In 1995, Duran Duran released their album Thank You, which after the world-wide success of The White Album, was a bit lackluster. But one thing about the album of covers that I really liked was a small tidbit in the liner notes, “Recreation is the sincerest form of flattery.” For some reason, that stuck with me. In many ways, that sentiment is exactly what I was going for in my newest book of short stories: this nod to recreating elements of local music in a completely new medium felt like the most pure way, as an artist, to give back to the artists that have inspired me.
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Example. Last night I went to a Country Music Album Release at Valley Bar… so The Bayou Bandits came at em Hard Southern Rock, with a great supporting set of genre bending bands.
The Real Fakes opened up the show, and they reached way back with some Count 5. And the crowd at Valley Bar ate it all up!
When it comes to music, I think cover songs can be a bit complicated to judge. A band becomes a band, honing their skills, and learning how to play as a group, on other peoples’ music. As they branch out to playing live shows, many of them start off playing mostly covers before they are ready to play original material. Even when they do have enough originals for an EP, or a full length album, cover songs are still essential to be able to fulfill a 45 minute set list for a live show. What happens, is that fans, or shall we say people who potentially may go to live music events, get this idea that local bands are “just local” or “cover bands”, which at least in my experience seems to come off a bit off the cuff or negative. But here’s the backside blade of the thing, if a band plays all originals that nobody in the venue knows, they are also less likely to engage with the crowd. It is a lot easier to get crowd interaction when you are playing a song that the audience knows. Eventually, they will know your originals enough to sing along… Black Moods shows come to mind. But – early on, a well placed cover can be your golden ticket to a crowd pleasing show.
So when KWSS FM named their Fall Fundraiser Show: Guilty Pleasures it is in many ways a bold, and genius move. Cover events put on by the radio are always pretty fun, I remember one that I went to was Tom Petty vs. Fleetwood Mac, and the bands did covers of one or the other. It was like a Battle of the Bands. It was a great show. It also engages a potential audience that might not listen, or stream, KWSS often, but totally support the mission of community radio. IE – it is a lot easier to invite friends to come on out to a show, specifically designed to play on that idea of a guilty pleasure cover song. You get an audience that knows your tunes… and the potential of grabbing new fans with your performance! It is a win for bands, and it is a win for the community.
This year a host of great bands and performers have come together to offer you their ‘guilty pleasures / sincere re-creations’. This coming Saturday, November 23rd come on out for:
Harper & the Moths: One of the standout bands in Phoenix, most recently Harper opened for UB40 at The Marquee in Tempe, and is hot off a very well received album, Dark Enough to Dance.
Promise to Myself: An alternative pop band from Phoenix, this is one band that I have never seen, and will be looking forward to hearing them for the first time at the KWSS Guilty Pleasures Show. My guess is New Kids….
Gabe Kubanda: is not only a singer and songwriter, but he is also the owner of EPIC PROPORTIONS TOUR which puts bands together for a tour of high schools, parks, and community events that showcase the talent to younger/ under-age listeners. Oh – BTW… did I mention Guilty Pleasures is an ALL AGES SHOW (Youth must be accompanied by adult).
Carol Pacey & the Honeyshakers: This band is an absolute rocking great time to see live. Carol and Andy bring the house down with their energy, their personalities, and their just outright awesomeness! Plus… their new album Bliss is pretty killer!
The Bellwethers: I LOVE this band. They are wonderful people, great musicians, and just fantastic human beings. I am proud to call them my friends. And, by the way, when I hung out with them at Chopper John’s this last Halloween, they played a whole set of Bowie covers….. #JustSayin
Pretty Years: A throw back three piece of guys you just have to know grew up listening to everything from Tears to Fears to OMD to Duran Duran to The Cure and everything in between, these guys are A LOT of fun to see live. They bring great energy, wonderful musicianship, and truly seem to LOVE performing. I am looking forward to WAVES OF NOSTALGIA from their set.
Daphne & the Glitches: I have only seen this band play one time, when they opened for The Bellwethers at Chopper John’s, and they were covering Ziggy Stardust when I walked in. Like Heroes. #NuffSaid
Also performing: Megan & Shane and The Twits Band.
FUNDRAISING IS KEY
KWSS is 100% Independent and locally owned. Like NPR and PBS, KWSS relies on listener support for operational costs: music licensing, promotional materials, broadband connectivity, studio and transmitter facilities, insurance, power, web hosting, etc. Unlike NPR and PBS, KWSS is not part of a larger network of stations. There is nothing else like KWSS on FM radio. This kind of independence – takes support. That is all there is to it.
This year, an amazing way that you can support is through Bravo Pay. If you don’t know about them, go check them out – especially if you are an artist. Bravo is matching donations made during this ENTIRE PLEDGE WEEK. Download it right now!!!
Dinner will also be offered this year from Chef Wade’s Mac N Cheese Food Truck from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Items have been donated from local artists (signed guitar from The Bellwethers signed by ALL PERFORMERS, and a few Ghost Writer Presents Starter Packs (Spirits of Jerome and Ghost Songs bundled) as well as other artists and retailers for raffle, so get there with your shopping lists! Finally, you can also reserve 4-top tables at the front of the venue for this particular show – $100. General admission to the event is $15.
Very much looking forward to seeing all of you there…. AND YOUR KIDS !!!
Keep the Greasy Side Down, my Friends !