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Under The Radar Bands
Playing Phoenix In February

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Editor’s note on Undiscovered Sounds: Every so often, Modern Times Magazine talks to bands or other musical performers who have yet to hit the jackpot both in the Phoenix metro and beyond. For some of those featured, it may be the first time they have been interviewed. Others may have been working for years for their ship to come in. But all of them have the dream. They may make Undiscovered Sounds, but their sounds are not unworthy.
Hoops, Tacocat, Surfer Blood And More Come To Phoenix In February And While These Bands Might Not Be Selling Out Huge Venues, They Still Put On Must-See Shows


By Mandi Kimes
Special for Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 2, 2017 — Phoenix’ music scene is filled with small and medium-sized venues that give concert-goers the opportunity to see musical acts in an intimate and personal setting. While these venues don’t necessarily attract the same types of bands that would sell out Ak-Chin Pavilion or Talking Stick Arena, they still bring in very talented, though sometimes under appreciated, acts from across the country and the globe.

Here are the 10 lesser-known acts coming to Phoenix in February that you should definitely go out and see.

The Bright Light Social Hour
Austin-based psych rockers The Bright Light Social Hour offer a futuristic desert sound on their second full-length album, Space Is Still the Place. The band is comprised of guitarist-vocalist Curtis Roush, bassist-vocalist Jack O'Brien, and drummer Joseph Mirasole, who all play synths as well to emulate a different interpretation of the space around them throughout 10 thematically connected songs.

After winning six awards at SXSW 2011 Austin Music Awards (including Band of the Year, Album of the Year for their debut self-titled full-length album, and Song of the Year for “Detroit”) and touring the country for three years with festival hits like Lollapalooza, Sasquatch and Austin City Limits, the band built a studio in its Austin home to begin progress on Space Is Still the Place.

Combining atmospheric synths, sunset-kissed guitar licks, and an infectious drumbeat that grooves through each song, The Bright Light Social Hour is a band not to miss when it plays tonight, Feb. 3, at Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

Mating Ritual
After releasing a critically-acclaimed EP, four No. 1's on Hype Machine, topping the Spotify viral charts and grabbing the Zane Lowe stamp of approval, Mating Ritual will be embarking on tour to support How You Gonna Stop It?, which was released on January 24th. 

How You Gonna Stop It? was recorded over a two year period in apartments, garages and lofts all over Los Angeles county, as well as several studios and a Puerto Vallarta cruise. The end result is a collection of songs that bridges decades of music, from New Order's bass heavy structures and Enya's atmospheric synth pads to the rhythmic guitar melodies of The Strokes and Grimes production. After the hiatus of his prior band Pacific Air, Mating Ritual's Ryan Marshall Lawhon cranked up his songwriting prolificacy and found immense freedom in the world of independent recording and created what he calls Post-Genre-Pop. You can catch this catchy electronic sultriness at Last Exit Live, 717 S. Central Ave, Phoenix, on Feb. 8.

The Nude Party
While this band may not be the easiest or cleanest Google search, it does prove to be a band worth the search. The Nude Party started in the southern mountain town of Boone, N.C. in 2013 and earned its name in a very literal sense. Bonded by isolation, house party debauchery, a religion based on pushing the limits of bad taste, and a precocious predisposition for the Kinks, the Animals and the Velvets, they have blossomed into a rock ‘n’ roll act to be reckoned with.

The band books its own tours, which have linked it up with the likes of The Growlers, The Oblivians, La Luz, Night Beats, and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. 

Its sound is a combination of the authentic gritty British Invasion guitar licks mixed with grungy garage tones. They are performing Feb. 9 at Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, hopefully while fully clothed.

The Lemon Twigs
The dynamic duo of Long Island-based The Lemon Twigs is proving to be undefeatable. Young brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario wrote all the music and performed all of the instruments on their debut full-length album Do Hollywood, while being joined by bassist Megan Zeankowski and keyboardist Danny Ayala live. And while the band emulates hints of Harry Nilsson, Supertramp, and Wings-era Paul McCartney in its songwriting, music icons Elton John, Boy George, and The Zombies have all expressed their adoration for The Lemon Twigs.

Already, the band has wowed audiences on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, CBS This Morning, and Conan. If you need any more reasons to attend their show at Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix on February 10th, check out the live videos.

Chris Cohen
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Chris Cohen will be supporting Angel Olsen during her sold out show at Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. 2nd Ave., Phoenix, on Feb. 12.

Before embarking on a solo career, Cohen played in The Curtains, Deerhoof, Natural Dreamers, Cryptacize, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, White Magic, and toured with Cass McCombs. Cohen has played all of the instruments on both of his solo records Overgrown Path and As If Apart.

Recently, he co-produced and provided his drumming skills to Weyes Blood’s 2016 release Front Row Seat to Earth. If you have a ticket for Angel Olsen’s show, please make sure to arrive early to check out Chris Cohen.

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