Discover Indie Music Acts
Visiting Phoenix In March
From the VIVA PHX music festival to Gringo Star, There Are Plenty Of Talented Musical Acts You May Not Have Heard Of Coming To Phoenix In March
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.
By Mandi Kimes
Special Modern Times Magazine
March 6, 2017 — Phoenix is a music lovers destination in March thanks to the VIVA PHX music festival, which will see 100 bands flood 20 venues in the downtown Phoenix area for a massive one-night party on March 11. The event will feature well-known acts like Girl Talk and local boys made good The Maine in addition to some other talented, accomplished artists you may not have heard of.
If you cannot make it out VIVA PHX, don’t fret. There are still plenty of diverse, worthwhile artists visiting the Valley throughout the month of March. Whether you’re looking to broaden your musical horizons or just want to find something to do on a night out, take a look below to see some of the bands you don’t want to miss out on this month.
For Temples, melodies seem to come effortlessly. The band achieved acclaim with its debut album Sun Structures, a Top 10 U.K. debut named Rough Trade's "Album of the Year." All the elements people loved with that record remain intact on its second album Volcano but this time around, there's a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to its potential. With a brand new record out in the atmosphere, Temples is touring the west coast as part of the Desert Daze Caravan with Froth, Deap Vally, JJUUJJUU, and Night Beats, with a performance at VIVA PHX festival on Saturday, March 11 at Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.
With a palette informed by punk, metal, and noise as well as jazz and bossa nova, Palm utilizes traditional rock instruments to create playful experiments that, using unpredictable time signatures, move up and down, back and forth, and all over the map. The band's full-length debut Trading Basics challenges the listener's expectations with moments of dissonance that are reigned in and precise. The pretty moments are often where the chaos is. Amid these constant and rapid changes, the band sneaks in an unrelenting, trance-inducing repetition. Recorded and mixed by Eli Crews (Deerhoof, tUnE-yArDs) at Figure 8 Studios in Brooklyn, the album is a confident statement that this young band has carefully crafted a unique sonic vocabulary and methodology during its short time together. Being somewhat removed from city life and having access to a 24-hour practice space in Hudson has resulted in an unparalleled level of discipline and focus on their craft.
In addition to the new record, the band's impending relocation to Philadelphia, and September tour with Warehouse, expect Palm to take its incredibly tight live show on the road in support of Trading Basics in the year to come. Palm will also be performing at Viva PHX on Saturday, March 11, but you can catch it perform an intimate set after Viva at The Lunchbox, 1615 E. Catalina Drive, Phoenix, later that evening.
Everett, Wash.'s Fauna Shade sounds a lot like that town: Twins Peaks-creepy sunniness mixed with chaotic pulp mill grinding and haunted vocals from the woods nearby. But even after the trio established reverb-drenched full attention by bashing out their first coy noise thrall, it all tasted like cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Every saucy refried amp lick sounded so tasty inside the shaking rhythms of a bass player and drummer trading off everything from Bat Cave to Boom Bap. I first saw Fauna Shade about a year ago when I visited Seattle, and it played a show at Sunset Tavern, and since that show the band has continued to impress me with each release. This is the band's first time to Arizona, and I'm sure hoping it's not the last. Help me welcome the Shade to Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, on Monday, March 13 with Acid Tongue and Warbly Jets.
Jackson Boone is a songwriter who quietly emerged from the misty magic of Portland, Ore. His lo-fi folk rock sound is comparable to Kevin Morby, Kurt Vile, or Damien Jurado. With the help of producer Riley Geare (Unknown Mortal Orchestra), bassist Randy Bemrose (Radiation City), and violinist Patti King (Radiation City), Boone recorded his first solo album Starlit in the basement of a green house in Portland. Immediately after his release, Boone, his five-piece live band, The Ocean Ghosts, and Geare, packed up their equipment and took off to the Oregon Coast. They spent two weeks by the beach tracking his sophomore record, 2015's Natural Changes.
On March 10, Boone will release his third full length studio album Organic Light Factory, which features Boone's most realized and mature songwriting to date. Boone and the Ocean Ghosts have honed their performing skills at festivals such as SXSW, Treefort Music Festival, Pickathon, and CMJ. They'll be on tour this March, including a stop in Phoenix on Monday, March 13 at The Trunk Space, 1124 N. 3rd St., Phoenix.
Music maker Xenia Rubinos uses her powerful voice to create beats and melodies from scratch. Her sound grows from a wide range of influences from R&B and hip-hop to Caribbean rhythms, all delivered with a soulful punk aura. Her debut record Magic Trix is an ecstatic collection of songs featuring layered beats, crunchy keyboards, and driving syncopated rhythms. Her sophomore album Black Terry Cat finds Rubinos assisted by longtime drummer Marco Buccelli, who produced the album, and Jeremy Loucas as engineer. The three worked an average of 16-17 hours a day for five months to complete the record. Rubinos will be bringing her funky soulful sounds to Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, on Wednesday, March 15.
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