The AZ desert >> boasts some really ill talent when it comes to music. While our scene isn't quite like LA per se, the pool has really started to bubble in this millenium and every so often there are artists that transcend the state lines. Here's a short list of my favorites I've seen make national and even global impacts since I've become an AZ resident.
DJ Z-Trip [Phoenix] >> is one of the premier pioneers of mixing and I've always respected his ability/willingness to cross boundaries in mashing up extremely diverse genres so intricately even before DJ AM got his industry kudos. He's the reason why artists like Girl Talk subsist and the art continues to move forward. Not only is Z a master of the form and now a legit producer, he is also a really cool and grounded dude. I've interviewed him twice over the years and it's apparent he hasn't let the global fame and propers from the America's Best DJ award get to his head. I love his hunger to keep evolving as an artist but keeps his roots of scratching and vinyl intact. Check out the video I took from backstage at Soundwave last year and you'll see Z introduce himself [0:16] and rep where he's from.
Jimmy Eat World [Mesa] >> is definitely the best band from the valley of the sun. They've been around since the early-ish mid 90's but it wasn't until 1999 they got my attention with the release of their Clarity album. Then 2 summers later Bleed American dropped and JEW made their way into my faves for good. That album alone contains some of my all time favorite tunes from college like 'Sweetness','The Middle' and of course the title track. What I respect most about Jim & Co. is their loyalty to the sound. They've never changed the format and just continue to stay relevant by making solid alternative music. It's been almost 2 years since Invented but word on the street is a new album is coming this way so I'm definitely looking forward to that, another tour and playing the desert again [see below vid I took of JEW rocking the shit out of Fall Frenzy last year].
Authority Zero [Mesa] >> is another gem out of Mesapotamia but these guys do it punk rock style mixed with a little bit of reggae in the face. I was big into Long Beach Dub and Slightly Stoopid back in college so naturally I gravitated toward these rude boys. They played joints around ASU nearly every night it seemed and I still enjoy their shows 10 years later as long as they play my favorites: 'Sirens' and 'Mexican Radio'.
Eyes Set To Kill [Tempe] >> has gone through a bunch of different band members since their debut album Reach dropped but the core remains the same, frontwoman Alexia Rodriguez and her sister Anissa. I'm not really even into screamo hardcore metal or whatever you want to call it but somehow 6 or 7 tracks from Reach make it onto my gym mix every time I'm refreshing playlists. I got to interview the girls back in 2008 before that album's tour and I'm just fucking impressed with their creativity, instinct and how they've taken the band formed in high school to such a strong following on the global level. They are pretty cute too.
Honorable Mentions >> Mourning Maxwell [Tempe], Phunk Junkeez [Phoenix]