From my experience, it seems that many people have the misconception that Arizona is lacking when it comes to having an actual musical scene. Hopefully the release of the new When in AZ compilation can change their tune. When in AZ is the brainchild of Nick Kizer, a member of the Tempe band Babaluca, and features 55 Valley artists covering songs by other Arizona artists. The compilation is available for download for $8, and there will be several live events throughout September showcasing some of the contributing artists.

The compilation features a wide variety of local artists such as The Necronauts, Dry River Yacht Club, Andrew Jackson Jihad, FutureKind, Emperors of Japan and The Premiere. With such an eclectic mix of performers, the music styles presented are as varied as you would expect. The songs range from the folky to the funky, from the rocking to the electronic and everywhere in between. The compilation is put together in such a way that the styles are well dispersed throughout the track listing, and it flows well from one track to the next.

Not only does the compilation provide for great exposure for those involved — both those performing and those whose work is being performed — but it also benefits the community. Proceeds will benefit two nonprofits, Ear Candy and the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, whose mission is to provide musical education to children.

When in AZ shows are scheduled for September 4 and 5 at Modified Arts, September 10 at the Rhythm Room and September 18 at the Hard Rock Café. Check back with DPJ for recaps of each of these shows.