Wednesday, March 28, 2012
ZIA RECORDS release "You Heard Us Back When, Volume 6" Local Music compilation on National Record Store Day, April 21st!
It’s time once again for our annual Zia Local Music Compilation. Hard to believe we are already up to Volume 6 since we revived this Zia tradition on the first annual Record Store Day. With stores in Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson, we are fortunate to call home to three cities of great local musicians. We’ve got 37 tracks this time, our biggest compilation yet, and we’re proud to showcase such a broad spectrum of music that you can find right in your own neighborhood.
We have a handful of returning artists we’ve featured on past volumes, and it’s a pleasure to listen as their music evolves. But as with each time we put out the call for bands, we’re thrilled to see a host of acts we’ve never heard present us with fresh and exciting sounds. Even with two discs crammed full of music, there were many more great bands who submitted that we would have loved to include as well.
Proceeds from this compilation will benefit the Beer For Brains Foundation, a non-profit organization of craft beer lovers, brewers, and distributors committed to raising public awareness about brain cancer and helping to fund research leading to a cure. It’s a subject that has touched many of our lives, and we are proud to be associated with this great cause.
Find out more at http://thebeerforbrainsfoundation.org/about.html More info here!
It’s time to Rock and Roll! Remember to stop by your local ZIA Records to enjoy National Record Store Day with us and pick up your copy "You Heard Us Back When, Vol. 6" for just $3! We hope you enjoy listening, we have a feeling you will!
Happy Record Store Day 2012, and Remember………….ZIA LOVES YOU!
ZIA Records "You Heard Us Back When, Vol. 6" tracklisting
1. Snake! Snake! Snakes! - The Outsider (Phoenix)
2. The Love Me Nots - The Girl Lights Up (Phoenix)
3. Gospel Claws - I Can, I Will (Phoenix)
4. Sweet Ghosts - Just Be Here With Me (Tucson)
5. Art For Starters - Diction (The Beverly Hills Song) (Phoenix)
6. Steff Koeppen & The Articles - Two Cities (Phoenix)
7. Under Sunday - The Way The Story Goes (Las Vegas)
8. Labor Party - Away With Me (Phoenix)
9. Monster Zero - Boogeyman (Las Vegas)
10. Joe Blow & The Smoking Tires - Song For M (Las Vegas)
11. TA-80 - Brandy & Board Games (Phoenix)
12. Snow Songs - Hide It From The Rest Of The World (Phoenix)
13. No Gimmick - Suggestion (Phoenix)
14. Aleh - Woman And A Girl (Las Vegas)
15. Loyal Wife - Cut The Rope (Phoenix)
16. Langston Graves - Can't Let You Go (Las Vegas)
ENCORE BONUS TRACK : The Love Met Nots - The End Of The Line (Phoenix)
1. Safe To Semi - Visibly Intoxicated (Phoenix)
2. Gooder - Wasted (Phoenix)
3. Aaron Tippetts Band - Startin' With You (Las Vegas)
4. Kris Brown - Don't Stop Cryin' (Phoenix)
5. The Swamp Coolers - The Ride (Phoenix)
6. Jonathan Sakas - Memory (Phoenix)
7. Eclipses For Eyes - Box Of Secrets (Phoenix)
8. Avalon Landing - Erie County Welcomes You Back (Las Vegas)
9. Six Sided Halo - Six Sided Halo (Phoenix)
10. DFACTOR - Big Blue Bridge (Phoenix)
11. Godhunter - Wolves Of The North (Tucson)
12. Green Ready - King Of Hearts (Tucson)
13. The Limit Club - Shake (Phoenix)
14. Brookee Lin - Go Insane (Tucson)
15. Chosen Few Crew - The Scarlet Letter MC's (Las Vegas)
16. Boreas - And Seek (Tucson)
17. The Furnace - Hurt Locker(Phoenix)
18. Corporal Limits - 17 Years (Phoenix)
19. Dead Wildlife - In This Room (Phoenix)
20. Three-Legged Dog - I Could Be Wrong (Phoenix)
Monday, March 26, 2012
Join ZIA Records at the 9th Annual Phoenix Film Festival happening March 29th through April 5th at Harkins Scottsdale 101! We are a proud sponsor of the Phoenix Film Festival this year and are looking forward to seeing some wonderful films! Check out the list below of some featured films at this year's Festival that Zia Records proudly sponsors!
We've also got a pair of VIP passes that we're giving away to one lucky winner! To enter to win the VIP passes, visit http://www.ziarecords.com/Contest/690. Contest ends Thursday, March 29th at 11AM.
Join us for these great films featured at this year's Phoenix Film Festival!
Andrew Bird: Fever Year - http://phoenix.festivalgenius.com/2012/films/andrewbirdfeveryear0_xanaranda_phoenix2012
FDR: American Badass
Beyond the Black Rainbow
The Theatre Bizarre
The Brain That Wouldn't Die
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 5:10 PM
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Oh boy The Hunger Games! Children (known as Tributes) from several state run “districts” where poverty is rampant and depression is the norm are picked lottery style to participate in The Hunger Games. The games are a state run reality show held once a year as entertainment for the upper class of the Capitol of Panem (formerly North America).
If you have not heard about this movie or the books you have been living under a rock! This “phenom” is everywhere and will continue to be everywhere. In this piece I will attempt a trifecta: a Movie and Soundtrack review as well as an interview with Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale in the movie (s?). Let me clarify something real quick: this “interview” was actually a group interview that was conducted about 2 weeks ago. This is actually my first big budget movie interview and I guess this is the way thing are done. So there will be a lot of “On portraying Gale, Liam says:” kind of stuff. It wasn’t like Liam and I were sitting at Starbucks shooting the sh#t, although the vibe I got is that he would prefer it. So here we go “interview” first.
Liam Hemsworth is an Australian actor and brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). He has been in some feature films (The Throwback, Knowing) but this is the jump off. After this movie I think Liam will have arrived as a star. Although he doesn’t have a lot of screen time, the story hints at big things to come for his character. On his method of preparing for a roll Liam says “I’m somewhat the type of guy that is present in a role. I’m not in character 24/7. I’m not a lunatic!” In the film Gale and all the characters have to look a bit emaciated “I approached this role trying to get in the physical shape of the character (Gale). I lost a little weight. My character is living in a depression and hunting for food, staying alive and trying to keep his family alive. The biggest thing for me was to get in his head”. In the movie Gale has a bit of a larger role then in the books Liam says “You see a little more. There are more cuts in the film to Gale so you can see what he is doing”. Because of the limited role in the books Liam had to look at the script for inspiration: “I used the books a lot before filming, but I mainly used the script and stayed away from the books while shooting. It was too confusing”. As far as Liam’s career this is his biggest role and his biggest production yet. “Whether it’s big or small I’m looking for characters I can relate to or stories that are interesting. I try and find directors and writers that are trying to do something new. These stories have strong characters that people can care about. In any story you need good characters.” On relating to Gale Liam says “I feel that Gale is an extremely passionate person. He doesn’t want to side with this evil. He doesn’t want to be a part of these games. He is trying to stop it and get away from it. If I were in his position I would be doing much the same thing.” Preparation for any role would be difficult but preparing for a character that lives on the brink of starvation in a post apocalyptic caste society Liam says “It was stripping down and losing a ton of weight. Sweating every day. When shooting started I stopped working out and just ate minimal amounts of food”. On his co-star Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen): “I got along with her from the first read. She is very fun to work with and very professional”. Like I said, Liam has a quick but important role in this movie but he does a good job shining thru. “I’m very proud of this film. It’s the most powerful film I have ever been a part of”.
On to the second part of our Hunger Games extravaganza!! The soundtrack! The album (Hunger Games: Songs From District 12) came out this week on Universal Republic and is a who’s who of bands and artists you should be listening too (according to Pitchfork and Spin anyway). This T-Bone Burnett produced album runs the gamut, from Alt Country (Secret Sisters) to Alty Hip Hop (Kid Cudi) and then some bubble gum (Taylor Swift) the true stand-out tracks on this record are Arcade Fire’s “Abraham’s Daughter” and Kid Cudi’s “The Ruler and The Killer”.
A side note: If you are not listening to Kid Cudi, you should be. If you pass him off as a just another rapper you are doing yourself a disservice. Especially when he is produced by T-Bone Burnett.
This record includes original songs written for the movie. There are some great pairings like Maroon 5 and Rozzi Crane and Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars. Like the movie, there is not a lot of “WEEEEEE! Life Is Great!!!” moments but it conveys the tone of the film nicely! You cannot go wrong with T-Bone Burnett!
I give it 7 Kids-fighting-for-their-lives-in-a-sadist-post-apocalyptic-reality-show out of 10 Kids-fighting-for-their-lives-in-a-sadist-post-apocalyptic-reality-show!
I saw this movie in a packed theater of journalists and a few fans. It was hard to distinguish from the two. When a character came on screen that they loved from the book, they yipped. When an inside reference to the books was made, they laughed. I love seeing movies with people who are fans and who are excited about the film before it even starts!
If you are not familiar with the story (like me), let me give you the non-spoiler details. The movie is set in a distant future were the US has been destroyed and the newly formed Country/Dictatorship called Panem has popped up in its place. The country was divided into 13 “Districts”. The inhabitants who are unlucky enough to live in these districts live in squalor and filth while the Capitol City is a Utopia of technology, wealth and weird beards. The Capitol City inhabitants know nothing but bliss. There was some kind of revolutionary event 74 years prior that was squashed by the new regime shortly after the new government took over. In this revolution District 13 was destroyed. As a way of keeping the citizens of the Districts in line, Panem holds annually televised reality show type “Hunger Games”. Two representatives from each District from the ages of 12-18 are selected via lottery and forced to go to the Capitol and fight the other “Tributes” to the death! The winner is rewarded with wealth, fame and in Woody Harreleson’s characters case, beautiful locks of hair. We join the story as Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her sister in the games. Will Katniss survive?
I went into this movie open –minded but was expecting a Twilight type of franchise jump off film. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Unlike the Twilight films, this story has incredible depth and deals with very relatable characters and issues (poverty, starvation, the quest for fame etc...). The performances by the actors in this film are top notch! Especially Woody Harreleson (Haymitch Abernathy ) and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. Jennifer Lawrence is so incredible with her portrayal of Katniss that you can’t help but feel for and root for her! There are no phoned in performances here! Elizabeth Banks is hardly recognizable in this film! I thought her character was played by Parker Posey for two thirds of the film. Amazing! The sets are amazing! The ships and trains are cool! Nothing in this movie was left to chance it all looks and feels authentic and incredible!
If you like Science Fiction, Romance and Adventure: GO SEE THIS!! You also get your fill of Weird Beards and Stanley Tucci’s bizarre ass hair too!
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 4:42 PM
Methra EP Album Review
By Ryan Clark
In a world of ten minute songs with constant tempo changes and staccato off kilter time signatures, it is a nice thing to settle down with some music that eschews the polished veneer and delivers the bare bones. The newest Methra EP certainly does this, and no better phrase than "straight forward" can be found to describe what is contained in these five songs. So if you don't like to rock out to the not so delicate sounds of doom and sludge, please stop reading this review, dab some angel dust onto your eyes, and go party on with your speed metal. Now, where were we...
The opening track of the EP, Xipe Totec, sets the stage for what is to follow with a slow dirge and a whole lot of groove. Follow on tracks U Series, Buzzard, and the aptly named Heavier Things showcase that while Methra keeps events within their songs moving at the glacial pace of a war elephant on the march, they are not a one trick band. You clearly hear the influences that range from doom to sludge to rock to post-metal (think Isis/Neurosis.) There are even some hardcore riffs in the music, which please the ear at the mid to slow pace that is the modus operandi of the band. The stand out track award on the EP definitely goes to the last song, Argon. The beginning melody sets a very nice atmosphere that is built upon by the bass and drums and then at a minute and twenty-three seconds in the song launches forward into a tight, swirling groove that is very memorable.
Sounding much like a radiation blasted demon from your worst dream, the vocals give the proceedings an extra punch of ominous portent, and sit very well within the songs. Guitar, bass, and drums are all competently performed and locked into delivering the goods. Special mention must be made for the bass guitar tone and the snare drum, they sound really killer and distinct in the recording. The mix of the songs is very solid and while it lets the individual instruments stand alone to be heard, it also combines and blends them into a compact and potent block of heaviness.
Overall, the songs on this EP have an organic feel and as a listening experience are far stronger when listened to as a whole versus one song here and there. Methra has good chops and is talented at creating a certain feel to their material that seems all their own. Though at times it seems that the band is still trying to nail down where it wants to go musically, Methra sticks to the basics and gets the job done. Keeping the evolution going is a healthy thing for a group of musicians and we should look forward to what these guys create next. The meat and potatoes may be all we are receiving right now, but hell, meat and potatoes are pretty goddamned tasty.
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 4:24 PM
TOAD Rotten Tide Album Review
By Ryan Clark
Analog tape? Songs tracked live? Vintage gear? TOAD answers definitively yes on Rotten Tide, a ripping and infectious album that won't leave your memory anytime soon. It is impossible to pause this album, the devil or some lesser demon just won't let you walk away from experiencing the complete work. Besides, before you know it, the music ends. In less than twenty-two minutes spread across five songs, this unholy creation of sound releases all the foul things that dwell in the dark spaces and casts them upon your ears.
Chimerical in nature, the songs take you on one hell of a ride through valleys of death and tall mountains of black, but above all and somewhat strangely, a good old rock and roll/punk feel permeates the rhythms of the each track. Straight forward yet intricate and raw, there is an organic grandeur to the song structures that makes them sound full and huge. These aspects are further enhanced by the fact that this album was recorded live and on analog tape, bringing warmth and richness to the tones, especially the guitars, which are fully dimensional and crunchy. The drums and bass thunder like the earth splitting at the end of time, and the vocals... we'll save that part for later on down the road.
A good demonstration of the huge sound on Rotten Tide can be found about half a minute into opening track Midnight Hunger. This riff is the audio equivalent of Hannibal crushing the Romans at Cannae, utterly awesome and powerful, but still only a prologue of what is to come. Throughout songs such as Pale Nimbus and Morning Disgust, TOAD continually holds the listener enthralled with a varied approach of technique and tempo, yet they never relent in rocking you. Catchy and profoundly memorable, there isn't a single wasted passage or boring moment. There is only thick, ugly, and dirty heaviness.
As good as the music is, there is one final aspect of the monster that moves it up a notch to excellent: the vocals. Caustic and full of bile, they spew forth from the speakers with raw power. Having a mid range growl that drops lower on some notes and higher on others, the vocalist has a style and sound that is vaguely reminiscent of LG Petrov from Entombed. The delivery is spot on and full of sincerity, perfectly conveying anger, despair, and madness. They make a seamless, perfect fit with the music on Rotten Tide, completing and complementing the formidable compositions.
In conclusion, TOAD has created a great album with a full and amazing analog sound that defies easy classification. Call it death metal, post-metal, or doom, it is all of those, but as noted previously, at the core it is a rock album. If this was the original intention of the band, they have succeeded admirably. What might they come up with next? This is an exciting prospect to look forward to and while only time will tell, Rotten Tide is certainly a masterful beginning and a weather vane that points to heavy, dark, and analog.
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 3:57 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Hey There! Thanks for checking out another round of “19 Questions”! In this installment we feature an interview with Justin Sane from the mighty Ant-Flag! This interview was done back in September and had to be shelved because the record got pushed back. Now the record is coming out and we have dusted this off! In the interview the record is referred to as “Magnum” but the title has been changed to “The General Strike” and is out on March 20th. Anti-Flag will go down as one of the most relevant punk groups of the last decade and Justin is a great interview. As with everything Anti-Flag, this skews political and AZ in the crosshairs. Feathers are ruffled. Points and counter points are made but love of music prevails! Enjoy!
ZIA : Tell us about the new Complete Control record you put out at the end of September.
AF : Our friend Joe Sibb has a radio show called, "Complete Control", after The Clash song of the same name. Joe started a series of live records which he dubbed "Complete Control." He asked us to be part of it so we recorded a number of live tracks that are main stays in our live set. I think it does gonna be a strong live release for us. We're excited!
ZIA : How did you guys come up with the covers to be performed?
AF : We love the Clash! They are my favorite band! So it's a no brainer that we would cover The Clash.
ZIA : When recording a song like “White Riot” is it intimidating thinking about how iconic that song is?
AF : Not really. Instead we just enjoy playing the song. We're never gonna do it as good as The Clash, no one is! It isn't about recreating something perfect, it's about doing what we love to do - playing awesome tunes!
ZIA : So we know about your musical influences what are some other influences outside of the music world?
AF : I can only speak for myself… The biggest influences on me are the people in my life. Sure world politics and drama has an impact on the way I feel in many ways, but without people life is meaningless. I try the very best I can to take every interaction I have with people seriously, whether I know them well or not. I am also influenced by South Park, beer, and the voices in my head. Ha-ha.
ZIA : When can we expect a new Anti-Flag full length?
AF : We've been writing and recording songs all year long! New record should drop around Jan 2012. Can you say end of the world?
ZIA : Is it still called “Magnum”?
AF : Possibly. It may also be called, "2012!!! Holy Shit the Mayans Were Right! Let's Get Drunk and Fuck."
ZIA : What is the meaning behind the title?
AF : Very much like the previous answer, "Magnum" was a joke title I mentioned in a previous interview. "Magnum" is in reference to the movie, Zoolander. If you haven't seen it, I suggest doing so RIGHT NOW!
ZIA : Also there are rumblings of your solo album. Is that happening?
AF : I've been performing songs live from a solo record I released quite a long time ago titled, "Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Justice." I've mostly been performing in Europe. Hopefully I'll work out some dates in the USA. As for a new record, I hope to work on one soon! Best thing to do is stay tuned to my twitter and website for updates. @justinsanesolo facebook.com/justinsanesolo
ZIA : All right so we are a local AZ independent record store weave to talk a little about Soundstrike. Are you guys still involved in Soundstrike?
AF : Yes. Still involved. Still behind the message that as long as Arizona's law makers support SB1070 we are not willing to support Arizona economically (sic).
ZIA : What is the reason for denying people that love your band and support your band the ability to see you live?
AF : It isn't about denying the people who love Anti-Flag the opportunity to see us live. It is about calling attention to a law that is inhumane.
ZIA : Do you guys understand the frustration with fans that live here? They support your cause but have to travel to do so with you.
AF : I do understand that frustration and I feel for those people. What we need is for people to take that frustration to the ballot box and to encourage others to do so.
ZIA : At what point is the “mission accomplished” banner goes up? What will have to happen?
AF : Arizona is at the forefront of intensely hostile immigration legislation. I believe that when artists see a sea shift in a new direction that they will feel the point has been made.
ZIA : Some of the bands have broken the boycott yet still remain up as a Soundstrike bands. What is your take on this? The sexiness has gone away now its okay for you to give me money?
AF : I can't speak for others- I don't know their circumstances. I think each artist has to decide when they feel they've made the statement they wanted to make and how far they want to take that statement. Just because someone supports something at the start and strays from their position doesn't mean that they don't feel the same. Life and the real world are more complicated than that.
ZIA : You have aligned your selves with bands that take corporate gigs for ass-loads of cash. Some of these corporations have a track record of supporting ant-gay political candidates and take part in horrific and inhumane testing on animals. Some bands are sponsored by said corporations. Doesn’t this hurt the legitimacy of the Soundstrike?
AF : To be honest, I think you're reaching on this question, even though I understand your point. That said, I can't speak to other bands and what they do or don't do… I can only speak to Anti-Flag so now I am talking about Anti-Flag. Anti-Flag signed up with Sound Strike to make the statement that SB1070 is inhumane and it is up to the people of Arizona to do something about it. To those who live in Arizona and feel the same way, I applaud you and support you. I'm sorry that you're stuck in a state with some many red neck dumb asses. I live in Pennsylvania and it's full of them so honestly, I really feel your pain.
ZIA : Was there any thought given to a show to educate and campaign against SB1070 in the state?
AF : At the time this campaign kicked off Anti-Flag was not in a position to participate in such a show so I do not know if this idea was discussed. My impression is that the campaign was kicked off because it was something that many artists could commit to very quickly. Should there be a change in tactics? I think it is always wise to reconsider whether one's tactics are achieving the best result and the results hoped for when an action was put into motion.
ZIA : A good portion of AZ is Native American land where 1070 is not applicable. What about a show on one of the nation’s lands?
AF : Why not?!!! I suppose it would come down to a matter of logistics.
ZIA : Is there a concern that activism becomes bigger than the music
or the band?
AF : I think that's what the live show is about! At some point, after all the talk, the action that doesn't involve music, the handwork, everyone just wants to unwind and have fun! You can do that with a live show and quite often I think that is exactly what Anti-Flag is doing when we play live.
ZIA : Or conversely is the music and the activism the same and go hand in hand?
AF : I think they go hand in hand in that music is the battle cry, it is power beyond an idea or belief that bonds and pulls people together. It's the cherry on top of the community building that takes place in any movement.
ZIA : Do you see a reason to come back to AZ at this point?
AF : I think it makes sense to go back to Arizona for the people who didn't vote for idiots. I have a hard time believing that people from the Anti-Flag community support the scum who supported 1070. It's a topic worth discussing within the band and beyond. Does that mean it's time to return, I don't have a definitive answer for you on that one yet!
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 11:09 AM
Monday, March 5, 2012
March Is Metal Month at ZIA Records! Visit any of our 8 store locations and pick up some fantastic Metal titles on sale through the whole month!
Stop by and get a FREE March is Metal Month CD Sampler with purchase of select Metal titles while supplies last! We've also got a bunch of sweet March Is Metal Month T-shirts at all 8 of our stores, get one with purchase of any Metal title during the month at ZIA, while supplies last!
METAL MONTH CD SAMPLER TRACK LIST:
1. Adrenaline Mob "Undaunted"
2. Lacuna Coil "Kill The Light"
3. Five Finger Death Punch "The Tragic Truth"
4. Meshuggah "Do Not Look Down"
5. In Flames "Where dead Ships Dwell"
6. Corrosion Of Conformity "The Money Changers"
7. Iced Earth "Anthem"
8. 3 Inches Of Blood "Leather Lord"
9. Woods Of Ypres "Lightning & Snow"
10. Epica "Storm The Sorrow"
11. Savage Messiah "Plauge of Conscience"
12. Rise To Remain "The Serpent"
13. Vildhjarta "Dagger"
14. Sophicide "The Art Of Artocity"
15. Terrorizer "Subterfuge"
16. The Devastated "The Devil's Messenger"
17. Insomnium "Meandering Trhough The Shadows"
18. Lord Mantis "Perverter Of Will"
Posted by Zia Records Blogs at 12:59 PM