element a440

Phoenix local music kicks ass, and element a440 is awesome!

element a440 in their studio



There are a lot of local Phoenix bands that I keep in rotation along with my favorite national acts. When bands such as element a440, Selfless, or Calabrese come up on my playlist, people wherever I am always say “Wow, these guys are great. Who are they?” What I’m trying to say is, Phoenix has produced a lot of music which is on par in quality with famous bands. Yet, a lot of that talent languishes undiscovered in the somewhat underground local Phoenix music scene.



Halo, the singer



While I was in Arizona for a visit this year, I was lucky enough to run into element a440, one of my very favorite Phoenix bands. I have adored them for the last 10 years, and no one has waited with more rapt attention to review their second CD than yours truly. I review “Selfish,” their first album several years ago when it came out. Since then, I have been hungry for more. Sadly, I had to settle for hearing some of the new tracks, since the album isn’t out yet. I am drooling as I await it’s release.



Ivan, the guitarist



For a feel of what I love about element a440, check out the epic video “Dance Dead.” Yes, the intro is another local band a adore (Hardwire) but then it switches to element a440.



Animal, the drummer (Hiding behind his kit)



The new stuff isn’t as hard hitting. There is a definite mellow tinge to the newer song I checked out, like “Perfect,” which you can check out on YouTube. The video for “Feel” is also available online. Yes, it’s Emo and I usually don’t go for that. However, I appreciate it for the story, the filming, and the music. What these guys do always impresses me and strikes me as absolutely comparable to any major band signed to a label.



Here's some shots with Ivan, Sarah, Halo, Me, and Mandy




I wish I could convey how awesome the energy at their shows is. They put on a killer stage show with all kinds of amazingly well thought out and designed props. I’ve always hated band’s live albums and stuff though, since the music never sounds as good. All I can do is promise you that if you see them live, you won’t regret it!



Sarah and Ivan




A girl I very much consider my little sister, Sarah, is dating the guitarist Ivan. Since I adore her with all my heart, I feel a more person connection to the band than I guess an objective journalist should. However, any Goth kid or metal kid can find an element a440 song that they like. It’s easy to tell your friends about them too, since their on Myspace, Vampirefreaks, and Facebook. I highly recommend you check out their music and pass a link on to your friends. In my opinion, there are a lot of bands out there that deserve to be signed and haven’t been yet, and these guys are definitely on the top of that list!

Looking for something spooky?

Freaky things to do for Halloween are easy to find in Phoenix. Start out by trying out Transylvania, and enjoy all the pale skinny girls in corsets. The Goth sub-culture is the one sub-culture I have encountered where are the women are single and all the guys are gay or not into Goth girls.

The Plazzo Outside
The Plazzo Outside

With October only a few days away, lots of people have been talking about their Halloween plans. This year, Halloween happens to be on a Friday, which means everyone can go out and do something for the spooky holiday.

 

One of the places I recommend to spend your Halloween is Transylvania. Transylvania is a dance club that opens in The Palazzo building on Central Avenue just south of Roosevelt Rd. every Friday night. Usually, it is just a bunch of Goth kids dancing. That can sound scary, but it the club seems to attract an audience of normal, preppy guys looking to meet their dream vampire, so it can’t be that scary. Maybe they just like to watch these girls dance in corsets (I’m not sure how that’s possible) and vinyl mini-skirts. But for Halloween there will be a costume contest as well. Since the club doesn’t open until 10pm, there will be plenty of time for trick-or-treating before going to the costume contest and dancing the night away at the spookiest place in town.

 

When you arrive, Transylvania appears to be made of marble like an old building in Italy. Of course, it’s all fake, but it looks pretty neat.  At midnight, the black lights turn on in Transylvania. This is when you can see all the paintings on the walls that have been done in black-light reactant paint, and which are slightly erotic. I advise using this to your advantage and having back-light reactant elements in your costume as well. I also advice going there for lunch sometime (yes, it’s a restaurant for lunch) and watching people in suits eat, while having no idea that there are naked vampires having sex painted on the walls around them. Brilliant!

 

With an indoor and outdoor bar, there is plenty of space so you can bring friends and have your own corner. And remember, it’s open every Friday. So if you just can’t wait until Halloween to dress up as a ghoul or ghost, you don’t have to! You won’t stand out at Transylvania, even if you have fangs.

 

 

Note the kids walking up in jeans. It’s like I said, you can go no matter who you are and no matter what you’re wearing. Just remember that if you’re not in black, you’ll really light up when the black lights turn on. Still, it’s a great place to get in the Halloween spirit.