Imagine, if you will, a barn on the Lake Erie shore, the location of a summer camp. A drum set and an old piano are the first things that catch your eye. Then you see two guys take the stage in a blaze of energy and lights. The shows of their early days and the twenty one pilots clique I came to join in that barn was magnified one hundred fold at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday night.
Madeleine Peyroux played two shows at the Musical Instrument Museum on Tuesday, July 26, and prior to the first show, I described her as “smoky” to an older gentleman who had joined us at our table, and he got this look on his face like he was imagining the jazz chanteuse on fire and emitting clouds of smoke on stage. Of course “smoky” was in reference to Peyroux's vaunted voice, but after the show, my companion and I decided that wasn't accurate. And “sultry” wasn't totally apropos, either, because Peyroux has such a wide vocal range – she may hit a smoky note or go into a sultry slide, but her singing covers a wide range of styles, and octaves. And “sullen” was way off, because while Peyroux does sing some sad songs, her sense of humor and between-song banter was beyond entertaining. If she ever tires of being one of the most celebrated singers in modern jazz, she could totally kill it in comedy as a second career. So after some discussion of which s-words best described the stellar show Peyroux and her players (upright bass player Barak Mori and guitarist Jon Herington) put on, here are our top five:
#1 Sassy: “Saucy” or “silly” might work here, too. Going back to the between-song banter, Peyroux's intro to the song “Guilty” was: “Most of the songs I sing are love songs, blues, or drinking songs. This one is all three, thanks to [the songwriter] Randy Newman.” After the applause subsided from her stunning rendition (complete with pseudo-slurred words to bolster the I've-been-drinking effect), Peyroux said, “That song reminds me of my dad. I remember when I was a kid, we were driving and he saw this big sign that said DRINK CANADA DRY. So we moved there.”
No, not THAT band camp. THIS band camp empowers young girls to bring out their inner Joan Jetts: Girls Rock! Phoenix, which launched in February, is a nonprofit organization formed by Sarah Ventre, a senior producer at KJZZ 91.5 FM. The idea – gathering girls ages 8-17, giving them instruments and teaching them how to play, having them form bands and write an original song, culminating in a showcase – came from Girls Rock! camps in other states, including Washington, D.C., where Ventre volunteered in rock camp activities.
On Thursday, June 23, sultry singer Jane Monheit takes the stage. Monheit is equally at ease crooning Brazilian music and pop as she is standards from the American Songbook. She's collaborated with everybody from Michael Bublé to John Pizzarelli, and has been nominated for a Grammy twice. Her new album, “The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald” (Emerald City Records, 2016), is an homage to the legendary Fitzgerald. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $45.50-$50.50.
If news headlines are any indication, Hillary vs. Donald is the biggest prizefight in the nation’s eye right now. But for the geeky pop culture set there’s a more important, epic, life-altering battle that’s been ongoing for decades. Movie sagas have been made, fan bases divided and friendships lost. The question still remains: Which franchise is better, Star Wars or Star Trek?
For 25 years, Arizona Musicfest has regaled Valley audiences with a wide variety of musical performances, from Broadway and bluegrass to classical and jazz. This year’s festival, which started on January 29 and runs through March 11, features 18 concerts at several North Scottsdale and Phoenix venues. Some concerts are already sold out, and others are selling fast.
If you follow us on Instagram, you know we are die-hard devotees of Press Coffee here at the mag. You've seen our latte runs, paeans to cappuccino art and Press cup-strewn meeting tables. In December, we posted a picture of delicate little waffles sandwiching cardamom-infused caramel that barista Elizabeth Bayer made for us.
Heavy metal band Slipknot and hip-hip duo Insane Clown Posse popularized the creepy white mask as a gimmick to draw crowds. While the 12 or so percent of Americans suffering from coulrophobia (fear of clowns) likely steer clear of these bands, 51-year-old singer Michael Geier hopped on the literal clown bandwagon when he donned a circus-worthy look for Atlanta-based band Greasepaint back in 1999.
If you're a fan of films in which masked maniacs murder people in decrepit mansions, the 1927 silent humor-horror film “The Cat and the Canary” will make you jump for terrified joy. And local eclectic ensemble RPM Orchestra will tickle your ears and tingle your spine with a live musical score.
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