I’ve been fortunate to hang around the Phoenix/Tempe music scene long enough to meet creative and ambitious people from every angle – musicians to promoters to writers and more. And inevitably in Phoenix, being the small big town that it is, paths cross. It usually makes for an enlightening game of six degrees of separation: This band has a guy who played in that band with so and so from another band … and on it goes. I’ve often thought of what a local music family tree would look like – probably a sprawling but familiar web of so many talented names.
And still there are stories and memories untold. I’ve known Jeremy Yocum and Joel Leibow – founders of Wooden Blue Records – for some time now, but it dawned on me that I’m woefully lacking in my history of their label, which they ran from the early to mid ’90s. I don’t recall the specific time – I likely didn’t meet them until my years at Arizona State, a few years after Wooden Blue’s time – but I know I met them through my brother, who was in a band with a guy who lived with a guy who … yeah, you get the idea.
For one night, Wooden Blue is getting the band(s) back together. Jimmy Eat World (who put out its self-titled debut, a 7-inch and a split 7-inch on Wooden Blue), Haskel, Aquanaut Drinks Coffee (whose Ryan Kennedy now plays with Reubens Accomplice), Halema’uma’u and possibly more will play a show on Dec. 23 at Crescent Ballroom in a benefit for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It’s $15, and you can buy tickets here, assuming it hasn’t sold out by the time you’ve read this.
I’ve already talked with Jeremy about a possible Q&A in advance of the show. In the meantime, you can dig through the Wooden Blue MySpace page for music, flyers and photos. And just to make sure the connections continue, I’ve been in touch with the man responsible for designing that great flyer you see above, Kevin Lane, about a new logo/design for this site.
Also, Aquanaut Drinks Coffee has a whole host of active mp3s, including this one dedicated to Yocum:
Jimmy Eat World: “Splat Out of Luck” (from self-titled debut):