MY TOP 10 FAVORITE SHOWS I ATTENDED IN 2017:
01/27 – Dear Nora: w/BOUQUET, Stephen Steinbrink and Harmony Tividad at Junior High
03/03 – Related Records Family Reunion: w/Fathers Day, Yairms, AlhhlA, Mooseknuckle Sandwich, Dinosaur Love and Serene Dominic at The Trunk Space
04/08 – Punk Rock Prom: w/Sad Kid, Fathers Day, Rum Drinker, Travis James at Nile Theatre
06/10 – Fathers Day On Fathers Day: w/Puppy & The Handjobs and Saint Dad at Casa Butthole Record Collective
07/29 – Red Pony Clock: w/Mike Montoya, Hi My Name Is Ryan, Saint Dad and Lil Trip at The Trunk Space
08/16 – The Emotron: w/Alhhla, Trash Mullet, West Oasis, Hi My Name Is Ryan and JC Meyers at The Courthouse
09/25 – Dadadoh & The P.O.C.: w/JJCnV, Exxxtra Crispy at The Trunk Space
10/07 – Turqouiz Noiz: w/Mooseknuckle Sandwich and Some Local Spuds at Casa Butthole
10/21 – Hi My Name Is Ryan: w/Human Behavior, Morgan Evans, Mooey Moobau at The Emerald House
11/04 – Endless Bummer Fest: w/Travis James, The Doyénne, HEX WAVE, Man Hands, TOSO, Sunn Trio and Bad Times at The Trunk Space
Here is a video of us covering Demi Lavato’s song “confident”. It was filmed back in November of 2015. We filmed it for America’s Got Talent because they wanted us to be on the show. They told us “we want to see if you can handle covering a modern pop song”…
After we sent them this video, they stopped returning our calls & emails.
Here are the posters I just made for the Phoenix dates for the Yairms / Alhhla tour. Here is the info for the two shows.
Here is a great photo of Douglas Patton during his bizarre one-man Fathers Day show at The Trunk Space last weekend.
Photo by Frank C. Photography
Some highlights from the Fathers Day show last night at the Crescent Ballroom
Ryan Avery of Related Records as well as the Phoenix bands Drunk & Horny and Fathers Day joined us live at the Radio Phoenix studios in the Phoenix Center for the Arts for our bimonthly installment of Rise! The complete playlist can be found below (he played some deep cuts).
Drunk & Horny “Paddelin Maddelin”
Yairms “The Beginning”
Human Behavior “Whore in Me”
Basement “Glass Breaking”
Dinosaur Love “The War on Terror-Dons”
Wizards of Time “Little Jingle”
Serene Dominic “Solar System”
Sweat Lodge “Sad”
Freaks of Nature “Sick and Tired”
Treasure Mammal “EPT”
Space Alien Donald “Happy as Can Be”
Night Wolf “Freddy Rap”
Mr. Attoms Bombs “Brain Imploded”
Captain Squeegee & the Soap Suds “Ska Core”
Mia Loucks “Drugs”
Fathers Day “Disney World”
Recorded live on March 18, 2015.
Here are some nice photos of us at the “That’s It!” album release show last friday.
photos by Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
It's odd that the initials of Donald Thomas Roth's chosen stage name spell out SAD because Space Alien Donald in performance was nothing but unrestrained joy. Most of us have probably met him where he had the home court advantage, at Funny World, the house he purchased on 12th Street and Madison, which he made into a downtown arts and performance venue in 2011. There, in what would have probably been someone else's boring living room, you could see him and countless other performers do the thing which would have made them Class 1A weirdos somewhere else. The property was supposed to be leveled after six months but through divine, maybe alien intervention, Funny World has lasted all this time and hosted more than 80 shows.
No matter how long it lasts, it will be a monument to Space Alien Donald, who died in his sleep on April 20. He was 79.
In human years, anyway.
Having already dubbed himself Space Alien, the 70-year-old didn't feel that he needed to also include his longer moniker,"The World's Oldest Gay Canadian Rapper," perhaps surmising that being Canadian was alien enough for most people. With a head-plate festooned with pastel-colored spikes, alien sunglasses and maybe a festive planet print dress, Space Age Donald would rap old-school over a primitive beat box that looked like a Radio Shack tape recorder. What might pass for rap in outer space sounded more like talk-sing to earthlings. No matter. The subject matter could be about how ugly robots shouldn't have sex or the prehistoric history of cell phones but it was always something meant to amuse.
And it did.
Donald was from the era when that's what performers were supposed to do — bring a smile to your face as opposed to the modern blueprint of an artist who sneers at his audience and takes their money without regrets. There is no doubt in this context alone that this septuagenarian had a profound influence over groups like Hug of War, Treasure MammaL, Father's Day, Diners, Dogbreth and Dinosaur Love. And the benefits were mutual, as being surrounded by so many 20-somethings this late in the game probably added a couple of years to his earth-bound life.
Hug of War's Jason Kron, who lived with Donald at Funny World, wrote in a Facebook post after the news broke that Donald was like "a father to me and a grandfather to my daughter. I constantly wanted his approval. He's been more influential to me than anyone I've ever known, and will continue to be a huge influence and inspiration to me for the rest of my life."
"As well-known and well-regarded as he was" he continues, "most knew him as merely an oddity and did not get to really know him. Those who did regularly have real conversations with him constantly learned new things about him. He despised all government and dreamed of a world of peace. He viewed the little details of the world with a fascination that I've never seen in another adult. He was incredibly generous and took care of the people he considered friends, because that's just what space aliens do. And when saying or doing anything, he did not for one second consider what others thought of him. We can all learn a lot from this."
Tyler Blue Broderick of Diners, "Living at Funny World will always be a highlight of my life. Donald was happy to meet everyone who attended a show at Funny World and he was supportive of everyone's art. He never stopped offering advice and he was adamant that we drop the things that make us unhappy so we could achieve our dreams. He is an inspiration to all humans and Earth was lucky to have him around."
Ryan Avery of Drunk and Horny and Father's Day says "Space Alien Donald was one of the first people I wanted to release music from when I started Related Records. But when I asked him he said 'Ahhh, no one wants to hear that.' Almost a year later, Jason Kron finally persuaded him to record an album's worth of material, although there is more that he has written. I am told that when he was recording, he insisted on every song being one take."
That album turned out to be last year's "Must Be Funny," which you can stream or download from Related Records.
Artist Daniel Funkhouser, who lives at Funny World and painted the venue's distinctive name on a carport wall outside the house, wrote a tribute on Space Alien Donald's Facebook page that said " I loved being around him because he constantly surprised me and it was impossible to guess what he'd think about anything.... We went to an art show last year where a performance artist asked him, 'What age are you deep inside?' Without hesitation Donald said 21. I love this memory of him."
Musician Ray Reeves admits "My last album would not have been possible with out him giving me free rent, so I could afford studio time. He was a brave soul, a nice man. I hope I am as cool as that, when I'm that old. "
One thing I always wondered was the talk of Donald being a "backyard scientist" and that Funny World would also be a place where he could conduct physics and gravity experiments. Was this part of Donald's story more alien shtick than reality? Ryan Avery sets me straight. "He had a laboratory set up in the front room of his house on Brill Street for years. He put it all away a few months ago I guess. "
Human gravity weighed heavy on Donald in his last months, having lost the ability to walk early this year and undergoing three major surgeries. But he handled death with the incredible lightness of being. According to Kron, "He spent his last waking moments doing the things he loved most: reading and eating ice cream."
For those who never experienced Space Alien Donald, this video directed by Ben Kitnick captures him at his best.
Travel easy, Space Alien Donald. Your "Not Yet Funny" button will never leave my lapel.
A show Space Alien Donald would've gone to this weekend.
Friday April 24 - Father's Day at Trunk Space
It's the eighth album from Douglas Patton and his charges entitled "That's It!" probably the last word you heard from your abusive dad before losing consciousness. Supporting them will be the Freaks of Nature, Big Vinny and the Cattle Thieves, Mooseknuckle Sandwich and Dinosaur Love. Here's a jazzy track from the album, available on Related Records, which emphatically states that Doug will never take his kids to Disney World. Disneyland, maybe. But not Disney World.
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.
Fathers Day has been shaking up the local scene with their unique brand of punk for, well, a whole decade now. Yes, folks, ten years of the irreverent dad rock we’ve come to know and love.
The cast of characters that currently comprise the Fathers Day lineup include Tony Skyes (a.k.a. Olympic Sports Dad) on drums, Ronald Hayweather (Step Dad) on bass, Frank Brando (Golf Dad) on guitar and Douglas Patton (Business Dad) providing the vocals.
There have been several changes to the lineup over the years, all of whom adopted a “dad” moniker for the band. Many of the changing crew appear on the cover of the“…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day. Over the years, Fathers Day has worked with Tristan Jemsek (Drunk Dad), Emily Spetrino (Classy Dad), Diana Welsch (PTSD Dad), Dave Driscoll (Single Dad), Toby Fatzinger (Little League Coach Dad), Jason Kron (Conspiracy Theory Dad), and Ben Nandin (Step-Dad), amongst others. Ray Reeves even signed on for a short while, but he didn’t have a paternal alter-ego because, and I quote, “because he is Ray Reeves and he is an amazing drummer and played drums for Bob Seger (we figured that’s dad enough)”. Only Andrew Jemsek (Golf Dad) and Ryan Avery (Business Dad) have held to the lineup since the inception of Fathers Day.
Avery, the man with the moniker of Douglas Patton, is a born performer. As Patton, he appears determined to deliver a memorable show every time he gets on stage and this has proven to be the most impressive facet to this longstanding local act. Any band can keep up a long-running joke concept, but Patton really sells it to us by completely disregarding who he is outside of Fathers Day when performing with Fathers Day. Total immersion.
To mark ten years of Fathers Day, the band took an unconventional approach (no surprise) to the tribute compilation marking this momentous occasion. “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day features a host of bands covering Fathers Day songs. Well, actually, they all cover one Fathers Day song, fan favorite “Did I Use the Word Divorce?”
This is a very difficult album to write about. Writing forces judgement calls and I really don’t know if I like Andy Warpigs’ cover of “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” more than Soft Shoulders’ version. Stylistically, the album proves so eclectic it’s sometimes difficult to remember that you’re really hearing the same song 16 times. Even the tracks vary in length which wouldn’t surprise me too much except for how disparate those numbers are. From 420’s 31-second version to Soft Shoulder’s which clocks in at just over 5 minutes long.
Everyone has their own approach to “Did I Use the Word Divorce?” Django Ramone puts a lounge spin on the number while Serene Dominic takes some artistic liberties, both lyrically and musically. Many of the bands I recognize from the local scene, but a few new names were introduced to me by “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day.
Okay, the Treasure Mammal track might really be my favorite. It is the first moment in perhaps the span of Fathers Day that the band breaks character on an album for the inclusion of a short monologue from the real life father of Ryan Avery (a.k.a. Douglas Patton) discussing some of the larger implications behind the project. The misogyny and aggression, the bad dads. The track was in fact recorded by Abe of Treasure Mammal who works with Avery’s father.
In truth, the original will always be my favorite. You can hear the Fathers Day version of “Did I Use the Word Divorce” here, but you really want to want to check out “…It’s Called A Separation”: 10 Years of Fathers Day. Listen/purchase here. Do it or your grounded.