I started this website about four years ago when I was deeply in love with what was happening with local music, and then as all things do, that changed. What happened? Well a lot actually, and fast. Many disbanded, moved away, or became other things. The short list of lost loves includes: What Laura Says, Mergence, St. Ranger, Sister Cities, Factories, Future Loves Past, Black Carl, Yellow Minute (now Party Gardens) Fatigo, Gospel Claws, IAMWE, Doctor Bones, Wooden Indian, Small Leaks Sink Ships. I could go on with another dozen or two but you get the point. Some of these bands still exist and barely play out anymore, have moved away, or have changed entirely.
There are still plenty of bands to see. Don’t get me wrong, I have an appreciation for all musicians doing their thing. These are the bands I LOVE at the moment and I try not to miss.
Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra (PAO)
I didn’t even know how much I would love Afrobeat until I saw these guys live the first time. Now I’m seeking it out, along with Cuban jazz and anything else that has a funky rhythm section. Musically PAO is one of the strongest bands in the valley.
From the wreckage of Kinch and Tugboat, Twin Ponies managed to awaken my left-for-dead passion for rock and roll. Prog. meets new grunge, say no more.
Yummy indie, dreamy, shoe-gaze, pop like Wild Nothings and Washed Out had a baby. Just smoke some weed and watch them live, or just watch them live. Your call.
From the cornerstone of once beloved St. Ranger emerged surf pop PRO TEENS. Get lost in the waves.
Saddles rides the trail of electro-syth-pop-rock. They are busy recording their next record. Their new line up now includes charismatic keyboard player Matt Klassen (formerly of The Cold Desert) and a new drummer, which puts multi-instrumentalist George White on guitar and who knew he was such a bad ass at it? They have never sounded so good live.
On the Radar
Owl & Penny (now Holy Fawn)
They call it ghost folk for a reason. Ryan Osterman is fucking magical. No really. Every time I see him perform I keep expecting a unicorn to appear. A live Owl & Penny set was like watching the forest come alive and play itself as instruments; I don’t think you could even understand it if you didn’t witness it. That being said, Ryan the wizard has now moved on to create Holy Fawn, which I have only heard a short snippet of and I already know it’s going to be a continuation of magic.
Not in my top 5 but shortly after: B.O.T.S., Instructions, Harper & The Moths, Celebration Guns, Zodiac Bash.