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Off Key: Take a Stand for Bands on Grand

 by Benjamin Horowitz
 published on Thursday, March 9, 2006

Horowitz/issues/arts/696158
Horowitz
 

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Almost every region has an annual music festival that everyone knows about. Music fans wait with anticipation to see who will play each year at Southern California's Coachella festival in Indio, Calif., or the South's Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., or every indie kid's wet dream, South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, where talent from across the country and globe will play.

The Valley tried to start its own comparable event last year with the Grand Cayenne music festival, but it ended up with lackluster ticket sales and was ultimately canceled.

Undeterred, musicians, promoters and venue owners put together one festival this spring, "Oh Shit, a Fest!," featuring almost two dozen local artists. Now, a second festival will take place this Friday: Bands on Grand.

Audience members will travel between eight. different venues on Grand Street in downtown Phoenix. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Trunk Space (1506 Northwest Grand Ave, Phoenix) or the Paper Heart Gallery (750 NW Grand Ave., Phoenix) for $10, or at the door for $12.

Here are a few recommendations for anyone curious to hear some of the talented artists from the Phoenix area this Friday:

Uggamugga
The Trunk Space, 7:20 p.m.
Check him out if you like the idea of a guy having a good time with an acoustic guitar, singing kind-of-catchy songs about preserving the environment, grunge rock and various other fun things.

Sole Funktion
Four White Walls, 8 p.m.
Check them out if dancing the night away sounds like a good idea. Sole Funktion play exactly what you would expect a band with two puns in their name to sound like -- a fun blend of just about every kind of pop, reggae and funk necessary to make people want to move their feet.

Reindeer Tiger/Team
Fat Cat's, 9:20 p.m.
Check them out if the words "jangly" or "angular" mean anything to you. If you like music that is alternately jarring and soothing, then Reindeer/Tiger Team is a band you should've already seen.

Andrew Jackson Jihad
The Paper Heart, 10:40 p.m.
Check them out if you like folk songs about everything from drugs to murder. This band has the ability to make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, and a little uncomfortable at the same time.

Fatigo
Perihelion, 11:00 p.m.
Check them out if stories about polar bears, scorpions and various other creatures of the world sound good sung over solid, Latin-influenced pop song-writing with touches of the occasional trumpet or accordion.

The Huskies
The Phix, 11:40 p.m.
Check them out if you like songs about heartbreak, best enjoyed over a beer or two. A little bit alternative country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, this band should appeal to lovers of music with guitars across the board.

For the complete lineup and venue information, check out www.bandsongrand.com.
Ultimately, any combination of bands you pick will be worth the $10. I could write every week about the diversity in the Valley and still not begin to have it covered. Bands on Grand is the second opportunity newcomers and curious old-timers have to see what they've been missing.

Reach the reporter at benjamin.horowitz@asu.edu.



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