“The old is new again” is the tagline of the 2010 Grand Avenue Festival, but don’t expect the same attendee experience at the second incarnation of this now annual festival. Sure, there will be the requisite funkiness of our diagonal westside highway — the examples of adaptive reuse, the fiercely local live music, the hole-in-the-wall shops, the vast array of artwork — but Grand is a year older and a year wiser, and will host a pretty slick shindig planned for Saturday, September 25. Since there is so much to see and experience throughout the entire day, activities are broken up by category for easy browsing.
PaisleyTown (at 11th Ave. behind the Paisley Violin Café)
10 a.m. to noon: Frequent Kings
Noon to 2 p.m.: Smoot Mahooty
2 to 3 p.m.: J. Miller
3 to 5 p.m.: James Cowden
5 to 7 p.m.: Plague Party
7 to 9 p.m.: Dead River Review
9 to 11 p.m.: Severe Ted
Paisley Violin Café (at 11th Ave.)
10 to 10: Jazz all day
Gallery Marsiglia (at 10th Ave.)
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Folk all day
Tilt Gallery (10th Ave. & Fillmore St.)
Noon: Rob Arpino
Phoenix Fall Space (at Taylor St.)
4 p.m.: Azul
7 p.m.: Douglas Littlefield
Bandstand at Oasis on Grand (15th Ave. & Roosevelt St.)
6 to 10 p.m.: CRISIS, Mark Nowichi, Janelle Sheppard
Deus Ex Machina (at Taylor St.)
7 p.m.: The Bliss Kickers
The Trunk Space (15th Ave. & Roosevelt St.)
8 p.m. ($7): Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Michelle Blades, Otouto, Rough Tough Dynamite
Bragg’s Pie Factory, Jordre Studio, The Lodge, The Chocolate Factory, Deux Ex Machina, Palm Reader Pottery, Phoenix Fall Space, Serendipity, Urban Floral Art, Hugo’s Art, Lazy Lab Art Studio, Barry Sparkman Studio, Icaro Studio, Moderncat Studio, Studio 8, Chris Caufield Studio, R. Booker Studio, Sentrock Arts and Studio of Melinda Bergman will all be open during the festival. Consult the map below for locations.
Grand is full of examples of historic buildings that have been converted for modern usage. This year’s ReDapt tours examines buildings centered around the three-way intersection of Grand, Roosevelt Street and 15th Avenue, including the Rodriguez Boxing Gym, the Gonzalez Heating and Cooling building, La Luz Del Mundo Church and the “Grandevelt” complex, home to Bikini Lounge, Kooky Krafts Shop, Sweets & Beats and the Trunk Space. The tours will also stop at the future home of Oasis on Grand, the upcoming reincarnation of the old Oasis Motel. Tours are $10 and are scheduled for 8, 9 and 10 a.m. starting at Rodriguez Boxing Gym. Tickets are available on grandavephoenix.com.
The bizarre fashion shows were the talk of last year’s festival, and this year there is a full day of alternative fashion exhibitions that may just top last year’s craziness.
Devious Indie Fashion Experience & Fashion in Motion at ShopDevious.com, 2 to 6 p.m.
ShopDevious.com pairs its collection of wigs and accessories with locally designed creations and makeup artists with a live, rotating fashion show that starts at 2 p.m. Stick around for live comedy and poetry and a shopping expo all afternoon.
Urban. Unique. It’s All About U. at Soul Invictus, 5 p.m.
Handcrafted jewelry and accessories in a variety of styles paired with Gallery Marsiglia’s off-the-wall style.
Untrashed Recycled Rubbish Fashion Show at Bragg’s Pie Factory, 5 p.m.
Wearable fashions made from repurposed and recycled trash displayed alongside the Trashy Art Show, also inside the main gallery in the Bragg’s Pie Factory building.
Local Boutiques Fashion Show at Bragg’s Pie Factory, 7 p.m.
The latest looks from Phoenicia Association, Butter Toast Boutique, Blueberry Deluxe and Dragonfly Boutique with tracks from DJ Kris the Fist.
Local Designers Fashion Show at Bragg’s Pie Factory, 9 p.m.
Stop in to see original fashions in a standing-room-only capacity. Wicked Wear, Arte Puro, Wiskc, MLE Jean and Sticker Club Girl will be shown to the music of DJ Jared Allen.
You’re bound to get hungry (or thirsty). There are plenty of good spots around Lower Grand.
Asadero Torro (17th Ave. at McDowell Rd.), 10 a.m. to midnight
Azteca Bakery (7th Ave. at Fillmore.), 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bikini Lounge (Grand at Roosevelt St. and 15th. Ave.), noon to 2 a.m.
Capitol Sports Bar (18th Ave. at Van Buren St.), 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
El Mana (15th Ave. at McDowell Rd.), 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
El Norteño (7th Ave. at Roosevelt St.), 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Golden Moon (14th Ave. at Van Buren St.), 4 to 8 p.m.
La Canasta Capitolio (17th Ave. at Van Buren St.), 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mel’s Diner (Grand at 17th Ave.), 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Oaxaca Restaurant and Cantina (15th Ave. and Van Buren St.), 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Paisley Violin Café (Grand at 11th Ave.), 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Sapna Café (Grand at McKinley St.), 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Valley Pizza (13th Ave. at Roosevelt St.), 11 to 11
Getting to Grand
The Lower Grand area encompasses Grand Avenue from Van Buren Street and 7th Avenue northwest to I-10. Parking is available along Grand and its various neighborhood side streets. For those light railing, the south side of the festival is approximately seven blocks west of Central Station, and the north end of the festival is approximately 15 blocks west of Roosevelt Station. Attendees are encouraged to walk, light rail or bike to the festival, if possible. If you are curious about transit along Grand Avenue, be sure to stop in to Motley Design from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn about the proposed Grand Avenue Rail Project.
Do you need a cultural fix but can’t wait until First Friday next week? The Trunk Space can provide you with some entertainment this Friday.
Yes, you read that correctly: A record about our infamous sheriff. Each band wrote a song about Sheriff Joe for the record, which will be on sale that night.
The 7″ was put on eBay and proceeds were given to No More Deaths, a coalition that works to end the suffering and death of migrants. Still not intrigued in going? Hear about the lineup.
Andrew Jackson Jihad is a Phoenix-based band that has made quite the name for themselves beyond our state.
Members Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty have made a genre of their own with their folk-punk sound that seems to have gotten bigger since the band’s inception in 2004. They have released more than 15 CDs, EPs and splits. They’ve been featured as “one of the bands to look out for” in Alternative Press and have definitely lived up to that standard. When you hear Andrew Jackson Jihad’s lyrics, it isn’t surprising that they are appearing on an Arpaio-themed record.
Treasure Mammal is a one-man band with a crazy, funky-techno sound that meshes with the hijinks of Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show. Abe Gil’s stage outfits are as crazy as his music, with unicorn costumes and a wide range of unitards.
Father’s Day is a four-piece punk/thrash band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Douglas Patton, Frank Brando, Juan P. Mendoza and Andy Denver, like Andrew Jackson Jihad, have made a name for themselves by playing at the Trunk Space.
Not only will the music be something you’ve never heard before, but the show will also be something you’ve (probably) never seen before, with folk-punk, crazy techno and thrash all playing under one roof.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and is a whopping $5. The Trunk Space is located at 1506 Grand Ave.
“WE ARE PARAMORE!” Hayley Williams yelled at last night’s Honda Civic Tour stop at the Dodge Theatre. Like any of the audience needed a reminder.
The Honda Civic Tour, featuring Paramore, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory and Kadawatha is soon coming to an end after a summer of crisscrossing the nation, but the mood was hardly tiresome in the nearly packed house.
Filling up the lobby of the Dodge were hundreds of people getting ‘Paramore’ stenciled on parts of their bodies or buying merch that came with a special red Paramore bag or a free download of Sainthood, Tegan and Sara’s most recent album.
Inside the venue was a nearly sold-out crowd anxiously waiting for the night’s biggest stars. Girls and women, tweens to middle age, filled the seats along with parents and boyfriends dragged to the show, children and some hip old people.
There was a screen covering the stage wall showing the “Honda Civic Tour: Paramore TV” with videos of the band along with music videos by Death Cab for Cutie, Led Zeppelin and TI. In an interactive twist, the crowd could text whatever they wanted onto the screen for everyone to read what was on their mind about the show.
At around 8 p.m., Tegan and Sara stepped on the stage to Animal Collective’s “My Girls.” With guitars armed and ready to play, Tegan and Sara played a 14-song set list, including “Walking with a Ghost,” “Back in Your Head,” and “Nineteen.”
Before playing “On Directing,” Tegan exclaimed that someday the song will be on the show So You Think You Can Dance.
“There’s something you for sure won’t be seeing on there: These two fools,” Tegan said as she pointed to her sister and herself.
The 10-year road veterans put on a show Phoenix has been waiting for too long. They were dancing what they call “the Canadian shuffle,” which consists of moving side to side (looking a little awkward), and having fun on stage, as well as joking with the crowd.
Tegan announced that the two sisters will be turning 30 in three days, but Sara looks as if she’s 12. Sara replied saying it’s all because of her Justin Bieber haircut.
“We going to get so rich with Justin Bieber in this band,” Tegan said. The two definitely showed that age is just a number.
Once the lights came up after Tegan and Sara, everyone was on edge, anticipating when Paramore would appear on stage. Twenty-five painful minutes later, a drape fell on the stage and screams began. If you were there, you would have felt that you were about to witness a Justin Bieber concert.
The band was slowly revealed and the crowd went even crazier when they jumped right into “Ignorance.” Williams was a ball of fire with her fire engine red hair, orange microphone and yellow shirt. She ran all over the stage, dancing, head banging and getting everyone in their seats to stand up.
Paramore was fun, energetic and explosive, and songs were sung by the crowd nearly louder than Williams. During the fourth song, Williams stopped singing and went to the edge of the stage, moving her finger side-to-side, anger in her face. Once the band was done playing, she explained to the crowd that there were people fighting in the pit.
“You’re at a Paramore show, not a Terror show,” Williams announced. “You look stupid fighting here.”
She proceeded to tell security to kick them out. Once the trash was taken out, the show went on.
They played a 16-song set list, including a cover of Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take my Man” and an acoustic set with “Where the Lines Overlap” and “Misguided Ghosts.”
They exited the stage with the slow hit, “The Only Exception” and left the crowd begging for more. After a couple minutes, the band came back to play two last songs.
During their last song, “Misery Business,” Williams invited three kids on stage from the pit to sing and dance with her. She showed it doesn’t matter how big you are, you can still make someone’s night with a small gestures.
Sea Wolf‘s Alex Brown Church has been a busy man for the past year. In fact, he has only been home in LA this past summer, and he is already jumping back onto the road for a solo acoustic tour.
The Sea Wolf following is growing, whether it be from touring with French indie rockers Phoenix, or landing a coveted spot on last year’s New Moon soundtrack. But the growth has been steady from humble beginnings. Church attended film school at NYU before even trying out music.
“I was in LA for about a week right out of film school,” Church recalls. “There were two things I wanted to do: One was start a band, and the other was work in the film industry and see if I liked it.”
Within the first week of working in the film industry, Church found members that would soon form his first band.
“I realized that music was something I felt a stronger connection to,” Church says.
Soon after his first band, he created Sea Wolf, named after the Jack London novel. If you love Bright Eyes and M. Ward, Sea Wolf is definitely your cup of tea. Like Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and M. Ward, Church has lyrics that paint a picture for you, but in Sea Wolf’s case, it feels as if you are looking through a lens. His words are full of imagery, a dramatic story and a script you wish would never end.
Sea Wolf released a sophomore album, White Water, White Bloom, in September 2009. Church describes the sound as a “folk/pop-rock extravaganza.”
“It’s more dynamic than the first record,” Church says. “There are sort of peaks and valleys as always with whatever I do, but for the most part, there are more drums on this record.”
Church spent a lot of time in Montréal during the making of the White Water, which he admits had a huge impact on the imagery of the record. But just because Church was in a state of writing, doesn’t mean writer’s block didn’t happen.
“All the time,” he laughs. “I constantly have writer’s block, and then every once and a while, a song pops out. I have no idea how it happened and then I have writer’s block until the next one.”
A month after releasing White Water, Sea Wolf was on every teenage girl’s iPod with the release of the New Moon soundtrack. Yes, that vampire movie that everyone has been talking about. However, compared to his other songs, Church doesn’t feel that special connection with “Violet Hour.”
“Every single song I’ve ever written is just for me, where as for ‘Violet Hour’ I wrote with the movie in mind,” Church confesses. “It didn’t come from the same place as the rest of my songs, which is perhaps why I haven’t really played it.”
Songs that are permanently among Sea Wolf’s set list are “Black Dirt” and “You’re a Wolf.”
“’You’re a Wolf’ is one of my favorite songs,” Church says. “To me, that’s kind of the Sea Wolf anthem, so I love playing that song.”
Although he’s been playing some of these songs for years, Church still has brain farts on stage.
“Every single show I forget lyrics… I’m kind of notorious for that,” Church says. “When I’m singing the song I’m like, ‘Which one is this again?’ and then by doing that I forget entirely.”
While playing a homecoming show earlier this year, forgetting lyrics was the last thing Church had to worry about. The show was at the Autry Museum of Western History in LA’s Griffith Park, which had never held a concert before. The stage was so small that only the drums could fit, so that meant the band had to play right in front of the crowd.
“It was strange singing like 2 feet away from people who were just standing there staring at you,” Church says.
There was also a problem of being able to see the crowd at all.
“During that show, the power blew out like two or three times completely and we had to stop and wait for the power to come on,” Church says. “I had to yell out to the crowd to keep them entertained.”
Don’t worry though, Sea Wolf won’t have to work to keep you entertained at the show tomorrow. Church will play a solo acoustic show at The Rhythm Room with Patrick Park and Sera Cahoone. And Church admits that he doesn’t know when he’ll do another solo acoustic tour, so this is a chance you won’t want to miss!
The Rhythm Room is located at 1019 E. Indian School Rd. in Midtown. Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $13 online or at the door.
With a name like The Constellation Branch, it’s hard to guess what kind of sound the listener should expect.
The Phoenix-based band has just finished recording and making its new EP, Mirage, which is set to release September 17. Yet compared to its previous full-length, The Dream Life, The Real Life, The Empty Glass…, the band has gone in unexpected directions. For example, Downtown folk songstress Country Marie Andrews is screaming at the top of her lungs on the EP’s finale.
“It’s not a concept like the first album was,” vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Jordan Cruz says of Mirage. “It’s really diverse. The first song is instrumental and ambient, but then it leads to dancier stuff.”
Cruz likens the theme and lyrics of this album to a mirage.
“Something in your life that you believed was something for so long, but then realize it’s nothing like what you had planned it to be,” Cruz reveals.
Although The Constellation Branch — Cruz, Bryce Hill (guitar, keyboard), Aaron Motley (bass) and Stephen O’Sicky (drums) — is just now getting its name out, the band has been around the Valley for quite some time. They debuted in 2006 with only Cruz and Hill, and Motley and O’Sicky came on a year later. The result is a sound that is a dark indie experimental combination along the lines of math rock like At the Drive-In, yet the keyboard adds softness to the mix.
Over the years, The Constellation Branch has played at places like the Modified Arts, The Trunk Space, The Rhythm Room and Yucca Tap Room, but they’ve had their fair share on the road as well. They have traveled all over the West Coast and played at South By Southwest, but never got the opportunity to play a highly sought-after showcase at the festival.
“The people we did meet were all fantastic, and we did gain new fans and made some really great contacts,” Hill says of SXSW. “But in the end, I am not sure we would play again unless we were playing an official showcase.”
As with many other bands, The Constellation Branch hit a speed bump on the way home.
“We were pulled over for speeding,” Hill recalls. “Apparently it’s a crime to drive 65 at night in Texas.”
The police ended up searching the van and came back empty-handed, except for O’Sicky.
“The most memorable quote would have to be when the cop was searching Steve and he found his drum key in his pocket,” Hill says. “The officer pulled it out and said, “What’s this? Some sort of cocaine separating device?”
Police must find some interesting paraphernalia in Texas…
Back in Arizona, the band has signed a digital distribution deal with Downtown-based River Jones Music. They’ll stay busy in September, playing at Holga’s on First Friday at around 9:30 p.m., before embarking on a brief California tour to promote Mirage. They’ll be back in Arizona in time for their EP release show with Small Leaks Sink Ships at the Sail Inn in Tempe on September 17.
Want to check out The Constellation Branch on First Friday? Holga’s is located at 821 N. 3rd St. in Evans Churchill (light rail at Roosevelt Station).