The Black Keys, Band of Horses at Ak-Chin a Review

There are very few bands that, when my phone alerts me Monday morning tickets are still available for Monday night half the state away, I hit buy now. The Black Keys are one of those bands.

My introduction to the Black Keys came from my husband Jay years ago. He always find the best new music. For me “Howling For You” seemed like my theme song , being born raised desert and loving coyotes. But it was “Gold on the Ceiling”and “Lonely Boy” when the Black Keys became one of Stacys favorite bands.

I live out in Gold Canyon, East side of the Valley of the Sun. Roughly an hour drive to get to Ak Chin for a concert starting at 7pm on a Monday night. For those of you who might be unaware, our freeways on the West Coast are massive ( picture 7 lanes, one direction, driving into the setting sun, going 65 mph minimum if it’s not dead stopped, full of cars and trucks ) Deciding to jump into that nonsense and danger to drive 100 miles round trip when you work from home is a big deal.

Opening for the Keys were the Velveteers and Band of Horses. Arriving late due to the heavy traffic, I got to listen to what was a very energetic and bombastic ending to the Velveteers set from the Ak Chin ladies bathroom. Therefore I can not give a review of their performance.

However, we were present for Band of Horses and we both said Neigh! I want to blame their sound tech for a chunk of it. We truly could not hear one word lead singer Ben Bridwell sang clearly. For a “Band” who has been together producing music for as long as they have ( formed in 2004) I expected better sound quality and a better live performance.

The bands “logo” makes zero sense with what looks like a Coyote with the words Band of Horses around it. Boring, flat uninspired, trying to make it big sounding band is the best I can say. Not worth the drive in the least. Two fans of theirs stood behind us and seemed excited for at least one song. If there was rhythm to dance or move or sway to trust me, I was in the mood to do so, I came to see the Keys, but the horses let me down. I took the lag in entertainment as my opportunity to go check out the merchandise and grab a shirt.

The intro for the Black Keys was a silly video

Keys Lead Singer Dan Auerbach sounded great. Drummer Patrick Carney pounding away. Of course it was hot, 80 at night, it’s Arizona, but the fans overhead blowing helped a bit. Only complaint I really had was the smells wafting around Ak Chin. Sewer? I don’t know but it had moments of pew.

I will admit that during the show, while they indulged themselves playing a jam type session of old music along with old friends they rolled out on stage ( KB!) my mind wandered off to the gossip and drama surrounding Pat and his baby momma and soon to be ex Michelle Branch.

Pat’s a good sized guy. He pounds on drums for a living. Though I’m not attracted to him, plenty of folks are attracted to guys in bands. There has never been any secret that guys in bands are far from faithful given the smorgasbord of offerings nightly. Michelle is also a singer and performer. She must tour once in awhile though I’m not sure females get sex tossed at them in the same manner or as much as a dude in a band or even hanging around near a band. So staying home, having babies with a drummer, is literally a recipe for being cheated on. No surprises there. The surprise is hearing she tried to kick his ass! He’s huge Michelle, but I feel ya girl! I’d smack my man too for cheating but yours is in the Black Keys! Shoulda figured he was bad.

Overall the Black Keys sound and performance was on point but I felt like there were times they had the crowd up dancing and singing only to slow everyone down to sitting. If I had my way we would be dancing and Howling for you all night.

The Keys stalled us out until the encore for our Lonely Boy dance along. Was well worth the 100 mile round trip drive to exercise my demons dancing and singing on a Monday night. Been too long since I let my hair down and flung it around. I gotta love that keeps me waiting …

locals only

Time for some positive desert reporting! I found a new local radio station that I love to listen to especially in the morning. 99.3 the Wave.

If you have read “Soundtrack Not Included” you know already I am a music lover. What I am doing determines what music I am listening to and at what volume. The mornings don’t go much above 2, maybe to a 4 on the volume dial.

Also by now if you have read a few of my posts you know I don’t sleep well and I’m up extremely early. I tend to have creative ideas flash through my head so I try to write down whatever I can. The earliest stuff tends to be just brain dumping. By 4 am I am drinking coffee and trying to record more coyote howling. My brain is already full by six am so the news tends to just be painful.

So I turn on the radio. We have two big old school stereos. I keep both on as I wander through the house or if I go outside so I can still hear it.

With the weather being so hot lately the only good time to sit outside and write is super early. The benefit of listening to local radio wherever you live is they can see the same sunrise you do. They know at 5am in Gold Canyon when it’s still over 80 degrees out that some chill Jazz music is what is needed to get the morning off right. I couldn’t tell you the names of any of it and that’s perfect. My brain wants to look at how pretty the sunrise is, drink my coffee and wake up happy. The Wave 99.3 has been doing just this for me every morning now and I felt it was time to sing their praises!

It can’t possibly be easy to get a new station on the air and get support. Creative fields are some of the toughest markets to make it big in. Ask any actor, writer, singer, musician, photographer…Local support is crucial.

Most of you will think “I’m too far away to listen to that station” and you are right. It does not have that kind of power. But if you haven’t already, I encourage you strongly to turn on a radio and scan to see who is struggling to get on the air in your area! They can still play whatever they want so you will get the opportunity to hear music you either had no idea was out there or songs that rarely get air time because they aren’t top 40.

I love music, all genres, so who knows what might pop on the radio that makes me set down my iPad and dance. The other day I was outside writing, chillin’ with the dogs and Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You” came on. Yes. I danced.IMG_1310.JPG

So all you locals turn on the radio! Support some local music! If you come to visit Gold Canyon turn the dial over to 99.3 the Wave and chill with us as you enjoy the amazing views.





Soundtrack Not Included

I love music. What I’m doing and when I’m doing it play a huge part in what I want to hear and at what volume.

When the storms roll in, the sky changes before your eyes. Our little house sits on a hill and has views pretty much from every side. All you need to do is turn the stereo on, go sit on the patio, put your feet up and watch…or open up the house, let the wind blow on through and turn the knob up to 11.image

6:45 pm

We have two classic style stereos. Big wooden box speakers. If you were like me as a kid, these are the kind of speakers you used to lay on the floor as close to as possible to hear “your” song as loud as you could because your parents were convinced you were deaf and had made you turn it down. Those speakers. The ones that vibrate a house.

Well I’m grown now. I can turn it up. And trust me we have. Though we just moved into this house only a few months ago, our house has rocked and danced and swayed right along with us. The house loves music too. You can feel it.image


Funny how a song can come on and you can feel like THIS is the perfect song right now. Then a few songs later maybe an old forgotten favorite plays and you go no THIS is the one. This is why I still love the radio. There is a local station out here 103.1 that plays random classic rock and deep cuts with no commercials. I love that I can go online and see what songs they have played  recently and by who. Then when I hear a song I really like but can’t remember who sings it its right there.image

6:52 pm

Remember growing up fighting for what radio station you got to listen to in the car? Yelling different numbers from the back seat driving whoever was tuning it crazy. “No! Try 95.5!” “FM Dad! AM sounds weird!” My favorite memories as a kid are of our road trips from Baker to Las Vegas listening to EIGHT TRACK TAPES!image

7:08 pm

I love music.

I would go to school in the morning, stuffed alongside a few other close friends in a car belonging to the one friend who had a drivers license, trying to fast forward the latest mixed cassette to THE song before we picked up everyone else and got to school.image



It goes with everything. Cooking brings out my inner Tina Turner. I love her. Do it. Picture me dancing around. It happens. She’s amazing.


7:10 pm

Music. So universal yet so personal. I can love a song someone else can hate. A pitch or tone that can drive one person crazy can drive another to tears. Songs you played during personal times or events that are now embedded into your DNA can mean nothing to someone else.image

7:10 pm

So here are pictures from yesterday’s storm. Remember we have views from all around so yes, the sky looks remarkably different from one side to the other.

Now, I suggest you sit back, put your feet up, scroll on through and listen to some good music. Enjoy the storm.image

6:59 pm