Ryan Avery of Related Records is a staple of the Phoenix music scene and we are super excited that he has returned to the city after a short bout abroad (in Los Angeles). In addition to heading up the Related Records cast of oddballs, Avery is a musician and performer in his own right with acts like Fathers Day and Drunk & Horny when he isn’t busy throwing shows, promoting bands on his label, or documenting life in pictures for Disposable Babies.
1. Captain Ahab“I Don’t Have A Dick”
Captain Ahab Is one of my favorite bands to come out of the post-9/11 art punk scene of the early 2000’s and features my friend Jonathan Snipes who later went on to form the Hip-Hop group “clipping”.
2. James Kochalka Superstar“Finest French Soap”
James Kochalka is one of my most influential artists of all time. I feel really lucky to have discovered his music at such a young age and have it shape me and my own song writing abilities. This is from his last full length album which is called “Beautiful Man” and was released on Related Records.
3. Splinter Cake“Sugar And Me”
Tempe has always had a very tight-knit, fluid and “cool” music scene. Always changing depending on what’s the most current hip trend for college aged kids. I have never really been a “part” of this scene but have always appreciated and observed it for as long as I’ve been going to shows (almost 20 years now jeez!) and my favorite time musically was between 2005-2009 which is when all these brilliant experimental/folk/minimal-noise acts started forming (French Quarter, Foot Ox, Tent City, My Feral Kin, Businessman’s Lunch…etc.) But the artist who I feel made the biggest impact on me and definitely went the most underappreciated of them all was Splinter Cake. This song is one of his more straight forward/user friendly songs but if you dig into his catalog (if you are lucky enough to find it now that is) you’ll find such a prolific and brilliant scope of music and all of it is inspiring
4. Drew Danburry“Artex Died In Truth Or Consequences, NM”
For about 8-12 years Drew Danburry was one of the busiest and hardest working artists in the underground music scene. He is another artist who has a huge catalog of brilliant music but it’s mostly centered on pop. I put out a 3-cassette album for a new project of his last year called “The Funny Uncles” but this is my favorite song of his and I feel like everyone can enjoy it.
5. Songs For Moms“Come True (How They All Do)”
I booked a show for this band back in 2009. They played the Trunk Space with a couple of other punk bands, everyone played an okay set and barely anyone came. They were selling CD-R’s and had a few DIY packaged LP’s that they sold for cheap. It’s scenario I’ve seen and experienced SO MANY TIMES but there album “I Use To Believe In The West” is honestly one of the most played records I own. It’s just so good.
This is actually an old Uggamugga song that iji covered for a tribute compilation to Tristan Jemsek that came out in 2011. I love iji and wanted to include them on this list but also love (pretty much) everything Tristan Jemsek does and wanted to include a song from both of them that is more obscure and so this is my own sneaky way of doing that.
7. Rotten Musicians“Eggshells”
This group I actually don’t know that much about. My friend B.C. Sterrett burned me a CD-R of this album of theirs because he was excited about it and he supplied some of the samples they use from his massive (and bizarre) record collection. But I love it and whenever someone asks me for a suggestion on something new to listen to I always suggest this group.
8. Quintron & Miss Pussycat“Spirit Hair”
It was really hard to narrow it down to one Q+P song. But I think this is the best example of their music and one of my favorite songs.
9. Realicide“The Shit Punx Hate Part 2”
Realicide is another brilliant and underappreciated post-9/11 art punk band from the early-mid 2000’s. Their music is very brutal, very raw and often terrifying. This is one of my favorite songs they have written about scene politics because I can definitely relate to feeling like a misfit in a room full of misfits.
10. The Dad“Shadow Babe”
Similar story to Songs for Moms I booked these guys in 2013 with some other punk bands, everyone was alright, barely anyone came, and they just had a couple cassette tapes for sale for cheap. This is from their album “Depression” which is easily the most played cassette tape I own. It’s just so fucking real and fun and simple, and this song in particular is catchy as hell.
"There are some people in the Phoenix music scene that have had amazing impacts on it. One of those people is Ryan Avery, who I think in the mind of most people, he is a person that it is hard not to associate the Trunk Space with. He was one of the hardest working performers for the past couple Indie 500 events, performing in multiple bands of his creation. So when Ryan said he and his wife were moving to L.A. about a year ago, it was a blow to the scene. Well, the man and his label, Related Records, are back in Phoenix. With that came the first Related Records Reunion show at the Trunk Space last night.
I did unfortunately miss the first two acts. The first one I’ve seen before, and can say that I’m disappointed I missed Dinosaur Love. The man sings songs about his appreciation of the old creatures, plus songs that puts them into unique scenarios of some humor. I have not seen Serene Dominic, but can say based on the great line up around them, it was probably super cool. I did get to catch some of the Shin’s from the outside of the McDowell Music Festival on my way to the Trunk Space from my parking, so that was an added bonus to the night.
However, I did make it in time to catch some of Mooseknuckle Sandwich. I got there as they were putting up prizes for challenges and questions, like rapping. That was pretty entertaining, because the audience and their lead vocalist had a disagreement on the quality of that rap. Outside of that, you get a fun and faster paced punk band here. The vocals have a more unique, higher pitch to them which works well for the songs. It was a fun time the half of the set I caught.
Following them, I actually learned that there is a downstairs space for the new Trunk Space and this is where I caught one of the more unique two bands that are kind of one band. The first band called them self Ahllha. Their set opened up with their guitarist playing two songs using loops by him. Then the rest of them joined to make up a slower, methodical alternative band. It was well done, and done within the setup of bean bags and a TV playing one of the Land Before Time films.
After they went through their setlist, they reconfigured, becoming the band Yairms. We had a new lead vocalist, although went to the prior one, who is now on drums, for a song. This one sounded like a faster paced alternative and indie rock band. This was awesome too, and I’ve never seen a band do this before. It was cool to see how this form of acknowledgment of the talents on more than one instrument, and use it to perform different music under another name.
Last, we had the triumphant return of Fathers Day. Due to somewhere in the night, prior bands taking a little longer, we had the band crunching their set into about 20 minutes. They successfully did it too, of course, helped that they are a fast paced punk band. The idea around this band is that each of them is a type of dad, and the songs are based around things dads may say through life. This is where we saw the type of energy and crowd I’m used to for the Trunk Space, jumping and moshing around. Ryan got in on it to while singing, ending up on the floor once. I’m happy to see them back, Ryan back, and that I was able to catch most of this night’s music." - Every Show Joe