Arizona – Kings of Leon (2007, RCA Records)
There is a terrific bar around the corner from Chase Field, the home stadium of the Phoenix D-Backs. Its called the Salty Senorita and back in 2009, when I was there, you could buy a bucket containing eight bottles of Corona and a dustbin sized plate of Nachos for just over $15. I very much doubt that deal is still on the table. It was in this bar that I watched (well it was on in the background) Game 4 of the 2009 World Series, which inevitably the Yankees won.
The Diamondbacks are a relatively new baseball team. Having been only played their first game in 1998. They finished dead last in their first season but by their fourth in 2001, the team had progressed and went on to win the World Series. It remains their only championship to date.
In recent years the Diamondbacks haven’t fared that well, with only one post season appearance in the last ten years (and they lost that to Dodgers) and right now there is nothing to suggest that is going to change, as they sit fourth in their division (out of five) as I type they have just been thrashed by the San Diego Padres.
Musically, Phoenix has been hailed as something of a rock mecca. In the 1960’s it certainly saw a boom in art rock bands when acts like Alice Cooper (back then he was in a sort of Beatles tribute band called the Earwigs) and The Tubes started playing regular gigs in the city and by 1966, they were called The Spiders and were having relative success.
Don’t Blow Your Mind – The Spiders (1966, Mascot Records)
Elsewhere in Phoenix, one of the biggest bands to have emerged from the city in recent years are Jimmy Eat World (although they are from Mesa, which is close enough). After three albums of being largely ignored, the band achieved their breakthrough in 2001, when they released their fourth album ‘Bleed American’. The biggest single from that was ‘The Middle’ and it’s a jaunty little punk pop affair.
The Middle – Jimmy Eat World (2001, Interscope Records)
But for me by far the best musical export to have come out of Phoenix is CeCe Peniston who almost reached number one in 1991 with possibly the only CeCe Peniston track that anyone can remember ‘Finally’.
Finally – CeCe Peniston (1991, Polydor Records)
And this weeks new band have been clawed back from the boundary ropes of obscurity, after first being thwacked down the ground by James Vince, to the relatively safety of long off, is Barefoot, who make “hook-centric, soaring indie rock in the vein of Thrice”, but as ever we will be the judge of that.
Air You Call- Barefoot (2021, Self Released)