most opinionated people I know, she generally either likes something or doesn't. And even when she likes something she may still come off as hating it. She hates about 99% of all bands out there and she has allowed me to put her opinions on here about each band.
Beth and I showed up and missed the first band "Children of Hell" so I can't say much about them, but we did get there just in time to see "Rumspringer" play a very straight ahead punk set. Good vocals, very tight band, one of the guitarists didn't seem completely on par, until he mentioned he had busted his hand the night before.
Beth didn't hate them and thought they were better then most bands she sees.
Next up was JJCNV. They are a theatrical band with wigs and flashing tambourines, but they also have musical talent. Pete (lead singer/bass) reminded me of an older Johnny Rotten, too old to be cool so he now talks shit to the youngsters and tells them how stupid they are for being young. He talks alot of crap and is anti everything. A kid in the audience did some minor heckling and got plenty of hell in return and was told to go back to Tempe where his heckling antics would be better suited. I definitely enjoyed the band and loved the tone on Dana's guitar and see that they definitely earned getting recognized by the new times with a nice writeup.
Beth thought they were interesting, but not interesting enough that she would intentionally go to another show on her own.
Last but not least was Fathers Day, this is a joke band that sings fast aggressive songs about being bad dads. There last song of the evening was dedicated to Joe Arpaio on how great he is, the singer of the band Ryan Avery would state that 98% of all rapes were done by illegal aliens. This is a fun band and everyone has a great time running around singing along. There was some technical difficulties such as the guitarist playing his guitar through keyboard amp, and it feeding back a majority of the time. I thought it was intentional, but later found it wasn't.
Beth didn't actually see them to give a comment.
We went back to the Bikini had a few drinks and rode home on a nice winters night.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Lastnight was a goodtime at the trunkspace. We got there a little late and missed Bolt but we got to see the end of Porches who were a seemingly young band with lots of energy.
We did the usual trek of going to the Bikini and getting drinks in between bands and unfortunately missed some of Hands On Fire, but what I did see, I really liked, they seemed kinda poppy with good vocals. They are band I want to check out again in the future and see their whole set.
Skinwalkers came up next which and was fortunate enought to see their whole set, I have only ever seen them as a two piece but heard their is another member. On this evening, they were still a two piece with drums and guitar/vocals. Skinwalkers are an amusing group which I would prefer to see onstage then listen to on my Ipod. The singer/guitarist Rocky is one of the nicest guys I have met and it shines through while he played an out of tune guitar with electrical problems replacing it later in the set with one that actually worked. But even though the first guitar sounded crappy and kept fading out it just seemed to add to the charm of the band. They are a theatrical band for show and they do not dissapoint.
After chugging another beer between bands we watched the necronauts hit the stage. I have only seen their new bass player once before and he now seems a much more natural fit then the first time I saw him. He was very solid and although he has a different playing style then their original bassist he doesn't take away from the band at all, he only adds to their already great sound. I really love Billy's voice, he can scream and sing and yell and sing with the best. And of course the band would not be complete without Dale on Drums who always looks so determined while playing and is not only fun to watch but fun to listen to as well.
We ended our night at the bikini before riding home on the bike and getting yelled at by a drunken woman that Beth should be wearing a helmet.
I know I am being lazy because I am not putting links to the bands. It's unlikely, but I plan on coming back and putting the links in to the bands and places that I refer to.