yabyum article - "The Record Execs: James Fella of Gilgongo Records & Ryan Avery of Related Records"
The Phoenix metropolitan area might just be the next music capital added to the map. Especially considering the number of Arizona labels out there continually working to push Arizona artists to the forefront. James Fella of Gilgongo Records and Ryan Avery of Related Records are two such individuals always moving toward a more musical future for our state. They might still need day jobs, but these two record executives are helping to define the sound of our city. Over the past year both labels released several new works, hosted more shows than we could keep track of, and these execs still had time to work on their personal musical endeavors.
Through Gilgongo Records, Fella offered re-issues or releases from several Arizona bands, including Cherie Cherie, Pigeon Religion, Vial of Sound, Mallevs, and others. And, as an added bonus, he even put together a 2014 recap of his projects on Mixcloud for your listening pleasure (here). There are even a few offerings on the mix from 2015 recordings he plans on releasing. Next year you can expect to hear more from Soft Shoulder, Detached Objects, Butter Knifes, as well as some out-of-state acts like Pedestrian Deposit and Silver Shadows, all on the Gilgongo label. This past December marked the 10 year anniversary of Gilgongo Records. We’re excited to see what the next decade brings.
Over at Related Records, Ryan Avery released a host of records from some of the Valley’s more unusual artists like Serene Dominic, Dinosaur Love, Space Alien Donald, and Avery’s own band, Drunk and Horny amongst others. Fathers Day, another Avery musical endeavor, also released a compiliation to commemorate their first ten years that features Soft Shoulder, one of James Fella’s personal musical projects. Related Records is a bit younger than Gilgongo, 2014 marking its second year of operation, but the label shows tremendous promise when it comes to helping the area’s underrepresented artists. In 2015, Related Records plans on releasing a new album from Tucson’s Human Behavior as well as a project known as the “Dick Compilation”.
If you’re interested in what’s going on with local music, you better have Gilgongo Records and Related Records on your radar.
Dan’s “Living Room Tour” last year was incredible, and not just for the obvious intimate setting, mixed with close friends/nice people mixed with food…etc it was because I think Dan understood what so many other solo performers REALLY should learn and that is “say yes to the request!”
When I saw him perform last year in a backyard in Scottsdale, AZ, I would say 98% of his set list consisted of requests and he didn’t once say “sorry, I don’t know that one too bad” or “I don’t play ____ anymore because yada yada yada blah blah blah” like some sort of pretentious music snob who has outgrown their own music!!!!! he played EVERY SINGLE SONG that was requested and although he fumbled over a few of the words/parts of the songs it didn’t matter BECAUSE the people in the crowd wanted to hear it so they could SING ALONG! AND have a great night!
One of my favorite things about 2014 was my friend Emily and I made up and started talking/hanging out again.
Photo by Gabriel King Radley
Here are my top 10 favorite shows I went to in 2014
02-11-2014: Sweat Lodge w/Fathers Day, Wolvves, Dinosaur Love and Shawnte Orion @The Trunk Space - Sweat Lodge played 5 shows in Phoenix, AZ during the month of February I went to 3 of them. This was the funnest/best one. Everyone did an awesome job, Shawnte Orion took some great black and white photos of the night that you can see here.
03-11-2014: Mary Ocher w/Drunk & Horny, Man Cat, Beauty Secrets, Drunk & Horny and Hopehorse & the Grief Triggers @Filmbar - The Filmbar asked me to find local acts to play with Mary Ocher and that was not an easy thing to do, a lot of the most obvious fits couldn’t do it and it is the same month as SXSW which is a total nightmare, so with all of the artists I asked to play I made sure that they could also promise to provide an excellent one of a kind performance and take advantage of the amazing intimate theater… and everyone did something exceptional. I think the most stand out performance though was by Man-Cat.
04-08-2014: INDIE 500 DAY 10 w/Polka Dot Dot Dot, Stephen Steinbrink, Human Behavior, Straight Straws and Man-Cat @The Trunk Space - The whole Indie 500 festival was awesome, pretty much everyone brought their “A” game for all 10 days. But the final night I felt was the best. It was the first time I cried tears of joy at a show in years and it was during Polka Dot Dot Dot’s set which was so amazing. I wish they were still making music together.
06-15-2014: Fathers Day w/Snake Snake Snakes, SOAM, No Dice and Soft Shoulder @51West - This show was really really bizarre, it was the first time ever that I saw all of the different types of people who like Fathers Day interacting with one another and the result was a very bizarre/memorable night for everyone. I think actually most people who went didn’t actually like the show, but I definitely did. Also probably the most memorable SOAM performance ever. I honestly have no idea how he could ever top what he did that night.
08-11-2014: Cumstain w/Fathers Day, Wavelengths, Jawwzz and Button Struggler @Funny World - Every band played a short and high energy set, no fights, everyone donated, touring bands got paid, started on time, didnt run too late. Perfect house show in my opinion.
08-30-2014: Drunk & Horny Orchestra w/Jerusafunk, Dinosaur Love, Mercury Mines and Eli Kluger @Funny World - This was the album release show for Drunk & Hornys “Songs in the key of Stink” 7" and we played with the full 12 piece orchestra. Andrew was pretty sloshed but still held it together and did a great job. Jerusafunk was phenomenal, Dinosaur Love played to a tiny group of people who were hanging onto every word, Mercury Mines is a new band that got added to the bill as a favor to Jason Kron (who runs Funny World) and I was expecting them to suck but they didnt, they were really great! and I cant forget Eli Kluger who killed it with a short comedy set and on the 3-4 songs he sang with the orchestra.
09-08-2014: Mary Ocher w/Numb Bats, Hiccups and Drunk & Horny Orchestra @Filmbar - Mary Ocher’s quick (sorta last minute) US west coast tour/honeymoon show was also at Filmbar, didnt have nearly as many people as her other show earlier in the year but a much more fitting lineup, everyone did amazing and the Numb Bats especially played the tightest set I have ever seen them play.
09-16-2014: Clipping w/Treasure Mammal and Fathers Day @The Trunk Space - Fathers Days set was a lot of fun because most of the crowd it seemed had never heard us before. Treasure Mammal was epic! and Clipping was so inspiring and so incredibly loud and it was my first time seeing people mosh to hip hop which was pretty entertaining.
10-08-2014: Belle & Sebastian @The Orpheum - This show was originally scheduled to be outside at Civic Space Park (i think?) but at the last minute it was moved to the beautiful Orpheum theater because it was cold and rainy. Honestly wasn’t planning on going if it was going to be outside, the orpheum was so much better and totally amazing. Belle and Sebastian played for over two hours and played every song I wanted to hear.
11-21-2014: Man-Cat w/Treasure Mammal, Boss Frog and Pro Teens @The Trunk Space - I am so proud of the animals in Man-Cat, They provided so many extra things to their performance to make it an extra special experience for their album release show. Including a protest, brain washing video being shown by over a dozen television sets…etc it ruled. The Trunk Space was also packed and all the openers did great.