Monthly Archives: February 2015

Peace / “World Pleasure”

Peace / “World Pleasure”

Love the groove to this one. Sometimes music just needs to be fun. This is the best track from this English band’s second album, Happy People. A friend of mine called them “like Foxygen … but organized and with a purpose.” So far, no live dates in the U.S., but let’s hope that changes.

Here’s why I love Mets, Cowboys, Jacks & Suns

by Jason Stone

People have sometimes asked me to list my favorite teams. I’ll do it one better. I’ll rank them.

Here are my favorite teams in each sport, with an explanation why.

1. New York Mets (MLB)

The Mets top my list because for some reason they are the only team that still makes me cry as an adult. I am more of a fair weather fan with my other favorite teams (Yeah, I’ll admit it!). But for some reason I follow the Mets from afar no matter how crappy they are — which is most of the time.

I began following the Mets in the late-70s after living in Flushing and visiting there every year. I didn’t really become a big fan until 1983, right as the monster teams were coming. By the time “Doctor K” Dwight Gooden was dominating the world in 1985, I was hooked. And we all know what happened a year later.

I feel the team is on the verge of something special again in the next year or two, but I don’t want to openly jinx it yet. After all, the exhibition games haven’t even started yet.

2. Dallas Cowboys (NFL)

It’s really hard to be a Cowboys fan. Mostly because of the harassment that comes from other people. It’s usually better to keep it on the down low.  But this has been a lifelong love since living outside of Dallas for a good part of my childhood.

They were the first team I was ever exposed to in the late 1970s, and I can’t seem to shake them now — no matter how frustrating the fan experience has become in the Jerry Jones era.

One of my favorite personal moments was being a reporter during Super Bowl XXX when the Cowboys beat the Steelers. I got to be in the locker room as my favorite childhood team celebrated their fifth championship.

Unfortunately I kind of made a deal with the football gods that experiencing that was enough.  Twenty years later I’m kinda wishing I never made that deal.


3. NAU Lumberjacks (NCAA — alumni division)

Well, I did drop a lot of money at the place as a student for four years, after all.

Nobody really cares about NAU sports, but for some reason there I am every Saturday in the fall listening to that week’s football game, or picking up whatever midweek basketball game happens to be going on during the winter.

I figure since I actually go out of my way to find NAU content, that must mean they’re high up on my list. I just wish more people cared because it sure is lonely being a fan of a team nobody even knows exists.


4. Phoenix Suns (NBA)

I can’t even watch the NBA unless it’s a Suns game. But I’ve invested so much emotional energy over this team — John F-ing Paxson and Robert F-ing Horry’s hip-check into Steve Nash to name two — that I just can’t bail on them yet.

Because of years of near-misses and the above-mentioned bad fortune, they deserve a championship more than any of the teams that I follow.

The 1992-93 season was the peak. Even living 150 miles away in Flagstaff, cars all over the town had windows painted with support for the Suns. I can’t even imagine what it was like in Phoenix that summer.

If there is anything right in this world, the Suns will win it all — someday.

5. ASU Sun Devils (NCAA — non-alumni division)

I began following the Devils’ football and baseball teams when my family moved to Arizona in 1984. That was just in time to catch the 1986 and 1996 Rose Bowl seasons, which were thrilling.

I still think Jake Plummer was ASU’s best player ever, but what do I know. Just seconds away from a national championship in ’96!! Oh, the agony!

As for ASU baseball, I used to love going to those games in high school in what is now former Packard Stadium. I went to most of the home games during the 1990 season. I thought for sure center fielder Mike Kelly was going to be a major league Hall of Famer. I still have never seen a player that good who wasn’t in the majors.

6. Arizona Coyotes (NHL)

I never really followed hockey closely until the Coyotes moved to Phoenix in the mid-1990s. Prior to that I had always lived in places that didn’t have hockey, and before the Internet, you needed a local team to get any kind of regular content in the daily newspapers.

So, I adopted the team that was the Winnipeg Jets, who became the Phoenix Coyotes, and then this season, the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes’ playoff run to the Western Conference Finals three years ago was about as fun of a couple weeks of sports as I’ve ever experienced. Anxiety was high during every game. I would pace up and down aisles at sports bars — and even got to see a couple of the games in person for their famed “White Out.”

7. USA men’s soccer team (other division)

This is a weird one, I know. Not to sound non-patriotic but I don’t generally care if any USA teams or athletes win anything in the Olympics or whatever. I figure, we dominate everything anyway, what does it really matter if we win another.

It’s different with the U.S. men’s soccer team, though. They are still the ultimate underdogs. (I mean, U.S. fans are typically out-numbered even in home games!) Plus, every four years there is a team to root for in the World Cup, which is probably my favorite non-annual sporting event.

Best of the Rest

Arizona Cardinals (NFL)

It’s much easier to be a Cardinals fan since they moved out of the NFC East more than 10 years ago. It was an unbelievable month in January 2009 when it appeared for about 51 seconds that the Cardinals were going to win the Super Bowl. It still seems weird that they were THAT close. I have seen most of this team’s games since they moved to Arizona in 1988, so it’s hard not to like them.

Texas Rangers (MLB)

I don’t follow them on a day-to-day basis, but from the late-70s until the early-90s they were my favorite team, alongside the Mets. This was back in the days when you could have a favorite in both the American and National leagues.

Teams I Used To Like

Dallas Mavericks (NBA)

Before moving to Phoenix, I was a big Mavericks fan during their first three or four seasons in the league. Of course, they were the worst team in the NBA during that time, so I never got to enjoy them winning anything. And since I became a big Suns fan, they became the enemy quickly.

New York Yankees (MLB)

I liked the Yankees for exactly one year. During the 1981 season, I attended my first game at Yankee Stadium, which just so happened to be the first game after the infamous players’ strike that year. Between 1977 and 1981, the Yankees played the Dodgers three times in the World Series, and because I identified with the East Coast more at the time, I sided with the Yankees. Of course, the one time I root for the Yankees is the one time they don’t win.

Phoenix Giants/Firebirds (MiLB)

Yeah, I actually had a favorite minor-league team back in the day.  The Giants (later named the Firebirds) were the AAA affiliate for the San Francisco Giants and they played their games at Phoenix Municipal Stadium when the first pitch temperature was usually around 107 degrees. The best part of those games: the nachos! I can still taste them 30 years later.

What’s coming to the

by Jason Stone

So what will you be seeing here in the next few weeks? I will be adding some new content, including

  • Podcasts — mostly on music (audio and video)
  • Older concert reviews from past shows I’ve been to (with pics and videos too!)
  • A sneak peak into the Fleetwood Mac: Benifold Years project I’m working on. (It’s gonna be cool!)
  • More content about current music playlists
  • Comprehensive Year-End charts (from 1965-2014)


I think it’s gonna be a really good year!

song of the week

76th Street / “You and I”

76th Street / “You and I”

This song is so brand new it was recorded THIS WEEK! Check out local Arizona State University duo, Haley Gold and Spencer Bryant, who are young but already polished songwriters. Rami Jaffee, who has played with the Foo Fighters and others, makes a guest appearance on the single. You can buy this song here at iTunes.

Concert Review: Lily & Madeleine / Shannon Hayden / 76th Street / Crescent Ballroom / Feb. 10, 2015

It wasn’t exactly the 1990s Lilith Fair festival for Tuesday night’s triple bill at the Crescent Ballroom, but there certainly was no shortage of girl power.

“This is an all-woman evening,” Madeleine Jurkiewicz declared halfway through Lily & Madeleine’s headlining set at the downtown Phoenix venue to a round of cheers from the small but attentive crowd.

Lily & Madeleine were supported by two other female acts, Shannon Hayden, and the local duo 76th Street, to bring three hours of beautiful music that should have been seen by more people — because those not there missed out.

A week into their tour for their gorgeous 2014 album Fumes, Lily & Madeleine performed an hour-long set of songs mixed in from their two albums and EP — and they played them to perfection.

The mix of the sisters’ voices sounds just as divine as it does on record. Sometimes you want a band to mix up the sound a little when played live, but not with these ladies.

They started the show playing my favorite section from the new album, which is the transition between the opener “Fumes” and the second track, “Rabbit.” It was a little more extended and dramatic live, which pleased me to no end with how they started the show.

Other highlights included “The Wolf Is Free,” their best song; and “Devil We Know,” the second track from their eponymous titled first album. The latter was spiced up with Shannon Hayden’s brilliant mandolin work, and it sounded even better than on the album.

And, let’s not forget to mention, “Blue Blades,” a song the pair said was their favorite to play, and ends both the new album and their live performance.

The only disappointment was their setlist had possible encores “Sea of Love” and “Back to the River” listed, but we didn’t get to hear them. Minor, minor detail.


Fumes / Rabbit / Spirited Away / Devil We Know / The Wolf Is Free / In the Middle /And Tonight / Can’t Admit It / Paradise / Hold Onto Now / Come To Me / You Got Out / Blue Blades

Shannon Hayden

IMG_3234.JPGShannon is a local friend of Lily & Madeleine from Bloomington, Indiana. She plays on their album and does a set of amazing cello work before they come on, then joins L&M on stage to fill out their sound.

She played  mostly new songs, as only two of her eight selections were from her 2012 album Solid State Cello.

I have to admit I had never really been exposed to a cello that up front like that but it was a perfect middle to the performers that started and ended the show.

It appears Shannon can play just about anything. I had to buy the CD after the show and can’t wait to put it on at night.


Silver Superstar / Same / Starshine Agenda / Baggage / Accelerator / Angel Machine / Vanished / Building Not Burning

76th Street

Which brings me to the openers, a pair of best friends from Arizona State University, who played songs from their EP and new single that was just recorded the day before.

Haley Gold and Spencer Bryant have known each other since they were 10, and now as college roommates they are playing music that is very much in the Lily & Madeleine vein.  Even their arrangement of Haley on keyboards and Spencer on guitar — with both sharing vocal duties — is similar.

Where they are a little different is in the lyrics, which are a little darker than Lilly & Madeleine’s more ethereal subject matter.

The highlight to me was the next-to-last song “You and I,” the one the pair recorded the day before. It had a little bit of an Indigo Girls feel to it with the building choruses of pain that made me say out loud “this is their best song” about three minutes into it.

I bought a copy of the fresh-off-the presses song after the show and listened it all day. You can hear it here!

(See this week’s Song of the Week for more on this song!)


Talking to the Wind / Saving Grace / Listen / Mess of Me / Alive / You and I / Midnight Sky

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